Blog

Weeknotes: Learning Review, w/c 9th June

Headlines Learning review day with Luminate last week and moving forward with Calderdale. Last week… We had a  learning review day with our funders, Luminate. It helped us to clarify some of our immediate needs on the programme, including preparing a pitch-pack for potential funders for the next stage of the programme. We’ve been continuing to develop prototypes from the ideas that workshop participants shared about how to build a conversation over the summer in Calderdale. This week we will… Work on the communications for Public Square – in preparation for the pitch pack Talk about complementary research approaches to

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Weeknote: Capturing learning, w/c 3rd June

Headlines We’ve been writing up, and building from, the ideas heard at our Calderdale co-design workshop. This week we have a learning review day workshop with our funders Luminate to talk through how the project has gone so far and what we want to do as a result Last week… Had a bank holiday! Wrote up what we heard from participants at our co-design workshop in Calderdale about ways the council can engage differently with residents. This will be shared back with participants by the council. Made a start on developing prototypes of how Calderdale Council could engage with residents,

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Putting Community Neighbourhoods in the Driving Seat in Newham

Public Square gives us a great opportunity to bring together some of the different people working on local democracy and learn from each other. We recently sat down for a chat with Andy Paice, who’s been doing really interesting work helping empower local communities to shape plans for local area within Newham. This blog post shares what’s been done, and what was learnt about the challenges involved in setting up a more participatory democracy. The approach used is a great example of the switch to a more participatory way of making decisions, and could provide inspiration for some of our

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Week note: Co-design workshop in Calderdale, w/c 27th May

Headlines: Two days of intensive work with Calderdale Council in Halifax. This involved a stakeholder/citizen co-design workshop on Thursday and some fantastic meetings on Friday. Conversations with councillors in Frome. Last week… We also enjoyed two days in Halifax working with Calderdale Council and citizens on their Public Square project. This included working with community groups to prototype ways to talk about the relationship residents have with Calderdale, the council and the place. We also discussed ways of doing Participatory Budgeting in Frome, in conversation with town councillors. We talked about how to design the process with the wider community and

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

Headlines 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.

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Calderdale Council Becomes A Partner

After all the build-up it’s time to introduce the first of Public Square’s council partners: Calderdale Council. What is happening in Calderdale? Over the years, the work of councils has changed. We live in very different societies today than we have in the past. Every council has an implicit ‘social contract’ with its residents – an unspoken understanding of what each other’s roles and responsibilities are. But as times have changed it’s time we looked more closely at what citizens and government can expect from each other, and thought about how both partners can best work together to create the

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Weeknote: Planning Co-Design, w/c 13th May 2019

Headlines Designing a Co-design workshop with Calderdale Council Pulling together information about Participatory Budgeting and approaches to online voting for Frome Getting clear our approach to discovery and co-design Last week… We are moving ever closer to a co-design workshop in Calderdale next week, which will bring community stakeholders together with the council to help plan a wide-ranging conversation this summer about the relationship between residents and the council. Last week we spent time designing the workshop together with Calderdale Council’s Neighbourhoods and Cohesion Manager. We want to help our partner councils out, by providing inspiration about new approaches. In

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Weeknotes: Digital in discovery, w/c 6th May, 2019

Headlines Exploring digital tools for decision-making and communicating Public Square Last week… Initial discussion about what our digital approach should be in Calderdale. Thinking about ways to use digital tools in opening up a small grant programme to wider participation. Starting to think about how we talk about Public Square to people who might be interested in our next steps Explored tools and options available to provide a solution to digital decision-making (which isn’t about participatory budgeting) Held the Technical Reference Group meeting – which turned into a useful project-team meeting to think about our journey so far and where

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Starting Discovery: w/c 29th April, 2019

Headlines Onsite discovery visit in Frome – interviews with key stakeholders Last week… Spent a day in Frome shaping discovery and doing interviews with key stakeholders (Friday, 26 April). Spoke to Andy Paice, a public participation consultant and learned more about his work. Planned meeting with Technical Reference Group, to be held on 1 May. Developed Calderdale – and planned our onsite discovery work in May. User research interview and document review around council process, barriers and opportunities This week we will… Take part in our Technical Reference Group meeting Continue to develop our discovery work onsite with Calderdale Reflect

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We’re writing weeknotes

As we’re now starting to work with the four council areas, we’ll be publishing weeknotes to capture what we’re up to and what we’re learning. It’s part of the wider approach we’re using to learn research as we work, and share that learning and thinking publicly. Thanks to Emily Robertson-Knowlton, who shared the blog post format she’s using for the planning permissions project that mySociety is involved in with the Digital Land team at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The format is really simple – and allows us to work collectively to publish something quick but (hopefully)

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