Customer story: Birmingham City Council, UK

Transformation Process
'screenshot of 'Birmingham City Council, UK
'screenshot of 'Birmingham City Council, UK

A major process overhaul at Europe's largest Council

Birmingham City Council wanted to implement one consistent process for their online consultation activity across the organisation, to improve efficiency and ensure quality standards were maintained.

They had originally developed their own in-house consultation system but found it quickly became obsolete, with neither the time nor resources to provide the necessary feature updates and support. Shifting to a new setup was a serious undertaking: Birmingham is the largest council in Europe, with some 21,000 staff, so finding a manageable, affordable solution would be no mean feat.

Birmingham City Council opted for Citizen Space

Birmingham needed an online consultation platform that could serve as the backbone for this new, standardised process. That meant it had to be fully-featured, easy-to-use and well-supported – so that staff and departments with diverse needs could all readily adopt it. They chose to use Citizen Space.

This was more than just a nifty new software purchase: the authority’s Policy Manager got organisation-wide buy-in to the standardised process that Citizen Space offered. The proposal was signed off by the Scrutiny Committee and the Cabinet Member for Social Equalities and Cohesion then wrote to every manager in the Council, insisting that they adopt the new system for all consultation activity.

Photo of Birmingham consulters

High response rate

Since then, the Council have run hundreds of consultations on Citizen Space, on everything from ‘20mph is plenty’ to a Public Art Strategy. A group of key users meet quarterly to discuss any new feature updates and share best practice and ideas. They further the use of Citizen Space across the Council and its partner organisations to ensure quality consultations are the standard and to continually get the best use out of the system. Crucially, Kaja Carson – Policy Manager for the Council – says, 'our staff have taken to Citizen Space easily – we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback.'

Citizen Space meets perfectly the part of our Consultation and Engagement Strategy requiring digital formal consultation. Our staff have taken to it easily and we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Kaja Carson, Policy Manager, Birmingham City Council

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