Weeknote: Local knowledge is key, w/c 20th May 2019


  • Project call with Frome Town Council – we’re sharing and discussing various tools and items of reference as we look to design a solution for Frome’s Town Vote.
  • We’ve got a busy two-days in Calderdale! On Thursday we’re working with Calderdale Council to facilitate a co-design workshop with some key stakeholders (including citizens) and on Friday we’re meeting with and sharing the story of Public Square in Calderdale with senior officers and elected members. We’re super excited!

Last week…

  • Met with the lead officer at Glasgow City Council who is our main contact for developing our Public Square work. We worked really hard together to delve into the issues that the Public Square project could address, including helping the council to ‘tell the story’ of engagement and participation at a community level.
  • We then took part in a work group meeting with several senior officers from Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life, including elected members. This was to give a bit of an overview about who we are and how we are hoping to work with Glasgow City Council to develop their project. We discussed key activity, centred around the city’s People’s Palace, and activating, involving and empowering citizens to think about its future use as a place for public deliberation and local democracy.

This week we will…

  • It’s all about Calderdale this week! With our ‘on-site’ workshops on Thursday and Friday.
  • But we aren’t forgetting about our other council areas and have a meeting with Frome tomorrow to discuss the scope and technical requirements of their project, including starting to plan some co-design activity with them.
  • We’ll also be following up on some of our actions from our meetings with Glasgow last week.
  • We’ve also published a blog introducing Calderdale Council, which explains more about our work with them so far. Go take a look if you’ve still got time.

What we’re thinking…

  • Local knowledge is key – citizens hold their local knowledge as something which is very important to them. And rightly so! We are developing our plan of action to implement some ‘community reference groups’ around our four council areas – groups of local people who can influence the projects as they go, but also provide required insight and knowledge from their perspective.
  • The community reference groups (name to be agreed!) will have a key role to play which focuses on their local projects – but will also come together as larger groupings to share learning, expertise and opportunity within and for the other areas. We can’t loose people’s expertise about their communities as part of the bigger programme…

And finally…

  • Mel and Kevin, two members of the team, were delighted to meet with Oliver Escobar last week in Edinburgh. Oliver is a member of our Technical Reference Group and provided some great insight into some of our ‘thorny issues’ we’ve been mulling over ourselves. It always helps to be surrounded by brilliant critical friends!