BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

Communications Committee Meeting

 

Publicbsc_logo_150dpi_rgb ATTACHMENTS

EXCLUDED FROM THE

Communications Committee Meeting AGENDA

OF 25 June 2015

       

 

5.    Staff Reports    

Organisation Development

5.1     Community Engagement

Attachment 1... Community Engagement Policy................................................................ 2

Attachment 2... Community Roundtable Protocol............................................................ 20      

   

        


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

Staff Reports - Organisation Development                                                 5.1 - Attachment 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bsc_logo300dpi
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

 

POLICY

 

 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT

 

Date Adopted by Council

 

Resolution No.

 

Policy Responsibility

 

Review Timeframe

June – 2017 (or as legislative changes require)

Last Review Date:

 

Next Scheduled Review Date

 

 

Document History

Doc No.

Date Amended

Details Comments eg Resolution No.

#630640

24 November 1998

Policy 3.38 Community Consultation and Participation in Council’s Decision Making

#E2015/13070

 

 

 

Further Document Information and Relationships

Related Legislation*

Local Government Act 1993

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009

Related Policies

Communication Policy 2013 (E2013/72429)
Social Impact Assessment Policy 2009 (DM906183)

Related Procedures/ Protocols, Statements, documents

Byron Shire Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2022

 

Note: Any reference to Legislation will be updated in the Policy as required. See website http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/ for current Acts, Regulations and Environmental Planning Instruments.

 

 

 

Byron Shire Council would like to thank and acknowledge Pittwater Council for the sharing their Community Engagement Policy which was utilised for the development of this policy.


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

Staff Reports - Organisation Development                                                 5.1 - Attachment 1

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1.    PURPOSE.................................................................................................................................... 3

2.    OBJECTIVES............................................................................................................................... 3

3.    POLICY STATEMENT................................................................................................................. 4

4.    DEFINITIONS............................................................................................................................... 4

4.1.      Community engagement.................................................................................................. 4

4.2.      Consultation....................................................................................................................... 4

4.3.      Community........................................................................................................................ 4

4.4.      Level of impact.................................................................................................................. 4

4.5.      Participation....................................................................................................................... 4

5.    PRINCIPLES UNDERPINNING COUNCIL’S APPROACH TO COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT         5

5.2.     Coordinated....................................................................................................................... 5

5.3.     Timely................................................................................................................................ 5

5.4.     Inclusive............................................................................................................................ 5

5.5.     Clear.................................................................................................................................. 5

5.6.     Transparent....................................................................................................................... 5

5.7.     Engaging........................................................................................................................... 5

5.8.     Meaningful......................................................................................................................... 5

5.9.     Accountable...................................................................................................................... 6

5.10.   Evaluation.......................................................................................................................... 6

6.    BENEFITS OF ENGAGEMENT.................................................................................................. 6

7.    WHEN TO ENGAGE?................................................................................................................. 6

8.    LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS............................................................................................... 6

9.    WHAT DETERMINES THE LEVEL OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION?........................................ 7

10.   PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SPECTRUM.................................................................................... 7

11.   REPORTING REQUIREMENTS................................................................................................ 9

12.   ACCESSING COUNCIL INFORMATION.................................................................................. 9

13.   PRIVACY IN COMMUNITY CONSULTATION.......................................................................... 9

 

 

Attachment 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………………... 10



 

Policy No. ??

 

POLICY TITLE

COMMUNITY ENAGEMENT

 

 

1.      PURPOSE

 

The purpose of the Community Engagement Policy is to articulate Byron Shire Council’s whole-of-organisational commitment to healthy, rigorous and well evaluated community engagement processes. This policy will promote good governance and guide effective community engagement practices to support decision making in the public interest. It will provide community members with a clear understanding of Council’s role and the avenues for meaningful public participation.

 

This policy supports Byron Shire Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2022 community outcome CM2:  “Informed and engaged community” along with the following community strategies:

CM2.1      Use a range of effective communication tools to engage the community to support transparent and accountable Council decision making.

 

CM2.2      Provide education, engagement and feedback initiative for meaningful community participation

 

The policy is supported by a Consultation and Engagement Plan template (detailed at Attachment 1) that provides guidance on when it is appropriate to engage and at what level. The Community Engagement Plan template details:

 

·    activities relating to the planning of community engagement activities

·    stakeholder identification

·    appropriate tools and engagement techniques

·    evaluation

 

 

2.      OBJECTIVES

 

This Community Engagement Policy aims to:

 

1.   Confirm Council’s commitment to conducting quality consultation and its willingness to actively engage the community in decision making processes.

 

2.   Clarify the role Council will take to engage residents in decision making.

 

3.   Provide clarity for staff undertaking consultation and increase their capacity to effectively engage with residents.

