Participate Panel Information

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What is a Citizens' Panel?

A Citizens' Panel is a cross-section of local people who are invited to take part in regular research, consultation and engagement with the Council. People are selected at random and invited to join the panel and the makeup of the panel is broadly reflective of the local population. Engagement topics vary and usually revolve around local issues and public services, including health and wellbeing, the environment and the local economy.


The Participate Panel – Cheshire West and Chester Council's Citizens’ Panel

The Participate Panel is a large group of residents from across west Cheshire, who volunteer to take part in online engagement activities such as surveys, to help the Council understand residents’ views and ideas about a range of important issues.

There will also be opportunities to attend discussion groups and events, as well as take part in engagement carried out in partnership with other public sector organisations. Panel members can choose which activities they want to take part in and opt out of those that don’t appeal.


Making a difference

Understanding residents’ views means that the Council is better able to target resources and develop services that meet the needs of local people. The purpose of the panel is to find out what residents think about local issues and Council services in a cost-effective way.

This helps the Council to do the right things and feeds directly into policy and decision-making processes. Feedback from the panel will be reported to Councillors and senior managers, to help them make better informed decisions to improve the lives of people in the borough.


How to join the Participate Panel

Cheshire West and Chester Council has invited a random selection of households from across the borough to join the panel. Invitations have also been sent to those who have expressed an interest in the panel and through local groups and networks. Panel registration is open for anyone aged over 18 who lives in the borough to join at anytime.

If you are interested in joining the panel, please click on the Join Now button below to register, by completing a small number of questions about you. This is so that we can keep in touch with panel members about engagement activities and understand how people's views and experiences differ.

Please note that panel members need to be aged 18 or over and live in west Cheshire. You can check whether you live within the borough here.


Why is the Council setting up the Panel during the pandemic?

During these difficult times it is more important than ever to find new ways to listen to our residents to understand their views and ideas. We want to engage with the Panel to understand what residents think the most pressing issues are and how we can work together to solve them. We know some of our residents are experiencing a difficult time during the pandemic for a wide range of reasons. The Panel is one of the ways that we can understand more about the impact of the pandemic on our residents.


What does the Participate Panel cost to the Council?

There is a one off cost to setting up the Panel that covers printing and posting invitation letters to a random selection of households across the borough and working with ORS to send out targeted email and text messages to under represented groups. Following this there are no additional cost to the Council of running the Participate Panel. The Panel is being managed in-house within existing staff resources and is operated on the Council’s existing research, consultation and engagement platform, Participate Now.

The Panel is a very efficient and cost-effective way of listening to our residents. Running the Panel online means that costs are minimized and we can report on people’s views quickly. Understanding residents’ views means that the Council is better able to target resources and prioritise services to meet the needs of local people.

.

Other ways to share your views

The Participate Panel is online only. This is to keep costs to a minimum and to ensure we can report on people’s views as quickly as possible. However this is just one method the Council uses to better understand the views of residents. The Council will continue to listen to people’s views through a range of ways, including online consultation, paper surveys, telephone consultations, enabling public participation in meetings and through local Councillors.

If you would like support to register for the panel and take part online, you can also contact your local library where you will be able to access a computer and also receive assistance if needed. You can find contact details and opening hours for our libraries here or by telephoning 0300 123 7739. Please note, libraries are now closed under the current COVID-19 restrictions, but panel registration will remain open for you to join at any time.


Keeping personal information secure

If you would like to know more about how we use and store the information you give us, you can find further information in our privacy policy.

All the information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence and no information will be released that could identify an individual, organisation or household when we report on findings of engagement activities.


Accessing Cheshire West and Chester Council information and services

Council information is also available in Audio, Braille, Large Print or other formats. If you would like a copy of this information in a different format, in another language or require a BSL interpreter, please email equalities@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk, telephone 0300 123 8 123 or textphone 18001 01606 275 757.

What is a Citizens' Panel?

A Citizens' Panel is a cross-section of local people who are invited to take part in regular research, consultation and engagement with the Council. People are selected at random and invited to join the panel and the makeup of the panel is broadly reflective of the local population. Engagement topics vary and usually revolve around local issues and public services, including health and wellbeing, the environment and the local economy.


The Participate Panel – Cheshire West and Chester Council's Citizens’ Panel

The Participate Panel is a large group of residents from across west Cheshire, who volunteer to take part in online engagement activities such as surveys, to help the Council understand residents’ views and ideas about a range of important issues.

There will also be opportunities to attend discussion groups and events, as well as take part in engagement carried out in partnership with other public sector organisations. Panel members can choose which activities they want to take part in and opt out of those that don’t appeal.


Making a difference

Understanding residents’ views means that the Council is better able to target resources and develop services that meet the needs of local people. The purpose of the panel is to find out what residents think about local issues and Council services in a cost-effective way.

This helps the Council to do the right things and feeds directly into policy and decision-making processes. Feedback from the panel will be reported to Councillors and senior managers, to help them make better informed decisions to improve the lives of people in the borough.


How to join the Participate Panel

Cheshire West and Chester Council has invited a random selection of households from across the borough to join the panel. Invitations have also been sent to those who have expressed an interest in the panel and through local groups and networks. Panel registration is open for anyone aged over 18 who lives in the borough to join at anytime.

If you are interested in joining the panel, please click on the Join Now button below to register, by completing a small number of questions about you. This is so that we can keep in touch with panel members about engagement activities and understand how people's views and experiences differ.

Please note that panel members need to be aged 18 or over and live in west Cheshire. You can check whether you live within the borough here.


Why is the Council setting up the Panel during the pandemic?

During these difficult times it is more important than ever to find new ways to listen to our residents to understand their views and ideas. We want to engage with the Panel to understand what residents think the most pressing issues are and how we can work together to solve them. We know some of our residents are experiencing a difficult time during the pandemic for a wide range of reasons. The Panel is one of the ways that we can understand more about the impact of the pandemic on our residents.


What does the Participate Panel cost to the Council?

There is a one off cost to setting up the Panel that covers printing and posting invitation letters to a random selection of households across the borough and working with ORS to send out targeted email and text messages to under represented groups. Following this there are no additional cost to the Council of running the Participate Panel. The Panel is being managed in-house within existing staff resources and is operated on the Council’s existing research, consultation and engagement platform, Participate Now.

The Panel is a very efficient and cost-effective way of listening to our residents. Running the Panel online means that costs are minimized and we can report on people’s views quickly. Understanding residents’ views means that the Council is better able to target resources and prioritise services to meet the needs of local people.

.

Other ways to share your views

The Participate Panel is online only. This is to keep costs to a minimum and to ensure we can report on people’s views as quickly as possible. However this is just one method the Council uses to better understand the views of residents. The Council will continue to listen to people’s views through a range of ways, including online consultation, paper surveys, telephone consultations, enabling public participation in meetings and through local Councillors.

If you would like support to register for the panel and take part online, you can also contact your local library where you will be able to access a computer and also receive assistance if needed. You can find contact details and opening hours for our libraries here or by telephoning 0300 123 7739. Please note, libraries are now closed under the current COVID-19 restrictions, but panel registration will remain open for you to join at any time.


Keeping personal information secure

If you would like to know more about how we use and store the information you give us, you can find further information in our privacy policy.

All the information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence and no information will be released that could identify an individual, organisation or household when we report on findings of engagement activities.


Accessing Cheshire West and Chester Council information and services

Council information is also available in Audio, Braille, Large Print or other formats. If you would like a copy of this information in a different format, in another language or require a BSL interpreter, please email equalities@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk, telephone 0300 123 8 123 or textphone 18001 01606 275 757.