The Committee considered the report circulated with the agenda.
Mr Foord and Mrs Parker were in attendance and outlined the report. Mrs Parker thanked the Task and Finish Group members for their useful contribution to the process.
Mr Foord and Mrs Parker responded to members’ comments as follows:
· Consultation Focus: After the first meeting the Group focused more on the consultation methodology;
· Let’s Talk Panel: there was no limit to the number of people able to sign up to the Panel. 1,000 was the target membership and members were asked to encourage their constituents to join. Members welcomed the introduction of this Panel;
· Planning Issues Consultation: Although the Group was satisfied with the way the Council’s communications were delivered, a meeting would take place on 10 April 2019 to discuss localised concerns specific to planning, to include the wider planning consultation and statutory consultation for planning consultations associated with the day to day delivery of planning applications. Officers would take advice as to whether or not a further report should be considered by the Committee on the outcomes of the meeting. The Planning Policy consultation system was a different system used to the Council’s general consultation SNAP system;
· What is the most effective way to ascertain what the public wants and needs?: Evaluations were key and specific groups of people could be targeted to give a clear idea of what was working. An effective way to reach the public was via the Lets Talk Panel individually or generally about a whole range of issues. Panel members could be contacted on a regular basis to draw their attention to certain topics. The most popular platform depended on the target group, as some groups worked better with social media and others worked better face to face. It was key to have a range of communication channels. Since the introduction of the worldwide web 30 years ago communication had changed hugely in this time with people now expecting quick communication. How we communicate with the public depended on the audience;
· Traffic issues: Mrs Hotchkiss undertook to provide a link to the County Council’s current consultation on the Parking Management Plan in the Chichester City.
· Mr Oakley, observing the meeting, asked for clarification that the Task and Finish Group will cover both planning policy consultations and notifications of individual planning applications, and that there will be the opportunity for the wider Council membership to have an opportunity to see the agenda papers to be put before the Task and Finish Group and have an input, including a briefing paper detailing the statutory consultation requirements for individual planning applications?: Officers were mindful there was a statutory framework for the day to day planning consultations and agreed to frame the next agenda to take into account of both planning policy and the adequacy of the statutory consultations.
There was support for a proposal by Mr Shaxson that the outcomes of the Task and Finish Group on 10 April 2019 to discuss communication and consultation and any follow up from that meeting be reported to a further meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
1) That the report relating to the review carried out by the Task and Finish Group be noted;
2) That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee confirms it is satisfied with the progress made to date and are in agreement with the proposed future improvements; and
3) That the outcomes of the meeting of the Consultation Task and Finish Group with the planners on 10 April 2019 to discuss communication and consultation and any follow up from that meeting be reported to a further meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.