 

4.   Provide opportunities for public participating in Council activities and processes that are transparent, accountable and accessible to the community.

 

5.   Strengthen trust between Council and the community and build confidence in Council’s ability to plan and make decisions that will respond to present and future needs.

 

6.   Create an organisational culture in which community engagement processes are delivered in a context of best practice and good governance.

7.   Develop a framework that ensures a consistent approach is undertaken across all service areas of Council in relation to proposals and projects requiring community consultation.

 

8.   Ensure that Council meets its statutory obligations concerning community engagement.

 

 

3.       POLICY STATEMENT

 

Byron Shire Council is committed to engaging the community and involving them in decision making processes. This policy recognises the value of engaging the community and involving them in a dialogue which shapes and influences community supported outcomes.

 

Community engagement is multifaceted and requires a standard of consultation that appropriately responds to the nature, complexity and impact of the issue/s involved. This policy emphasises that the community should be kept informed throughout consultation processes and receive feedback that demonstrates how their input has influenced decisions. Council also recognises that the range of methodologies utilised may be dependent on the resources that are available.

 

Finally, Council recognises that under various legislation, for example the Local Government Act 1993, it has obligations in relation to participation, consultation and engagement. To facilitate this commitment to the community, Council will aim to continually improve its capacity and performance in community engagement through resource development, review and evaluation of its community engagement practices.

 

 

4.      DEFINITIONS

4.1.    Community engagement

 

          “Any process that involves the community in problem-solving or decision making and uses the community input to make better decisions” - International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).

 

4.2.    Consultation

 

          The act of discussing something with somebody or with a group of people before making a decision about it - Oxford Dictionary.

 

4.3.    Community

 

          A broad term used to define a group of people; whether they are stakeholders, interest groups or residents. A community may be a geographic location (community of place), a community of similar interest (community of practice) or a community of affiliation or identity (such as business or sporting clubs).

 

4.4.    Level of impact

 

          The degree to which a community is affected by a decision.

 

4.5.    Participation

 

          The degree to which a community is involved in decision making.


 

5.      PRINCIPLES UNDERPINNING COUNCIL’S APPROACH TO COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

 

The following principles will underpin Council’s approach to all community engagement activities:

 

5.1.    Committed

 

          Community engagement will be conducted in a way that demonstrates a genuine commitment to quality consultation and a desire to hear the community’s views and aspirations.

 

5.2.    Coordinated

 

          Community engagement strategies will be well planned and directed towards achieving a better understanding of the community’s views on issues of importance to them.

 

5.3.    Timely

 

          Community engagement must seek to engage stakeholders at the earliest stage possible and continue to keep them informed and involved throughout the process.

 

5.4.    Inclusive

 

          Community engagement will be designed so that the broadest cross-section of the community is involved, especially those that are hardest to reach. Particular strategies may be required to gain involvement when barriers may limit participation (e.g. young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background or people with a disability).

 

Consultation will be conducted in a way that is consistent with social justice and broad engagement principles such as equity, access, participation and rights.

 

5.5.    Clear

 

          Consultation objectives should be well defined from the outset. The role of the community in the decision making process will be made clear and recognise the decision making responsibilities of elected representatives.

 

5.6.    Transparent

 

          Information provided to the community will be comprehensive and provide objective, professional content about the issue/s involved with any particular project.

 

5.7.    Engaging

 

Differing innovative methodologies will be used to encourage inclusive participation and engagement of the whole community.

 

5.8.    Meaningful

 

          Consultation activities will provide opportunities for meaningful dialogue and input from key stakeholders.

 

5.9.   
Accountable

 

          Strategies will be incorporated into community engagement plans to ensure that feedback is provided to the community about the progress of the project or plan and which also demonstrate how input has influenced the decision-making process.

 

Council’s principles are consistent with the social justice principles of equity, access, participation and rights as prescribed by the Local Government Act 1993.

 

 

6.      BENEFITS OF ENGAGEMENT

There are numerous benefits that result from engaging the community to shape Council decisions.

These include:

 

·    a better understanding of the community needs, wants and concerns

·    a strengthening of the relationship between Council and community

·    transparency in decision making

·    better outcomes which match community aspirations

·    increased trust in public administration

·    a valued and proactive community.

 

 

7.      WHEN TO ENGAGE?

A range of triggers will necessitate engagement of the community in decision making processes.

These may include:

 

·    a need to inform a community about matters that will affect them

·    complex issues and multiple stakeholders

·    issues of significant importance across the Shire

·    a need to build trust and respect

·    a need to involve the community in seeking solutions

·    a desire for the community to be part of a vision for the area

·    a difficult history related to a project

·    legislative requirements.

