Consultation and community engagement
It is important for us to know your views on the services we provide and to have your assistance in making improvements.
We want to make sure that you have the opportunity to have your say and to be more actively involved if you want to.
Our engagement promise
You have a right to influence decisions which are made on your behalf, which is why we have developed the following promise:
- Co-ordinate engagement across the council so that you are not asked the same questions again and again;
- Not share personal information without asking you, unless required by law;
- Make sure we tell you about opportunities to have your say;
- Make sure we give you the opportunity to get involved in making decisions when that is appropriate;
- Be clear about what can be changed, and if it can't, why not;
- Feed back to you what has been said and what we are going to do as a result;
- Use plain English and keep our information jargon free;
- Offer our information in different formats e.g. on CD or tape where that is appropriate; and
- Make sure we include people who want to be involved, and that everyone has a real opportunity to tell us what they think.
We also have customer service standards which tell you what you can expect when you contact us.
In addition to this, we have agreed, with our partners, some joint principles for engaging communities to help us work together, make the most of limited resources and share information where that is appropriate.
Ways to get involved
There are numerous ways for you to get involved, find out how decisions are made in your area and have your say about the services you receive:
- View and take part in current consultations.
- View the results of, and actions arising from, previous consultations.
- Join our citizens' panel, a representative group of people who have agreed to complete surveys about our services.
- Contact your local councillor.
- Find out more about your local parish and town councils.
- Attend an area committee. The county council has established seven area committees, each of which deals with elements of council business within the area of one of the district councils in the county. Read minutes, agendas and reports of these meetings.
- Visit our petitions pages to find out more about this method of letting us know your concerns.
- Tell us where we can improve using our complaints procedure.
- Understand how scrutiny works and how council decisions are made.
We are also working with other organisations in North Yorkshire such as the district and borough councils and the police to make sure we are joining up existing and new consultation and engagement. In this way we should avoid duplication, save resources and get a clearer view of how we can all improve our services. For more details of this work please visit the North Yorkshire partnerships website.
Children and young people
The importance of involving children and young people in decision making is recognised in 'Young and Yorkshire: the plan for all children, young people and their families living in North Yorkshire, 2014-17' [4Mb]. We believe there are huge benefits to be gained from the participation of children and young people within our decision making processes and organisational planning. 'The Promise' has been developed, with the North Yorkshire Youth Council, to support this process and to help ensure that children and young people play an increasingly important role in the work of North Yorkshire County Council and Children's Trust partners.
'The Promise' is made up of five separate principles which have been developed in consultation with children and young people. Each principle covers a different aspect of participation, but all are of equal importance.
North Yorkshire County Council and partners will:
- Principle 1: Involve children and young people in designing, developing and reviewing services which are provided for them.
- Principle 2: Involve children and young people when making decisions on services which affect them.
- Principle 3: Provide children and young people with opportunities to raise issues which are important to them, and ensure they are listened to.
- Principle 4: Feedback to children and young people on what has been said and what is going to happen as a result.
- Principle 5: Provide information which may be used by children and young people in accessible and appropriate formats. Gather information from children and young people using accessible and appropriate methods.
- The Promise [3Mb]
Health and adult services
Community engagement is a high priority for health and adult services, because we want to deliver, whether directly or commissioned, excellent services that meet the needs of individuals and communities. We believe that working with people is essential to understanding what those needs are and how services should be shaped.
We want to help people to stay healthy and well in their own communities. We want to work with people and communities to make sure this support is available, from services and from within their local community.
We have developed a community engagement strategy which sets out our aims and principles for good community engagement:
Ways to get involved
Here are some examples of how we consult and involve people:
- We ask for feedback from users of the supporting people service, in order to improve the service;
- We have established the learning disability partnership board for people with learning difficulties;
- We have established the mental awareness group input committee (MAGIC), a service user-led forum;
- We have established the older people's partnership board
- We have established the physical and sensory impairment partnership board and supporting reference groups;
- We have established the North Yorkshire carers' forum
- We perform regular user satisfaction surveys; and
- We organise residents' forums in residential care homes and extra care facilities.
As well as formal ways of involving people such as surveys and groups, we also work directly with local communities to build relationships and understand local priorities. The main way we do this is via our care services managers in local areas.