The Council and its staff will:
- Undertake consultation exercises as part of the Council’s overall approach to planning, delivering and reviewing services and working towards greater participation by the public. The range and scope of consultation may be constrained by limited resources.
- As part of annual service and work planning announce those matters it intends should be the subject of community consultation and include these in published service plans.
- Ensure that all consultation carried out by or on behalf of the Council shall state the advantages and disadvantages of available options as well as presenting information and arguments in a factual and objective way. All consultation shall comply with the requirements of legislation, Codes of Practice and other guidance as appropriate.
- Ensure that the objectives of consultations and the way in which the results of consultation will be considered by the Council are clearly stated.
- Undertake consultations, wherever possible, directly with members of target groups or their democratically elected nominees.
- Make arrangements to encourage the involvement of individuals and groups at risk of discrimination and/or disadvantage and others who might not be included.
- Identify methods of consultation that are appropriate to the subject and the target group(s). Methods may range from a formal written consultation on technical matters with specialist consultees to extended and less formal dialogue with groups not used to being consulted.
- Ensure consultations will be accessible to target groups with venues for meetings, clear and understandable presentation of information (including use of interpreters where necessary), times of meetings, etc.
- Ensure that, wherever practical, reasonable time will be allowed for consultees to consider the matter in hand and formulate a response.
- Inform consultees of the outcomes of consultation and decisions taken.
- Ensure consultation processes are evaluated.
- The Council recognises the importance of gaining the views of stakeholders, through a range of formal and less formal means
- The Council is committed to effective consultation that is accessible to all sectors of the community, including those at risk of discrimination or disadvantage
- The Council will seek to ensure that all its consultations are conducted in a fair and open manner
- The Council will seek to ensure that people acting on its behalf follow best practice
- The Council will ensure that views given in consultation are taken into account when reaching its decisions
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