 

 

8.      LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS

 

There will be occasions when community engagement practices must comply with statutory requirements within legislation. In these cases Council will adhere to the legislative requirement as the minimum standard. For example, community engagement for particular types of projects is required under the following New South Wales legislation:

·    Local Government Act 1993

·    Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

·    Public Health Act 2010

·    Road Act 1993

 

Legislation requirements may include:

·    Minimum periods of time for public exhibition

·    Methodologies for communication (eg newspaper advertisements as mandatory requirement)

·    Specification about who should be consulted

·    Methodologies for how consultation has to be undertaken.

 

While Council must comply with legislative requirements, Council is not prevented from carrying out further community engagement where community expectations, local sensitivities or project complexities merit additional effort.

 

 

9.      WHAT DETERMINES THE LEVEL OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION?

The community’s involvement in decision making will vary greatly according to the nature of the project or issue. For most matters, the final decision will be made by Council’s elected representatives or by the Executive under delegation. Community members and key stakeholders have a vital role in voicing concerns and shaping ideas and concepts within projects to inform the final decisions.

 

The ‘Public Participation Spectrum’, outlined as follows, clearly sets out the level of public participation according to the role the community will have in shaping decisions.

 

 

10.    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SPECTRUM

 

Byron Shire Council’s approach to community engagement is informed by the internationally recognised “Public Participation Spectrum” developed by the International Association for Public

Participation (IAP2) which outlines five levels of public participation.  The IAP2 Spectrum acknowledges that all levels of engagement are appropriate and legitimate, and no level is necessarily ‘better’ than another. When planning for community engagement, Council staff will need to determine the most appropriate level of participation depending on the nature and complexity of the project/activity/issue, timeframe and available resources.

 

The Public Participation Spectrum provides a description of the entire public participation model but it is recognised that Council performs a specific role. Many decisions will be informed by community input and may require professional or expertise contribution; however, ultimately the decision will be made by Council. Accordingly, Council will most commonly conduct community engagement at the Inform, Consult and Involve levels of participation.

 

In addition, Council will choose differing engagement techniques that are appropriate to the circumstances and desired outcomes of the specific engagement. Where the project/activity/issue is significant and community engagement necessary, Council will formulate a Community Engagement Plan (see template at Attachment 1), identifying the specific engagement techniques to be employed and assigning responsibilities for the various tasks.

IAP2 spectrum

 

11.     REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Reports to Council where consultation is a desired outcome must incorporate detail about the intended methods of engagement with the community. This may include a copy of the completed community engagement plan as an attachment.

 

Details about plans for community engagement must be included in any briefing to Council’s Executive Team where community consultation is intended.

 

 

12. ACCESSING COUNCIL INFORMATION

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, Council is required to disclose a range of government information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

Council publishes this information on its website www.byron.nsw.gov.au. A Publication Guide is available and outlines Council’s structure, functions, the information it holds and how this can be accessed by the community. The Guide also sets out how members of the community can participate in the formulation of Council policy and the exercise of Council’s functions.

 

 

13.     PRIVACY IN COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Council will regularly receive personal information during the course of consultation efforts; for example people’s names, addresses and contact details within submissions.

 

Council must ensure it complies with the requirements of the Privacy and Personal Information

Protection Act 1998 (2000) when undertaking consultation.

 

 

 


Annexure 1

 

bsc_logo300dpiTEMPLATE

 

Consultation and Engagement Plan               #E2014/11898

                                                                                 

 

Introduction

 

Issue:

Title of consultation issue

 

 

When

 

XXX to XX 20xx

Background

Brief description of the issue and why the consultation is needed. Include any required regulatory requirements

 

Community Satisfaction Survey 2013 results

Include any performance measures from this document or other survey results.  Include or remove following chart if not needed.

Potential level of impact

[move tick to appropriate level]

iStock_000003769272Small 

 

Level 1 – high impact on local government area

Level 2 – lower impact on local government area  

Level 3 – high impact on local area or group

Level 4 – lower impact on local area or group

 

Stakeholders

[list – they could even be broken down into demographic eg age groups if specifically targeted]

Internal

§ Staff

§ Councillors

§ Committee

§ PRG

 

External

§ Ratepayers

§ Residents

§ Commercial businesses

§ Urban and rural properties

§ Business organisations (eg Chambers)

§ Progress Associations

§ Community groups

§ State government

§ Federal government

§ Neighbouring LGAs

§ Local media

§ National media

 

 

IAP2 ‘s Public Participation Spectrum

Public participation goal

 

[refer IAP2 Spectrum within the Community Engagement Policy and adapt as required]

 

 

To the [insert committee or PRG name, community group etc] - INVOLVE

We will work with the committee during the …………………………………………………….., to ensure that the community’s concerns and aspirations consistently considered and understood.

