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Engagement and Consultation Framework

1). Review of Current Public Engagement Strategy 2012 - 2017

 “Pembrokeshire County Council is committed to putting public engagement at the core of the design and delivery of services, policies and programmes.”

What we have been working towards:

  • a common understanding of the importance of public engagement
  • a common understanding of the process of public engagement and how to manage the various stages within it
  • an acceptance of public engagement as standard practice to inform the development, design, delivery and evaluation of Council services, policies and programmes
  • the keeping of accurate and accessible records of public engagement activities, in order that we can demonstrate:
    • the extent of our public engagement activity
    • the effectiveness of our public engagement activity
    • the outcomes of our public engagement activity

2). Drivers for Reviewing the Strategy

  • It has come to the end of its life
  • The Well-being of Future Generations and Social Services & Well-being Acts are now in place, both placing emphasis on the need to ‘involve’ and ‘collaborate’
  • While there is clear evidence of considerable progress having been made, since the inception of the strategy, there remain inconsistencies in approach across the authority
  • The need to minimise the risk of challenge to processes and decisions
  • Emerging best practice recommends greater distinction between engagement and consultation

In January 2017, the Corporate Communications Officer presented an outline framework for the development of Engagement & Consultation Strategic Guidance to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Case studies from Adult Social Services and Cultural Services were also presented as supporting evidence of progress. Information on the outline framework was also submitted to Corporate Management Team in February 2017.

3). Outline Framework for the development of Engagement & Consultation Strategic Guidance

In line with emerging best practice, there will be a move away from promoting the concept of 'public engagement' to emphasis on ‘stakeholder engagement’, followed by a period of formal public consultation should criteria be met that trigger a requirement for this (see table below)

Anatomy of stakeholder engagement

  • Stakeholders (those who can affect / be affected by)
  • Recommended that stakeholder engagement be undertaken as standard as part of the development, design, delivery and evaluation of Council services, policies and programmes
  • The strategy promote an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of continuous and ad hoc approaches to engagement

Engagement (pre-option)

Consultation (pre-decision)

At an early stage, ideas only stage (i.e. recognition of drivers for change but no formal business case / options developed)

Where there is a statutory requirement


Where there is legitimate expectation

To ensure ‘fairness’ (rights / benefits not changed / removed without views being heard)


Where engagement work prompts

Gathering ideas, suggestions etc to be fed into the development of business case /options

Presenting options developed from engagement work (explaining why any options may have been discarded and why)


Gathering views on the option(s) presented and inviting suggestions for alternative options


Gathering evidence to help inform the development of the Integrated Impact Assessment


Product conscientiously considered by decision makers


Focus on stakeholders


Equality interests

As inclusive as possible


Equality interests

Download this information as a PDF

For further information please contact:

Sarah Worby, Corporate Communications Officer,
Pembrokeshire County Council, 2D, County Hall, Haverfordwest SA61 1TP
01437 775263

ID: 2730, revised 03/09/2018