Engage received an invitation this week (Monday 28th November 2022) to take part in another Consultation – this time about being consulted! So we went straight away to the site to view the documents and were amazed by the sheer number of Consultations taking place at the same time. There were seven different processes operative and all of them affected residents of the city centre and waterfront in one way or another.
Check out here (though this list will change as the closure date arrives): HERE
The document we were invited to comment on is this Liverpool Statement of Community Involvement -draft
It is full of really good ideas and committments some of which we will signpost for you.
1.1.1 Liverpool City Council “wishes to involve people in a meaningful way using timely, proportionate, and appropriate consultation techniques”
1.4 The City Plan
1.4.2 “strong, effective partnerships and radically new ways of working are essential to deliver the Plan’s priorities”. LCC aims to “redefine the relationship between public services and their citizens” which means they are committed to resourcing and collaborating with communities.
1.4.3 a key action is to “engage residents … in decision-making” and also to “develop communities that are able to shape the future of their local area”
2.0 Planning Policy Documents 2.3 Design Codes
2.3.4 these will be “co-designed with community groups”.
2.5 Approach to Engagement on Planning Policy Documents
2.5.1 There are 5 approaches or pathways the first three of which are:
- Information: delivered in “a timely and accessible way”
- Participation: “pro-actively engaging”
- Collaboration: “working together”
2.6 How we will consult
2.6.2 There will be public meetings and stakeholder events and workshops and focus groups.
3.0 Neighbourhood Planning
LCC says it is committed to delivering all the above.
As our name suggests we are determined to ‘engage’ with everyone at all times and in all places but the reverse hasn’t always been true and it will be interesting to see if anything will change with this document. It must be said we have always found certain council officers to be very professional and supportive of our efforts. That isn’t true of the system in general or of the elected members who exercise a strong influence over the officers in the council. In a previous administration there were frequent rumours of bullying and intimidation taking place supposedly emanating from elected members and supported by some Heads of Department.
Engage has run a prestigious annual seminar series, many aimed at supporting the development of a progressive and sustainable city centre. There were seminars when the only way of getting an elected member to attend was to make sure they sat on the stage as part of the Local Panel! It was often hard to get Council Officers to attend (sometimes they told us it had been suggested they shouldn’t). We can only hope that all this is in the past and a new era is dawning.
Our track record speaks for itself in being pro-active:
- 2014 Liverpool on the Move: bringing the Mayor of Copenhagen to explore how they delivered the best city in the world for active travel
- 2015 Liveable Liverpool: bringing 3 European architects to discuss design of city centre apartments from Paris, Rotterdam and Vienna
- 2016 Reclaiming the City: bringing from Rome an expert in a new way of civic engagement and decision-making – the Office for Civic Imagination
- 2017 and 2018 World Heritage Site: A status worth fighting for? and Cities of Inspiration bringing the Head of the European Desk from UNESCO in Paris and also architects and heritage officers from Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Hamburg
- 2019 Playing our Part in the Liverpool City Region: bringing from Finland an expert in eradicating homelessness through the Housing First project and a cycling expert from Copenhagen (again!)
- 2021 Destination Liverpool: bringing from Denmark the leading European expert in resident engagement in the tourism and travel industry
- 2022 Making Liverpool Better Together: bringing an expert in civic engagement in the democratic process from Chile and an expert in examples of good practice from across the UK.
And when it comes to Neighbourhood Planning which the new document seems to support we had a different experience having tried to support the development of 3 Neighbourhood Plans all of which were frustrated and for different reasons never materialised. We initially began with the Baltic Triangle and then tried to respond to residents in Historic Downtown and finally Waterfront but we have never told the story of what we encountered in our efforts. Suffice to say one local councillor told us ‘this won’t happen because it is Tory policy’.
You can read the email communication from LCC below with the links:
From: LiverpoolLocalPlan <LLP@liverpool.gov.uk>
Date: Monday, 28 November 2022 at 11:22
Subject: Draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)
I am writing to you because you have previously expressed an interest in the Liverpool Local Plan.
Liverpool City Council has prepared a Draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and I would be pleased to receive any written comments you may have on its content. The document is now available for public consultation for 7 weeks which runs from Monday 28th November until Friday 13th January 2023.
The SCI sets out the City Council’s approach to consultation in respect of the following functions of the local planning authority:
- Planning Policy including the production of planning policy documents such as the Local Plan and Supplementary Planning Documents.
- Development Management including how the City Council consider and publicise planning applications.
- Neighbourhood Planning, setting out how the City Council will assist groups who are preparing neighbourhood plans.
The document that is the subject of this consultation is as follows:
Comments can be submitted:
Online: Please visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/consultation and follow the relevant link to ‘View details and how to comment’. The document can also be downloaded via this link.
By e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Post to: Liverpool City Council, Planning & Building Control Service, Cunard Buildings, Water Street, Liverpool, L3 1DS.
Jane Hayward I Place Making and Policy Manager
You can read more about the above from an article in Liverpool Express HERE 28.11.22