This report asks Cabinet to agree to the establishment of a residents’ panel for Warwickshire.
Councillor Kam Kaur thanked Councillor Roodhouse for his contributions to the report. In introducing the report, Councillor Kaur explained that the proposals are linked to the Customer Experience Strategy. Cabinet was informed that the Council wishes to be an intelligence led organisation that uses, amongst other things, a polling approach and workshops to gather data. The panel will inform policy development and will have a close link with the Council Plan. Any consultation regarding local government reform will be organised by an independent body.
Councillor Roodhouse reminded the meeting of the previous use of MORI and a citizen’s panel. He welcomed that the work of the new panel would be regarded as independent.
Councillor Keith Kondakor called for a balance to be sought between demographics and geography. It would be important not to be asking questions just to obtain the answer that is sought.
Councillor Seccombe suggested that the Youth Parliament be used on occasions to feed into the work of the panel.
Councillor Parsons expressed some reservations over the establishment of a standing panel. Such bodies, he suggested, tend to attract a certain type of person who my not be representative of others. To address this, random sampling could be undertaken.
Councillor Timms welcomed the establishment of the panel adding that she looked forward to receiving its feedback on climate change.
In closing Councillor Kaur confirmed that your people will be encouraged to join the panel. Membership will not be static. This may change depending on the topic being reviewed.
A vote was held.
1. approves the proposal to develop a standing Warwickshire Residents’ Panel to inform the Council’s policy making, in order to deliver the action set out in the Customer Experience Strategy;
2. authorises the Strategic Director for Resources to finalise the procurement strategy and any associated procurement and award the contract, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation;
3. notes that costs will be managed through the existing Change Fund where additional spend is required; and
4. agrees, having regard to the resolution of Full Council on 22nd September, to the establishment of a separate Residents’ Panel for specific engagement on local government reform proposals for Warwickshire, and notes that the Leader has invited the District and Borough Councils to commission this jointly with the County Council.