Our approach to engagement

Our approach 

We are working hard to build sustainable communities where people feel connected to each other, are resilient in times of trouble, and live long healthy lives. We value the views and opinions of everyone who lives, works, studies, and volunteers in the city and we want to ensure that everyone is treated with respect, has equal opportunity to have their voice heard, get involved and feels that their contributions are valued.

By changing our approach we aim to create the right conditions for building new connections and relationships with and between residents, communities, and businesses. It builds upon existing commitments with the Plymouth Plan and our Statement for Community Involvement 

Our engagement principles  

Our approach to engagement is be guided by our corporate values, our Statement of Community Involvement, and the following engagement principles:

Democratic

We will provide strong community leadership and work together to deliver our common ambition. Engagement:

  • that is exemplified by strong community leadership by elected members and residents
  • where community leaders are accountable to the communities they serve
  • based on honest and open sharing of issues and solutions.

Responsible

We take responsibility for our actions, care about their impact on others and expect others to do the same. Engagement that:

  • champions self-help so that communities are self-organised and self-supporting
  • is outcome focused and sensitive to the needs of the residents and communities
  • is consistent and sustainable and builds relationships into the future
  • reflects an awareness of the climate emergency and the sustainability agenda
  • communicates the decisions resulting from our engagement/consultation activities
  • respects all views and maintains confidentiality (where appropriate).

Fair

We will be honest and open in how we act, treat everyone with respect, champion fairness and create opportunities. Engagement that:

  • is accessible, flexible and inclusive to meet the needs of all residents and communities
  • spans communities of interest, geography and identity to create a voice for all
  • is timely to fully involve communities throughout the decision-making process
  • is transparent – we will be clear about the scope of any engagement activities

Collaborative

We will work together as partners to serve the best interests of our city and its communities. Engagement that:

  • is collaboratively resourced and consistently supported by all city partners
  • is informed by shared intelligence to support community-led decision-making.

How we will do this - delivering our vision

To realise our vision, we need to:

  • Work together with residents, communities, and businesses to capitalise on what we have learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic to build upon the opportunities that have been accelerated by the emergency response.
  • Focus on the strengths of different communities and work with residents and businesses to understand more about their experiences of living and working in the city facilitating them to ‘better help themselves.
  • Build on best practice examples and develop an understanding of how we best support and engage residents, communities and businesses. 
  • Recognise the unique role of members as leaders and as community navigators, providing learning and development opportunities where required.
  • Embed the learning from our Equality and Diversity Review (2020) ensuring that our engagement methods are accessible and tailored.
  • Use a range of innovative approaches to increase involvement using both formal and informal methods and channels. To support this, we will continue to develop our digital inclusion programme to support people who wish to use technology to participate in public life where possible. 
  • Harness the skills and values within our own workforce and allow staff to build upon existing relationships to create shared values and trust.