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A new approach to community engagement

Have your say and be part of the conversation

Published: Monday, 2nd November 2020

The Council is working to develop a new approach to engaging with our communities which started from the ambitions set out in our Thriving Communities Strategy and Corporate Plan, seizing the opportunities that have arisen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, whilst aiming to build a new relationship with residents, based on transparency, trust and mutual respect.

Hounslow is a diverse borough, home to speakers of 188 different languages at the latest count. But our engagement approaches to date have not reached all communities equally, with the voices of Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic residents, and younger residents, too often missing from conversations about decisions affecting residents of our borough.

Why now?

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, Hounslow’s communities leapt into action, with Mutual Aid groups springing up in many neighbourhoods, and religious and community groups rapidly changing their focus to meet a new set of needs. Their ability to do this so quickly and effectively highlighted something that we already knew, but that it was useful to be reminded of – that the depth of knowledge and understanding that exists within our communities is one of our Borough’s greatest assets and that we must get better at listening to it. It was clear, as we started to think about the coronavirus recovery, that the relationships with our residents that had begun to be built over the course of the pandemic must be prioritised and strengthened. That we must get better at reaching out to all of our communities, listening to what people say, understanding their priorities and working together to identify approaches to tackling local issues. To this end, we established a Communities Recovery Board, tasked with ensuring that our communities are at the heart of the coronavirus recovery. 

The Community Recovery Board

The Community Recovery Board, part of the Council’s Recovery Programme, has been leading on improving our knowledge, understanding and representation of our residents. It’s been creating an evidence base of what we know about our residents and communities; ascertaining the impact of coronavirus and lockdown and how the Council can support people. 

Next steps

This is the start of a conversation, and as part of this we are reaching out to residents, ward councillors and community groups, to understand how their experiences can shape our future approach.

Our Area Forum meetings are an initial opportunity for residents and local Councillors to let us know how they want to be involved and share their experiences. We want local people’s voices to be the driving force to shape the borough they live and work in.

Upcoming area forums

Chiswick area forum - 17 November at 7pm 
You can submit questions in advance via email: CAF@hounslow.gov.uk 


Bedfont, Feltham, Hanworth area forum - 19 November at 5:30pm

You can submit questions in advanca via email: wendy.merry@hounslow.gov.uk 

Information including instructions on joining the event live

 

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