Committee Chair: Cllr Lisa Trickett
Committee Membership:Cllr Gurdial Singh Atwal, Cllr Chaman Lal,Cllr Tim Evans, Cllr Ziaul Islam, Cllr Robert Pocock, Cllr Eva Phillips, Cllr David Pears, Cllr Jerry Evans, Cllr Anne Underwood
Benita Wishart, O&S Manager Tel: 0121 464 6871 email: email@example.com
Call for evidence:Inquiry into Citizen Engagement
I am announcing a formal public Inquiry into the City Council’s obligations with regard to Citizen Engagement by the Districts and Public Engagement Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Birmingham City Council.
Much is already in place to ensure that the council undertakes consultation and engagement with citizens and there is an Engagement and Consultation Strategy:Talking Together; Working Together. The strategy was published in 2006 and is currently under review to ensure that it meets the needs of the citizens of Birmingham and the City Council.
One of the service reviews the council is undertaking (support services tranche 1) has considered how to improve engagement with fewer resources. A summary of the Service Review recommendations are below:
1. The City Council will engage individuals as citizens and users of multiple services, rather than as users of individual services.
2. Digital engagement will be supported by widening participation in Ward Committees and Neighbourhood Forums.
3. Formal consultations will be conducted through the “Be Heard” website.
4. The Council will seek broader input and will encourage unsolicited inputs into policy development.
5. These functions will be co-ordinated from a central Corporate Intelligence Unit
6. The central unit will undertake in depth user engagement supported by the relevant directorates;
7. Directorates may propose to establish/maintain engagement activity with their service users following the production of a business case
8. It is assumed that this new engagement structure will require fewer staff than the existing directorate based functions.
9. Explore the potential of new “Local TV” arrangements to enable wider engagement.
The Committee are assisting with this Service Review by undertaking a Scrutiny Inquiry into Citizen Engagement and exploring ‘how residents can influence and shape place and how the Council should ensure “Engagement for Action.”
The Districts and Public Engagement Overview and Scrutiny Committee will therefore consider:
• What is the purpose of engagement?
• How do we do it better?
• How do we get results?
The terms of reference for this review are attached below. I am pleased to invite you to contribute written evidence for the Inquiry to consider. All evidence needs to be emailed to the Scrutiny Office at firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on Thursday 17th October 2013 and may be made available for the public to view.
The Inquiry will take place on the 22nd October at 2pm and 19th November at 3 pm in the Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB. You are most welcome to attend to observe the discussion; however it would be helpful if you could let us know in advance if you are planning to do so by emailing the above as space in the room is limited.