Change at the council

How can I be heard?

We’re making it easier for people to get involved in decision-making at the Council in a number of ways.

Citizens' Panel

The Citizens’ Panel is an online group of up to 2000 residents drawn from all wards locally who have agreed to give their views on consultation topics throughout the year. 

Panel membership is broadly representative of the borough’s population (both in terms of key demographics and the area where members live) to ensure a diverse range of voices are heard by the Council on key priorities.  
  

Why have a Citizens’ Panel?

 

The Citizens’ Panel is another way of finding out what our residents think about Council services available to them and key decisions affecting their lives. By listening to a variety of local views, the Council can:

  • Gather opinions to reflect the views of different communities
  • Help ensure the high standards of Council services are maintained
  • Help identify resident priorities for improving life in Kensington and Chelsea 
  • Reliably inform their decision-making process
What will happen if I join the Panel?

Panel members are asked to complete four to five surveys a year on some of the Council’s key priorities. In 2021, Panel members have been asked for their views on the refresh of the Council Plan, making the borough greener, care and wellbeing and the future of our High Streets. There will be other opportunities to get involved including online discussions, focus groups, workshops, and some one-off surveys. 

There is a prize draw for each survey Panel members complete, and donations are made to the Mayor’s charity to recognise your time. 

How did you recruit to the Citizens' Panel?

Initially, we used a trusted marked research organisation  (SMSR Research Ltd). recruit to our Panel to ensure that a broad cross section of residents from all across the borough joined. We are now looking to top up membership to keep the Panel as representative as possible. We welcome residents interested in joining the Panel, or if would like more information, please email panel@rbkc.gov.uk . Before joining the Panel, you will be asked to complete a short survey about yourself. 

What about confidentiality?

The personal information collected during recruitment will solely be used for the purpose of Panel administration and our Privacy Notice explains what we do with your information, how long we keep it and your right to withdraw your consent and leave the Panel at any time you choose. 

What will happen as a result of Panel consultations?

The Council is committed to putting communities first and will take the views of the Panel into consideration when making decisions and improving services. Panel members receive results from each survey they participate in and are updated on what has happened as a result of their participation though regular newsletters.

Some of the changes which have resulted from the Panel include a refresh of the priorities and commitments in the Council Plan; plans to introduce a new food waste collection, more wildflower areas, and additional sites to the Bee superhighway; plans to introduce an Environmental Coalition to include residents, local community leaders, key institutions and businesses, and targeted communication about environmental issues. 

There are also plans to organise more physical activity at future public events and better promotion and signposting or support and services available for carers and in relation to mental health welling. You can find out more about this on our consultation hub

Accessibility

Those who want to participate in the Citizens’ Panel offline through a  paper survey rather through online channels we ask you let us know your needs at recruitment stage.

Further Information

For any further information, please email Panel@rbkc.gov.uk.

Listening Forum

  • We will be hold various Listening Forum events in different locations throughout the borough to hear what matters to you in your local area.
  • You can raise suggestions, issues or concerns directly with members of the Leadership Team.

Please visit the Listening Forum page to see the programme of events.

Borough-wide conversations about priorities

We undertook our biggest conversation ever with our residents on what matters to them most. We visited different areas in the borough between December 2018 and January 2019 to hear what the council should prioritise. We also held a series of community conversations in the north of the borough, discussing how we can better support our communities.
Your priorities will be used to directly shape our new Council Plan, which was launched on 28 March 2019.

Please see Our Council Plan page for more information.

Governance review

  • The Council reviewed how it makes decisions and how it involves people in those decisions at borough level and area levels.
  • The review ran from October 2018 to May 2019 and involved invited expert witnesses.
  • The recommendations of the Panel were adopted by the Full Council at its May meeting.

Please visit the Governance Review page for more details.

Speak at a Full Council meeting

Several speaking slots are reserved at the start of every normal Full Council meeting for people who live, work or study in the borough to share thoughts of ideas and experiences.

Please visit our Speak at a Full Council meeting page for how to speak at these meetings.

What's coming up?

For details of public committee meetings, including Scrutiny committees, please check the meeting calendar.

What else are we doing?

In 2017 the Council commissioned the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS), a national centre of expertise on local authorities’ decision-making and scrutiny, to conduct an independent review of our governance. Their Change at the council report, published in March 2018, made recommendations about the way we make decisions and how to involve local people in making those decisions and outlined 12 principles of good governance we should embed in the Council. Visit the Principles of good governance page for more information.

Our Leadership Team officially accepted the recommendations and agreed an action plan outlined below in July 2018.

The 12 principles of good governance have now been embedded into our Constitution. 

To help us deliver our Council Plan commitments and provide clarity on how we will make it easy for people to get involved in what the Council does, especially in Council decision-making, we have drafted a Charter for Public Participation, which is currently out for consultation. Visit the Charter for Public Participation page for more information.

We know we need to listen more and do a better job of including local people in our decision-making. We welcome feedback and will keep reviewing what we do to keep improving. Please email feedback to us at: governance@rbkc.gov.uk.

Last updated: 18 January 2022