PETITION: Residents to bring ‘Community Engagement Framework’ to Scrutiny after being banned from engaging on it!

Independent Resident campaigners are forcing the Council to scrutinise the way in which it adopted the aptly-named ‘Community Engagement Framework, which, rather ironically, the Council refused to allow the community to engage with.

Bob Tyler and James Giles were told they were not allowed to contribute to this item, despite serious questions around Equalities and Risk to the Council, but could speak on a later urgent item which had not been circulated to the public until that evening.

A number of issues remain with this document, which is currently deeply flawed, and we need the support of 100 residents to guarantee its passage to Scrutiny Panel.

Please do sign below, and contact James on kirg@jamesgiles.uk if you have any questions.

Call-in: Community Engagement Framework

  

WE, the undersigned, being those who live, work or study in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, hereby call in all decisions of item 6 of the Community and Engagement Committee held on 12th June 2019, ‘Community Engagement Framework’ for the following reasons:

- Members of the public were not able to contribute to this item, as the co-chairs refused to allow those who ‘hadn’t submitted a green slip’ to speak, despite allowing them to on other items, bringing into question whether the decision-making was sound - particularly given this item was all about community engagement(!);
- The committee wanted to engage with people ‘who don’t normally engage with the council’, so the notion that this will be achieved through a consultation portal which doesn’t meet government guidelines on domains as well as neighbourhoods is laughable and inadequate - consultation must be wider;
- There is no basis for the consultation - no drafted questions, no concrete timescales, which did not allow for any evidence-based decision making as the councillors had no idea what form the engagement would take;
- Paragraph 22 of the report states the ‘framework will comply with equalities best practice’ - not law? This is wholly inadequate, as equalities legislation exists for a reason;
- No risk assessment has been completed, despite officers’ promise to send this to residents post-committee. It has now been admitted no risk assessment has been completed, which is a major flaw;
- No equalities analysis has been undertaken on the impact of an ‘online’ consultation and neighbourhood committee meeting. We have many disabled residents in this borough who may have restricted mobility and no access to the internet. Before this is consulted upon, a thorough analysis must be undertaken in order to ensure that the consultation is accessible to all; and
- The framework is in no way resident-friendly, and a first-class attempt at corporate jargon. Residents deserve better than this in understanding how the council will engage with them.

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The issues in full:

  • Members of the public were not able to contribute to this item, as the co-chairs refused to allow those who ‘hadn’t submitted a green slip’ to speak, despite allowing them to on other items, bringing into question whether the decision-making was sound – particularly given this item was all about community engagement(!);
  • The committee wanted to engage with people ‘who don’t normally engage with the council’, so the notion that this will be achieved through a consultation portal which doesn’t meet government guidelines on domains as well as neighbourhoods is laughable and inadequate – consultation must be wider;
  • There is no basis for the consultation – no drafted questions, no concrete timescales, which did not allow for any evidence-based decision making as the councillors had no idea what form the engagement would take;
  • Paragraph 22 of the report states the ‘framework will comply with equalities best practice’ – not law? This is wholly inadequate, as equalities legislation exists for a reason;
  • No risk assessment has been completed, despite officers’ promise to send this to residents post-committee. It has now been admitted no risk assessment has been completed, which is a major flaw;
  • No equalities analysis has been undertaken on the impact of an ‘online’ consultation and neighbourhood committee meeting. We have many disabled residents in this borough who may have restricted mobility and no access to the internet. Before this is consulted upon, a thorough analysis must be undertaken in order to ensure that the consultation is accessible to all; and
  • The framework is in no way resident-friendly, and a first-class attempt at corporate jargon. Residents deserve better than this in understanding how the council will engage with them.

 

THE DOCUMENT: https://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/documents/s84068/Community%20Engagement%20Framework%20REPORT.pdf

https://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/documents/s84069/Engagement%20Framework%20for%20CE%20Committee.pdf