New online engagement tool gives a voice to community

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Local residents, community groups and businesses are being encouraged to join online discussions around the council’s future priorities.

These conversations are hosted on Consul, an online participation platform that’s used by governments across Europe to engage with citizens.

Consul has been adopted by COSLA, the national body representing Scottish Local Authorities, and North Ayrshire Council is one of four Scottish councils piloting the site.

On the platform, residents can join in discussion threads, vote for projects they would like to see come to fruition in their locality, agree or disagree with ideas and comments made by other users or make suggestions of their own.

And with the council set to launch its new vision, mission and priorities for the years ahead with the publication of its new Council Plan titled: A Council that is Fair for All, a dedicated area has been created on Consul for people to join in deeper conversations around what could be done to create a fairer North Ayrshire.

The council hopes that the platform will help create better interaction, participation and integration with the local community.

The platform is already being used in the ongoing consultation around the future roles of libraries, halls and centres.  It provides residents with another way to get involved in the consultation and have their say – if they cannot attend the face-to-face drop-in sessions or workshops.

It’s also a place where you can take part in the current open spaces grounds maintenance participatory budgeting vote, by selecting the projects you want to see happen in your locality.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: ‘To help deliver our new Council Plan, we need a fresh approach and a closer relationship with our communities and residents if we are to see positive change happen.

‘After all, if we all play a part in shaping North Ayrshire, it benefits the lives of our residents and their future.

‘That’s why the introduction of Consul is so important as it provides a new way of engaging with our communities about what matters to them.

‘We’re opening up conversations and asking for their input on issues that we can all collectively have a positive impact on – whether that’s how to create stronger and more active communities or overcoming the barriers to getting into work.

‘I would encourage our residents, community groups, businesses and partners to join in and help us make North Ayrshire fair for all.’

To join the discussions, create an account online at: Once registered, you can join in any discussion or vote hosted on North Ayrshire’s Consul platform.

The Council Plan can be viewed on the same link above.  The document is currently in draft and is expected to go before elected members at the end of June with a final version published pending their approval.