What’s happening next for Public Square: Innovating Local Democracy and sharing our learning

You might have noticed that we have recently stopped producing our week notes. That’s because our first year of work with councils and communities has more or less come to an end. Instead, most of our time is now being spent on reflecting on what we’ve learnt and on our first-year report. The team are beavering away making sure all the learning from the programme is recorded and considered – so it’s a busy time but a quieter, more reflective one. We are also working on another very exciting development.  In Manchester 27-28th January 2019, we’ll be presenting our first

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Fortnightly Updates: Reporting on Our Work, w/c 4th November

Headlines Much of what we are doing at the moment is creating reports of what we’ve been doing over the last year. We’ve also released two blog posts, linked below, about improving communication. Last fortnight… Wrote a first draft discovery report for our work in Frome, pulling together what we learned about the context of the town and history of the People’s Budget programme there.  Shared some options around digital tools for participation with our partners at Calderdale. This fortnight we will… Be working on a prototyping report describing all the things we tried together with Frome Town Council to

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Weeknotes: People Participate in Frome, w/c 16th  September 2019

Headlines This week, we’re really busy getting everything prepared for a Participatory Budgeting event in Frome with Frome Town Council on Sunday.  We’re starting to work with Glasgow to look at a narrative for the project, to ensure it makes sense and is relatable to people from the community, council officers, and elected members for example. Last week… We developed plans for our Frome workshop Continued to agree plans with Glasgow City Council This week we will… Carry out a Participatory Budgeting event this Sunday in Frome. This will bring a randomly selected pool of citizen volunteers together to shortlist

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Weeknotes: Training, Shortlisting and Demographics, w/c 2nd September 2019

Headlines Preparing for PB shortlisting event in Frome Training workshop in Calderdale Last week… We carried out a training workshop in Calderdale to help prepare those who will be delivering conversations with residents. Working through the stages of plan, do, and learn/review. This included thinking about listening skills and identifying any unmet learning needs. We are now at a stage where we’ll be less heavily involved as the council start to put these conversations in action. Though as these conversations happen we’ll be hearing reflections about how well or not the prototypes have worked – we’ve created a learning and

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Weeknotes: Training Workshop Prep, w/c 19th August 2019

Headlines Getting materials and facilitation plans finalised for a training workshop in Calderdale. Checking everything is ready for the launch of a Your Priorities site in Frome. Doing research on previous online participatory budgeting projects in Frome. Last week… We were helping Frome set up a Your Priorities site. This week we will… Be preparing for a workshop in Calderdale to train those who will be conducting conversations with residents. Including getting materials and facilitation guides ready. Be checking everything is ready for the launch of Frome’s Your Priorities site. Be looking into the performance of Frome’s previous People’s Budget

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Weeknotes: Online Idea Generation in Frome, w/c 12th August 2019

Headlines Setting up Your Priorities for Frome Early planning of a Participatory Budgeting sift event for Frome Finalising plans for a training workshop in Calderdale Last week… We were capturing what was heard from two days scoping out Glasgow’s involvement in Public Square. This week we will… Set up the online idea generation and discussion platform Your Priorities for Frome Town Council’s Participatory Budgeting process. This is an open source tool, and we’ll be sharing more information about it as we go. Draft out plans for a sift event in Frome to whittle proposals down to a final shortlist for

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Weeknotes: Scoping in Glasgow, w/c 5th August 2019

Headlines Scoping out how we can work with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life. Comms planning with Calderdale. Planning a training workshop in Calderdale. Last week… Spent two days in Glasgow with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life to scope out our Public Square project together. We also developed a community engagement plan and look forward to further developing our plans and sharing more about our work there shortly!  Met with the comms team from Calderdale Council to discuss plans for a website supporting their Calderdale Conversations. Next stage is mocking up a version of the site. Drew up plans

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Weeknote: things are shaping up, literally, w/c 1st July

We’re working on three prototypes for our next citizen engagement workshop in Halifax with Calderdale Council next week. The prototypes we’ve developed are as a result of our initial engagement where citizens designed the physical tools to use, starting this summer, to have conversations about place with communities.

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Weeknote: Reflections from Calderdale comms workshop, w/c 24th June

Headlines Comms workshop in Calderdale last week First prototype of a playbook format for local authorities  Last week… We took part in a really productive workshop, led by staff from Calderdale council, to develop clearer messages about the conversation they want to have with residents at the end of the summer. We considered this up by thinking what looks different in the borough if this conversation works well. The council will be creating some messaging from here.  Alex finished up work on a review of digital tool use around Citizens’ Assemblies Beginning to map out councillor attitudes research project (more

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Weeknote: Comms workshop with Calderdale, w/c 17th June

Weeknote: Comms workshop with Calderdale, w/c 17th June Headlines A comms workshop with Calderdale Council Early stage playbook thinking Conversations with practitioners about developments in the field of participation Drawing our theory of change Last week… Louise and Zarino made a proposal to the team about what a first version of the playbook might look like – a practical resource for people working in and with local government, driven by some form of self-assessment Agreed some desk research around a key issue in the work so far – the role of elected representatives and their relationship to participatory research Had

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