Hounslow Council is transforming how we engage with residents. This page outlines our new approach to engagement and the next steps in this exciting journey together with our residents.
Hounslow is one of London’s most diverse boroughs, home to speakers of 188 different languages at the latest count. This is one of our greatest strengths and a source of pride. However, we know we don’t reach all communities equally, with particularly the voices of Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic residents, and younger people, too often missing from conversations about decisions which affect them. We started reassessing the way we engage with our residents last year, but coronavirus emphasised the disparity in reach between communities and the need for it to be improved rapidly to make sure everyone has a voice and is heard. We want to build a new relationship with residents, based on transparency, trust and mutual respect.
As part of the Council’s work around Covid-19 recovery, we reviewed how we currently engage with residents, and at the Council’s Cabinet meeting in December approved plans for how we could do it better.
Our new approach is based in part on the suggestions from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies report. This review was undertaken over the summer to explore how we currently engage and suggest how we could work better with Hounslow’s communities. This report sets out a proposed five-stage approach. Read the full CLES report to find out more.
Next steps – get involved
Conversations on the way forward have already begun. During October and November, we organised virtual meetings of some of our engagement forums, the first such meetings since the pandemic hit. Officers from the Communities division visited the five Area Forums, to begin a conversation in local areas about what the review could mean for how the Council engages locally as we continue to respond to the pandemic but also work towards future recovery.
From next year we’ll be rolling out a range of new opportunities to hear from people – events large and small, virtual and face-to-face - making sure we get out to communities in ways which suit the people we want to talk to, and who want to talk to us.
The CLES report highlighted that to be a success, any new approach needs to be built out of local and community conversations. That’s why as a first step, we’d like to work with residents to set up local conversations, either in your area, or for a specific community that you are a member of. If you’d be interested in helping to organise a conversation like this, please contact the Community Partnerships Unit email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll have lots to tell you about, and lots for you to be involved in as this piece of work progresses, so keep an eye out for updates.