Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council is committed to improving our engagement with all sections of the local community: residents, voluntary groups, young and elderly, businesses and local groups and organisations. The overall aim is to increase the involvement of people in the life of their communities and in the Council’s decision making processes. In doing this the Council will become more responsive to the needs of the Community and be able to better reflect its views and aspirations.
Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council is made up of 6 wards namely Brandon, Meadowfield & Browney, Langley Moor, New Brancepeth, Ushaw Moor & Broompark and Esh Winning & Waterhouse. The Council, its Members and staff take every opportunity to actively engage with the following sections of the community:
- Residents of the parish
- Local youth groups
- Groups representing the elderly
- Residents Associations
- Voluntary Organisations
- Community Associations
- Businesses within the Parish
- Church Groups
- Councillors – public service representatives and staff
Effective engagement can only be achieved through providing information to these sectors and seeking residents’ views. The Council regularly works in partnership with Durham County Council and neighbouring local authorities. The Council has developed a particularly close working relationship with the Mid Durham Area Action Partnership. This joined up approach has enhanced the Parish Council’s engagement with our local communities through village consultations which lead to the development of projects for the benefit of our villages.
The Council employs a number of methods to inform our communities:
- Contact details of the Council Offices and staff and individual Councillors are available in the Council’s quarterly newsletter and on the Council’s website.
- The Newsletter informs the community of the activities of the Council, and is made available at public venues throughout the Parish.
- Notices of meetings are posted on the Council’s notice boards at Meadowfield and Esh Winning and on its website.
- The notices indicate that the Council gives the public the opportunity to participate in meetings. The Council’s policy on public participation is available on its website and at the Parish Council offices.
- The Council’s website provides details of its services and activities and provides access to the Council minutes and number of documents.
- The Council publishes an Annual Report which is made available at public places throughout the Parish and on the Parish website. A summary of the report is outlined in the June issue of the Council’s newsletter.
- Representatives of the Council attend local voluntary organisations and some Councillors are members of these voluntary organisations in their own right.
Aims and Objectives
The Council’s aims and objectives for seeking community engagement and the outcomes it hopes to achieve are:
- To enable an involved and active community through consultation with residents on local issues, reaching all sectors of the community including hard to reach groups, and seeking the views of young people.
- To communicate information clearly and factually through the management of the Council’s website and the publication of a quarterly newsletter.
- To improve communication with partner organisations
- To actively be involved in local organisations such as Residents organisations, youth groups and community groups.
- To raise the profile and reputation of the Council through:
- inviting residents to take part in council meetings through public participation.
- Publicising the Annual Parish meeting throughout the Parish area.
- Informing the press of the activities of the Council, when appropriate.
- Encouraging the Chairman to fulfil his civic role by accepting invitations to community events.
- To enable each Councillor to effectively perform their role as elected representatives of the community through
- the issue of a new members information pack
- encouraging Councillors to attend meetings of community organisations or take up places on community groups and organisations.
- To ensure Parish Council staff represent the interest of the Council at community events
- To encourage staff to have an effective input into the Council’s decision making process.
Adopted 22nd July 2009 Minute no. 92
Reviewed 15th July 2011 Minute no. 66b
Reviewed 19th July 2013 Minute no.66
Reviewed 17th July 2015 Minute no.65c
Reviewed 14th July 2017 Minute no.61e
Reviewed 20th July 2018 Minute no. 61h
Reviewed 19th July 2019 Minute no. 69e
Reviewed 16th October 2020 Minute no. 40b
Action Plan for Effective Community Engagement
|Minutes||Ensure copies of minutes are available in hard copy and on the website and that copies are sent to the relevant Unitary Councillors. Copies to be sent to Brandon and Esh Winning Libraries and Brandon Community Centre||Staff||Ongoing|
|Notice of Meeting||Ensure notice is posted on Council notice boards, on website and in local libraries||Staff||Ongoing|
|Annual Report||Ensure report is available in hard copy and on website. Copies to be distributed to public places throughout Parish and to the Unitary Authority||Staff||Annually|
|Office Opening Hours||Publicise on noticeboards, website and in newsletters||Staff||Ongoing|
|Annual Parish Meeting||Publicise throughout Parish||Staff||Annually|
|Public Participation||Publicise Councils policy on public participation on website and on noticeboards||Staff/Members||Monthly|
|Website||Maintain website with information on Council functions and activities||Staff||Ongoing|
|Newsletter||Produce and distribute quarterly newsletter||Staff and Members||Quarterly|
|Youth Groups||Maintain contact with local schools and youth groups||Staff and Members||Ongoing|
|Local Groups and Organisations||Maintain contact through local representatives and attendance at meetings or events||Staff/Members||Ongoing|
|Mid Durham AAP||Maintain contact with Area Co-ordinator and staff to ensure sharing of information||Staff and Members||Ongoing|
|Press||Inform press of Council’s activities and meetings||Staff||Ongoing|
|Unitary Authority||Maintain contact with local members and Unitary Authority staff to ensure sharing of information||Staff and Members||Ongoing|