Customer story: Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council, ROI

Consultation Process
'screenshot of 'Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council, ROI
'screenshot of 'Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council, ROI

Moving beyond the bare minimum

By their own admission, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLR CC) were covering the basics when it came to public consultation - but not much more than that.

Press Officer Jim Ryan says, 'our primary focus was on consulting with the public in the manner prescribed to us in legislation – i.e. when we were planning a project we put our advert in the paper on the correct date, made the documentation available and invited people to view it and write or email us with their views'.

The Council became starkly aware of the limitations of this approach when they embarked on a major undertaking – a new €36m library and cultural centre – yet still saw minimal levels of public engagement. Despite it being one of the County Council's most significant projects, only 33 people made a submission during the statutory consultation process.

DLR CC decided they had to improve their public consultation activity. And that included a stronger online offering, better suited to 21st century audiences.

DLR CC chose to use Citizen Space

Citizen Space is cloud-based software for managing your public involvement activity in one place.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown decided to adopt Citizen Space because they wanted a dedicated online consultation platform – something that was 'ready made' and that could make a difference to their activity straight away.

More than that, the straightforward pricing model – a fixed-fee subscription, including maintenance and support – was a good fit for their needs. DLR CC's public consultation is managed by the Communications team. With Citizen Space being easy to use, and a little help from our expert account managers, the Communications team was soon able to manage the digital consultation activity themselves. This meant the work was not bottlenecked by dependencies on the Council IT team, and there was no silo between offline and online activity.

Immediate increase in participation

By adopting Citizen Space, DLR CC opened up many more possibilities for effective digital promotion of its consultations, and the Council quickly started to reap the benefit in terms of participation:

'During the past 12 months over 60 separate public consultations have been made available to the public on our Citizen Space page, 12,080 individuals have viewed these consultations and 3,805 online submissions have been made. Staff, Management and our Councilors have embraced the system and all are pleased with the level of engagement we have seen. The first consultation we ran on Citizen Space was for our Corporate Plan and we received 752 submissions during this process. This is a huge increase on the 33 received for the public consultation on dlr LexIcon.'

And the change has been about more than increasing response rate. For DLR CC, switching to Citizen Space has been a shift to a more digitally-aware way of working in general. This has enabled the Council to bring additional voices into their decision-making processes, expand their staff's skill set and enhance their reputation with both residents and elected members.

I would like to thank and compliment the staff of Delib for their professionalism and the level of service they have provided during our first year using Citizen Space. It is always daunting when trying to change one's work practices and they have assisted and guided us with great patience during this time. They are a pleasure to work with.

Jim Ryan, Press Officer, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

Want a real person to walk you through a live demo?

We’re happy to help out. We'll answer all your questions. We won't share your contact details.

Request a Free Demo