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 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.  

We are recruiting for members from the start of February until Mid-March 2021.

Why have a Citizens’ Panel?

The Citizens’ Panel is a 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 service are maintained
  • Help identify resident priorities for improving life in Kensington and Chelsea are
  • Reliably inform their decision-making process

What is expected of Panel members?

Panel members will be asked to complete four to five surveys a year on some of the Council’s key priorities. There will be other opportunities to get involved including online discussions, focus groups, workshops and some one-off surveys.

There will be prize draws for each survey Panel members complete to recognise the individual’s time. Donations to the Mayor’s fund will also be used to incentivise participation.  

How long do you serve as a member of the Citizens’ Panel?

Members are asked to join for three years at which point the Council will ‘refresh’ the Panel to give other residents the opportunity to give their views. Panel members can ask to be ‘stood down’ from the Panel at any time if they were to change their mind.

How do you join the Citizens’ Panel?

Residents will be contacted to join the Panel through telephone interviews conducted by a trusted market research organisation. There will also be some outreach work with community organisations, who might not otherwise participate, to ensure the Panel reflects the diversity of the people who live in the borough.

Who will be contacting residents?

The Council have asked an independent market research company, SMSR, to recruit members on our behalf. SMSR were chosen due to their extensive experience of telephone interviewing and recruiting to Citizens’ Panels for other councils. SMSR will randomly select residents to telephone and will ask them a series of questions about joining the Citizens’ Panel to inform recruitment. Visit the SMSR website for further information on the company.

Will Panel members be asked for personal information?

Residents will be asked to provide some personal details on joining the Panel so that the Council can ensure that Panel membership is broadly representative of the borough’s population in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, location and other demographics. The information will also be used to see if members from different backgrounds have different views on the issues they are surveyed about.

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. Visit our Privacy Notice page for further information.

How will you decide what to ask Panel Members about?

The Council’s Leadership Team will be asked to determine the topics that Panel members are asked to consider, in line with democratic decision-making. Subjects will relate to key priorities for the Council and its residents.

What will happen as a result of my participation?

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 will receive results from each survey they participate in and will also be updated on what has happened as a result of their participation though regular newsletters and in time, face to face events.

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.

Change at the council report by CfPS

Change at the Council: The Council's response to the independent review of Governance

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.