To the community – CONSULT

Eg We will work with the community to find out your concerns and suggestions for ……………………… in Byron Shire.

Our promise

 

To the [insert committee or PRG name, community group etc]- INVOLVE

Eg We will work with you to ensure that, where appropriate, your concerns and expectation about ………………. are reflected in the delivery of the service and provide feedback on how community input influenced this decision.

To the community – CONSULT

Eg We will keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decisions made.

Where to next

 

[detail the steps to complete the project re timing – example provided]

 

Step 1

 

Step 2

 

Step 3

 

Step 4

 

Step 5

 

Step 6

 

Step 7

 

Step 8

 

Step 9

 

Step 10

 

Objectives

[list the objectives – why are your doing this]

1.

2.

3.

 

Challenges

[list]

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Key messages

[list]

1.

2.

3.

 

Evaluation

[how will this project be measured]

1.

2.

3.

 

Privacy

Ensure consultation will comply with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (2000) eg include a privacy statement.

Decision making process

Define the problem/opportunity & decision to be made

Who will do this?  Eg Committee, Council and staff

Gather information

 

Establish decision making criteria

 

Develop and evaluate alternatives

 

Final decision

 


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

Staff Reports - Organisation Development                                                                           5.1 - Attachment 1

 

Consultation and engagement action plan

 

 

 

 

Task

Objective

Target Audience

Note

When

 Tasked to

Cost

1

Advisory Committee Meetings / Project Reference Groups

List number

List

Regular meetings with status reports on the Waste and Resource Collection Contract

Date

Division / area

 

2

Council reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Media releases

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Stakeholder briefing

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Deliberative invitation workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Public meeting – open

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Focus Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

E-news

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Social media eg Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Invitations

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Fact sheets + FAQs

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

Discussion paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

Rates notice insert

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

Citizen panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

Expo / display

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Online discussion forum

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

Farmers and/or community markets

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

Survey - community and business

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

Provision of survey prize – incentivise

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

Phone on hold message

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

Newspaper/letterbox  insert

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

Display advertising

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

Public notice advertising

 

 

 

 

 

 

28

Other advertising eg radio, TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

Information hotline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL COST

Please note that implementation of the above actions/tasks is dependent upon approved budgets and resourcing.  Cost has been estimated based on similar past projects.

$


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

Staff Reports - Organisation Development                                                 5.1 - Attachment 2

bsc_logo300dpi.jpgDRAFT Community Roundtable Protocol

 

1.       Definition - Byron Shire ‘Community Group’

A formal group of at least 10 members, who reside within Byron Shire local government area and represent a broad range of interests.

2.       Purpose

The purpose of the Community Roundtable is to:

2.1     provide a medium for sharing information and knowledge to gain an understanding of differing perspectives and interests;

2.2     improve the level of understanding between community groups regarding the competing demands for improved infrastructure and services within the Byron LGA.

2.3     enable community groups to participate in planning ‘whole of shire’ future strategic direction for communities, services and Council and prioritise outcomes.

2.4     enable Council to update the group on strategic initiatives and future state and local government direction.

2.5     access community group connections to share information more broadly.

2.6     enable Councillors to listen to community groups.

2.7     give Council confidence to act on its legislative and regulatory power in dealings with the state government

 

3.       Structure

 

The Community Roundtable:

 

3.1     will be chaired by Byron Shire Council Mayor or his/her delegate.

3.2     is open to all Byron Shire Councillors to attend.

3.3     will be attended by the General Manager (or his delegate), the Director Infrastructure Services, Director Corporate and Community Services, Director Sustainable Environment and Economies, Executive Manager Organisational Development and relevant staff.

3.4     will meet every three months at alternating locations within Byron Shire.

3.5     has one nominated spokesperson from each community group to speak on behalf of the group. This can be rotated.

3.6     operates on the basis of consensus and information exchange rather than on a binding vote.



4.       Agenda

In the interest of access, transparency, equity and timeliness:

 

4.1     Byron Shire Council will request Agenda items two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting.

4.2     The Agenda will be emailed one week prior to the scheduled meeting.

4.3     Byron Shire Council has the option of presenting Agenda items at each meeting.

4.4     Each community group can submit up to two Agenda items; however, due to the number of Agenda items received, it may not be possible to consider all items at the meeting.

4.5     Community group submitted agenda items are considered a priority and are encouraged to be ‘shire-wide’ and broad in nature.

 

 

5.       Conduct

Everyone in attendance must:

5.1     treat each other with respect at all times.

5.2     not harass, discriminate against, or support others who harass and discriminate against colleagues or members of the public. This includes, but is not limited to harassment and discrimination on the grounds of sex, pregnancy, age, race, responsibilities as a carer, marital status, disability, homosexuality, transgender grounds or if a person has an infectious disease.