Customer story: Warwickshire County Council, UK

Community Engagement Process
'screenshot of 'Warwickshire County Council, UK
'screenshot of 'Warwickshire County Council, UK

The importance of engagement

Warwickshire County Council is a local authority in the midlands of the UK that encompasses five different boroughs. All in all, they serve just over half a million residents and provide services like roads, social services, education and libraries, to name a few.

As a council, they recognise the importance of a good consultation and engagement operation. Their residents are a mix of urban and rural, spread out across a large land area, so being able to reach them in a variety of ways is essential. They use Citizen Space as their online engagement and consultation hub.

Beyond the bare minimum

Consultation on statutory matters is important, but for a real nuanced understanding of what residents’ wants and needs are, regular community engagement is key. A good example of Warwickshire’s community engagement was their Council Plan 2025 engagement survey.

They wanted some high-level feedback from residents on what the council plan should focus on.

“We wanted to do quite a high-level engagement. The council identified a set of objectives to inform our five-year plan, so this was about checking whether these objectives resonated with residents and other Warwickshire stakeholders,“ said Lucy Rumble, Strategic Consultation and Engagement Lead at the council.

Overall, they got a high response rate, with high levels of engagement both online and at the roadshows. “To the online survey, we have had about 1,200 responses, so I would say it’s one of the largest responses we’ve had to a general survey as opposed to an issue-based one.” By running this pre-consultation engagement, Warwickshire were then able to put forward a council plan that accurately reflected the needs and concerns of its residents.

Clear, effective feedback

As well as helping to increase their response rate, Citizen Space has facilitated improvements in other ways: one of these is feeding back to citizens promptly and effectively with the help of the ‘We Asked, You Said, We Did’ feature. Closing the feedback loop is an important part of successful consultation and engagement and fosters trust between council and citizens.

“‘We Asked, You Said, We Did’ is such a clear, intuitive way of feeding back that it’s just habitual for site users to use it on their consultations,” says Lucy.

Feedback for the Council Plan engagement survey, which was posted on both WAYSWD and on the engagement page itself, clearly explained what residents’ priorities were and how their opinions were factored into the Council Plan 2020-2025. By going beyond just statutory consultation and ensuring they feed back effectively, Warwickshire County Council are ensuring their residents know their voices matter - and providing better, more intelligent services for everyone in the county.

With Citizen Space, we have the confidence to know that our activity is going to be accessible. People are able to access it through a whole range of devices and using assisted software. It meets all of those requirements without me having to worry about it. It really does make a difference.

Lucy Rumble, Strategic Consultation and Engagement Lead

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