STREET   PARISH   COUNCIL
COMMUNITY   ENGAGEMENT   STRATEGY

  
Community engagement is about giving local people a voice and involving them in the decisions that affect them and their community.  It is about development of relationships and clear communication to deliver better services and projects.
 
The aim of a community engagement strategy should be to engage residents and encourage their participation in decision making to secure better services and to create a more active and informed community.  This strategy sets out how Street Parish Council will engage its community across a broad range of its activities and sets out short, medium and long term aims.  It was adopted by the Council on 19th March, 2009 and reviewed and revised on 17th June, 2010, 21st June, 2011, 19th June, 2012, 18th June, 2013.
 
1.    CURRENT MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
       WITH THE STREET COMMUNITY

 
At present residents and other interested persons/organisations can communicate with or receive information from the Council in the following
10 ways.
 
A  –  NEWSLETTER published in March, July, September and December.
        Includes names and contact details of the Clerk, and all councillors,
        details of forthcoming meetings and surgeries, information on local
        issues and council activities.
        Circulated to Crispin Community Centre, dental surgeries, Vine Surgery,
        Library, Chamber of Trade, Tourist Information Centre.
 
B  –  ANNUAL REPORT published in June.  Includes details of council
        activities, achievements, organisation, grants awarded, summary of
        accounts.
        Circulated to Crispin Community Centre, dental surgeries, Vine Surgery,
        Library, Chamber of Trade, Tourist Information Centre, offices of Mendip
        District Council and Somerset County Council.
 
C  –  WEBSITE address is www.street-pc.gov.uk.  Information and photos
        updated regularly and details include information on the council and its
        activities, local amenities and organisations, current issues and events.
 
D  –  ANNUAL PARISH MEETING is held on the third Tuesday in March at
        6.30 p.m. and gives electors of the parish a chance to air their views or
        ask questions on matters relating to Street.  A speaker agreed by the
        council will give an address on a local issue such as restorative justice
        or social housing and the winners of the Parish Awards are announced.
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E  –  PUBLIC QUESTION TIME BEFORE MEETINGS is held a short time
        prior to all meetings of the Planning Committee and the Council and
        gives residents a chance to speak on local issues which are on the
        agenda for the meeting.  There is no requirement to make a formal
        request to speak prior to a meeting.  Special meetings are held as
        necessary to consult local people on new projects.  The Skate Park
        Advisory Group meets with young users of the facility in May and
        September to discuss issues.
 
F  –  CONTACT WITH CLERK OR CLERICAL ASSISTANT can be made by
        telephone, email, post or by calling at the office in the Parish Rooms
        from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday to Thursday and
        at other times by appointment.
 
G  –  COUNCILLOR’S SURGERY is held from 11 a.m. to 12 noon on the first
        Wednesday in each month apart from August and December in the John
        Webster Room, Street Parish Rooms.  2 members of the council will be
        available to speak to residents about local matters. 
 
H  –  INVESTITURE OF NEW CHAIRMAN is held around the middle of May
        and includes presentations from local schools.  Details are given of the
        Council’s achievements during the year.  All local organisations are
        invited to send representatives to the event and afterwards there is a
        buffet where different community leaders and groups can exchange
        ideas and information.
 
NEW MEANS OF ENGAGEMENT SET UP DURING 2012/2013
 
I   –   FACEBOOK AND TWITTER have been set up for the Council and
        recently a link has been made to the Facebook groups page called Street, Somerset
        as quite a lot of local people are commenting on this about issues such
        as advertising boards and speeding traffic.
 
J   –  STREET COMMUNITY PRIDE has been formed of councillors,
        representatives of local organisations such as Street Neighbourhood
        Watch Association and Street Society and local residents.  Meetings and
        community events such as litter picks or walkabouts take place .  Comments
        are sent back to the Council on local matters for consideration.
 
2.    AIMS FOR IMPROVING COMMUNICATION
 
A  –  SHORT TERM AIMS
 
(a1)  To publicise details of the councillor’s surgeries through newsletters and the local newspaper to try to increase the number of people attending each month.
                                                            –    2    –
(a2)  To publicise information relating to local issues and new projects through leaflets, local press, website and to invite residents to contact the council with their observations.  To circulate leaflets to organisations involved with hard to reach groups and young people such as schools, disability groups etc.
                                                  
B  –  MEDIUM TERM AIMS
 
(b1)  Increased information on council activities and the promotion of local democracy and citizenship (such as information on registering to vote, where and when people can vote, standing for the council or the functions of the council and councillors) to be publicised on a regular basis through leaflets and posters distributed to the Library, shops and other public places and to be available on the website.  Articles to appear in the local press.  Non confidential elements of the Parish Emergency Plan to appear on the website.
 
C  –  LONG TERM AIMS
 
(c1)  To disseminate information on all aspects of the council and the Street community in a number of forms such as website, leaflets and local press to many different places and organisations including those involved with young people and hard to reach groups.
 
(c2)  To receive comments from residents and local bodies on issues affecting Street.  A short survey form on Street, what is considered good and bad and what needs improving is circulated to groups using the Parish Rooms for completion if people wish.  A small number have been returned from the Carers Group and local young unemployed people.
 
3.    ASSESSMENT OF THE NEEDS AND VIEWS
       OF THE COMMUNITY

 
The Council will aim to find out what the community wants or expects from its council and how content it is with existing services by circulating information on activities regularly and inviting residents to submit their observations to the council.  All relevant and appropriate comments will be considered by the Council or one of it’s committees or working parties.  If few responses are made on any subject it will be assumed that the majority of people, including hard to reach groups and young people, are satisfied with the work being carried out by the Council.
 
 
L.A. Ruff
Clerk
Adopted by Council 19th March, 2009
Reviewed and revised on 17th June, 2010
Reviewed and updated on 21st June, 2011
Reviewed and updated on 19th June, 2012
Reviewed and updated on 18th June, 2013
 
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