Who can get involved
We want to give everyone the opportunity to have their say. We are committed to involving as many people and groups as possible in developing active travel schemes for the authority. Anyone who has a role or an interest in shaping the future of active travel, including local people, the travelling public, local organisations, local community groups, and other organisations has a contribution to make to the preparation of the schemes.
Not everyone will need to get involved with every scheme and not all our methods for engaging people will be used each time. The methods chosen will relate to the type of proposal, scale of involvement and the stage of preparation reached.
To make sure that community involvement is successful we aim to engage right across the community regardless of age, gender or religious values. We will use a range of different techniques for community involvement that will take into account the different needs of the different parts of the community.
Councillors and MPs are in post to represent their constituents and as such have a key role to play not only in decision making but also in gathering information on the views of the communities they represent. We will ensure that all Members and MPs are informed of progress on the development of active travel schemes and on any key issues for their area.
Parish and town councils have a key role to play in representing local interests. We will attend meetings where appropriate and utilise newsletters and notice boards where possible to publicise engagement events and feedback.
We want to make sure that nobody is excluded from the scheme development process and we will seek to make better use of the groups and networks that already exist. We will aim to contact and involve local community and interest groups where appropriate and we are continuously updating our consultation database to include as many sectors of the community as possible.
Where appropriate we will make use of community, town and parish newsletters to publicise information and events. We will also ensure that the key consultation stages are widely publicised in the local press, through the use of press releases, adverts and notices as appropriate. Consultation periods and events will also be advertised on our website.
Many organisations have to deal with a significant amount of information being forwarded to them for comment. Therefore, we will make use of existing networks and stakeholder groups wherever possible. We will maintain our database of organisations and interest groups and ensure that they are all made aware of key stages of consultation.
We recognise that the community is diverse, and we aim to provide opportunities for all people, regardless of age, sex, ability, ethnicity or background. We will always encourage businesses, the community and voluntary sector, partnerships and others to make their views known and have a say in how active travel schemes in their community are planned and developed. We will make all reasonable efforts to make sure our community involvement is equally accessible to everyone.
This is a group that often does not get involved in planning of active travel schemes, although with the introduction of citizenship lessons at school, awareness of local authority activities, including active travel is being raised. Young people are the future citizens of the borough and can make a positive contribution to their communities.
Elderly people can sometimes be excluded from involvement due to an inability to access information, or they may have difficulty attending public meetings due to problems with access and many may not wish to utilise information and communication technology to access information from the internet. We will ensure that groups representing the elderly are engaged in the process to facilitate greater participation of the elderly for example by engaging with care homes and communitycentres, and arrangements for any existing events.
Accessibility can represent problems in some of our rural communities and we will make use of local media to publicise information. We will also make full use of our website, ensuring that all consultation documents are available on the internet and that comments can be submitted on-line. Printed documents will also be made available in our customer focussed public buildings.
Due to issues with access, attending public meetings may cause difficulties for people with disabilities. Wherever possible we will ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to enable people with disabilities to take part in engagement exercises. These adjustments may include holding public meetings in wheelchair accessible venues, providing a sign language interpreter at meetings and making key documents available in large print format or on tapes on request.
To ensure that black and ethnic minority (BAME) groups are not excluded from the planning process, we will ensure that all summary documentation can be made available in minority languages upon request. We will seek to link into existing networks and groups wherever possible.
This group is probably the largest of all hard to reach groups in Cheshire. It includes people in full time employment, professionals or people in employment with families. Consultation events will be organised for different times of the day, with events in the evening. A variety of methods are proposed, including web-based consultation to reach the significant quieter majority.
Regulations require us to consult a number of bodies at various stages in the preparation of active travel schemes and others where relevant.
A strong economy will see vibrant town and city centres, thriving rural areas, and industrial enterprises. This is essential to the future success of Cheshire West and Chester, and it is therefore important that the business community is fully engaged in planning its future. Wherever possible we will make use of existing business networks and groups, for example Chambers of Commerce or Business Improvement Districts, to involve businesses in the preparation of schemes.
Many road users who will interface with the proposed active travel schemes will not be residents of the local community and therefore may not be reached by traditional engagement measures. Thus, scheme signs and information boards will be provided along the routes to raise awareness of initiatives and encourage engagement via the inclusion of contact details for information.