Participation Strategy 2022-27
Context and Resources
Pembrokeshire County Council has 60 elected members, who represent a specific community area (ward) within the county (59 wards are each represented by a single member, one ward has two members). In addition, there are presently 77 town and community councils, one of which is designated as a city council. Each county councillor is ideally placed to act as a conduit for the flow of information and ideas between the people they represent and the statutory council bodies. They are accountable to the people they represent through electoral processes.
This strategy therefore focusses its attention on improving current democratic structures and arrangements, rather than proposing the development of new parallel, and possibly, duplicative activities and processes.
In addition, the strategy is being developed in the context of a pro-longed, on-going period of austerity, characterised by severe financial challenges for all councils in Wales. The strategy has therefore been developed, so as to be deliverable within existing resources.
Working with Partners
There are numerous established and emerging projects, forums and activities etc running throughout the county. Working with external bodies and partners is becoming ‘business as usual’ for very many services across the Council. Representatives of partner agencies have been involved in the development of the strategy and it is the intention that they continue to be closely involved throughout the delivery of the strategy.
How was the Strategy delivered and who helped us?
A two-phase development process for the strategy was agreed with our Democratic Services Committee.
Phase one - We conducted a series of open-ended discussions as follows:
Pembrokeshire County Council Implementation Officers (4 sessions), March / April 2022
Pembrokeshire County Council Senior Leaders (2 sessions), March / April 2022
Representatives of partner agencies (3 sessions), March / September / November 2022
County Council Members, July 2022
Pembrokeshire County Council Young People Engagement Leads, October 2022
Representatives of Town and Community Councils, September / October 2022
General public (3 sessions and phone calls), September / October 2022
Pembrokeshire County Council Action Leads, October 2022
The feedback we received has been critical in the development of this draft strategy. The outcomes are summarised in the ‘What did you tell us’ section below, with extracts, which provide a flavour of the wider feedback we received, included in the ‘In Your Own Words’ section.
Phase two - We will consult formally on this draft strategy
The comments we received in response to the public consultation, which ran from 7th November – 12th December 2022, were generally positive about and supportive of the strategy but reserved about whether it would actively make a difference in prompting Councillors to make evidence, rather than conviction based, decisions.