Our citizens' panel is a group of residents who share their views and ideas to help us understand local people's priorities.

Members of our panel answer a minimum of one and a maximum of three questionnaires during a year, each containing several sections about a range of issues. They can be completed electronically or on paper. Additionally, we sometimes conduct short telephone surveys, or invite a small number of people to take part in a focus group or local forum. The panel is one of the most important ways by which we consult with our residents to help shape our services.

Questionnaires are designed, distributed and collated on our behalf by an independent market research company, NWA Research Ltd. We both adhere to the data protection act and the market research code of conduct. This means your responses will be kept confidential and all information collected will be used anonymously.

Becoming a panel member

We are currently looking for new panel members.

The panel includes people from all backgrounds, ages and ethnicity. We would especially welcome members from under-represented groups such as young people and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

You can complete our online application form below. Becoming a member is free and you can leave at any time

Apply to become a panel member

NWA Research Ltd will contact you if you are selected to join.

What we do with survey results

The results of the panel have been used in a variety of ways including:

  • Contributing to the annual budget consultation process, the setting of council priorities and council tax level;
  • Contributing to strategic documents that shape the future direction of services in North Yorkshire, for example the local transport plan;
  • Providing information which helps to monitor the performance of various teams and activities; and
  • Providing information which can help to design specific services.

Results of the surveys are published below when available.

Panel newsletters

Panel newsletters include information on how results have been used.

Citizens' panel - frequently asked questions

North Yorkshire citizens panel consists of 2,000 local people who match the overall profile of the county in age, gender, ethnicity and geographic location. This balance is essential to ensure that the views of the panel reflect the views of our residents as a whole. 

The one essential for panel members is that you live in the county. North Yorkshire covers the districts of Hambleton, Harrogate, Scarborough, Ryedale, Richmondshire, Craven and Selby.

If you become a member of the citizens panel we will contact you at least once and up to a maximum of three times a year to ask you to take part in surveys. In most cases these surveys will take the form of an online questionnaire. However, we may also undertake short telephone surveys, or invite a small number of people to take part in a focus group or local forum. The maximum length of time you will be asked to remain a member is three years, however you can leave at any time.

A small number of panel members may wish to complete by post so please say if this is your preference. However, a postal survey costs considerably more to administrate than one completed online so the number that can receive a postal survey will be limited. Please remember that it is possible to complete the survey on the internet at your local library.

Anyone in your household who is over the age of 18 may apply to join the panel, but it is important that the person who completes the recruitment form is also the person who will complete future surveys. Otherwise we will not have the correct profile on which to analyse the results.

The citizens' panel is an opportunity for you to air your views on a range of council and community issues, and to make a difference to the decisions taken on your behalf. Because of the number of people on the panel, the responses we receive are considered to be a good reflection of the views of the community as a whole. Feedback from the panel is therefore taken very seriously by staff and councillors. When we send you a new survey, we will also send you a summary of the results from the previous one.

Membership of the panel is free and purely voluntary. That is to say you will not be paid for completing questionnaires but neither will it cost you anything to return your completed surveys.

Your questionnaire will go directly to NWA Research Ltd who manage the citizens' panel on behalf of the council. Both North Yorkshire County Council and NWA adhere to the Market Research Code of Conduct. This means that your responses will be kept completely confidential and all information collected will be used anonymously.

No. Your details will only be used for North Yorkshire County Council to consult with you over the provision of local services. This is enforced through the rules of the Data Protection Act.

If you move to another property within North Yorkshire you are welcome to stay on the panel - just let us have your new address. If you are moving out of the area please let us know so that we can take you off the panel and make sure that no further surveys are sent to your old address.

You will usually be given around three weeks in which to return each survey, and they usually take around ten to 20 minutes to complete.

There is no obligation for you to fill in every survey. However, the more responses we get for each survey, the better the results. If you feel you are unlikely to fill in future surveys we would rather that you chose not to complete this one, so that another resident can be given the opportunity to take part.

When we consult the public, we always try to speak to people who use the service to find out what they think about it and to those who do not use it to find out why not. So whether you have used a particular service or not, we are equally keen to hear your views. It doesn't matter whether you have lived in the county for years, or you have just moved in. We are keen to obtain the views of as wide a range of residents as possible.

The citizens' panel is your opportunity to air your views on council and community issues, and to make a difference to the decisions taken on your behalf. Because of the number of people on the panel, the responses we receive are considered to be a good reflection of the views of the residents of North Yorkshire as a whole. Feedback from the panel is therefore taken very seriously by staff and councillors.

Once we have received all the completed surveys we will analyse the profile of all respondents and select people to join the panel so that its overall make-up matches that of the county as a whole. We will then send you a letter to confirm whether or not you are a member of the panel.