Agenda item

"Your Neighbourhood" Consultation


A discussion took place around the “Your Neighbourhood” consultation, including the consultation in general and the individual service areas within this.  Discussion centred around a number of issues including:

·         that these proposals had not previously come to Scrutiny prior to being published in the consultation;

·         it was suggested that the comments/feedback facility needed to be more structured to encourage more detailed feedback, and there was a lack of guidance in engaging with the options presented;

·         that additional information should be available to assist respondents in thinking about what alternative solutions there are; the Executive Member agreed that further information will be added to the website shortly;

·         that the single closures option was a disincentive to responding with ideas;

·         that in the consultation document, volunteering had been dismissed as a viable option, and this would also act as a disincentive to potential volunteers;

·         that other issues could be included in the weighting criteria above the 4 selected

·         that it was not clear from the consultation documents how respondents’ views would be taken into account in making the final decision regarding school crossing patrols in particular

·         the variation in running costs of the different libraries and reasons for this;

·         that some organisations have approached the Council with a view to taking on the running of public toilets, and this was a positive sign;

·         that if libraries are closed, whether this will be a permanent reduction in the municipal infrastructure that will prove to be irreversible;

·         that the joining up of consultations for different service areas in order to demonstrate local impact was, in principle, a positive approach and to be welcomed, however in this case the service areas are not particularly connected to each other

The Commission agreed by a majority decision (7 in favour, 1 against, 1 absentee) that the Chair would take the following statement to Cabinet.


(1)   that the Chair convey the following statement from the Commission to Cabinet:

“This Scrutiny Commission considers the “Your Neighbourhood” consultation document to be flawed, as it does not provide explicit opportunities to put forward meaningful alternatives to the options already presented, and does not encourage public engagement in suggesting and shaping alternate options.”



Supporting documents: