Lee Valley Regional Park

Park Development Framework

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Lee valley

3.1 Planning stages of engagement

We will endeavour to ensure that we undertake an appropriate level of consultation for each stage of the PDF. This will allow us to involve our stakeholders and the wider community in the process at the earliest point where they can have most impact.

We will do this in a transparent and accessible way, which communicates who we are planning on engaging at each stage and why. This will enable our stakeholders and the broader community to know when they will be able to participate, what their role will be, and what they can expect from the process.

We will also ensure cooperation with other organisations over the timing and scope of proposed consultations to avoid duplication or confusion, and ensure our proposals are joined up with others being produced.

3.2 Who the process will involve

We have defined our stakeholders according to the following groups:

  • Statutory stakeholders – this group is made up of statutory bodies with a strategic interest in the Regional Park and surrounding region, including regional and local authorities, government bodies and agencies. These bodies are those which planning authorities would have a statutory duty to involve in spatial planning processes. A key group of these stakeholders will be the Local Authorities which border the Regional Park.
  • Landowners – much of the land which makes up the Regional Park, as well as the areas around it, is owned by other organisations. These will be important partners in the process, particularly in considering how the proposals will be delivered.
  • Communities of interest – these are groups who represent a particular interest (such as sports or biodiversity), specific groups (such as disabled people, Black and Minority Ethnic groups or young people) or local areas e.g. resident associations and other area based interest groups.
  • Our employees and board members – both staff and board members have an important role to play in the PDF process. Staff will bring experience of how the Park operates currently and learning from direct interaction with users, while our board members can offer strategic direction to the process, as well as wider links to the local authority areas they represent.
  • Interested individuals – while the process will prioritise engagement of stakeholder groups, including those representing particular communities and interests, interested individuals also have a role to play in the consultation. These may be people who use the Park, those who work or live around its boundaries or others across the wider region who have an interest in its future.

Any individual or organisation interested in receiving information about the process, and being invited to comment can send their details to us via the contact details at the end of this document. We will then add you to our stakeholder database and provide you with updates as the process develops.

3.3 Timing of consultation

All interested individuals and organisations will have an opportunity to participate in the process from as early a stage as possible, giving enough time for every consultee to consider the issues properly, and consult with the rest of their group if they represent one. We will endeavour to provide a minimum 4 week period for public consultation apart from the statutory timescales.

We will also provide opportunities for people to view information and provide comments outside of formal events, via our website and by email.

Timing of engagement activities will be planned to allow enough time for gathering responses, analysing them and, where possible, feeding back to the participants before a final decision is made.

3.4 How we will communicate information and publicise events

Accessing information

Clear information about the engagement type, purpose and engagement opportunities at each stage is explained in this document and will be kept updated via the channels described below. This will allow groups or individuals to understand their potential involvement and select the most relevant way for them to be involved, within the framework provided by the programme.

Up to date information on the PDF process and related consultation opportunities (including start and finish dates) will be provided on our website and directly to stakeholders registered on our consultation database. Written information and copies of reports will be provided on request. A telephone number, postal and email address is also included in the back of this document and can be used to access information about the process.

Promotion of consultation opportunities

We will produce jargon-free, clear information to promote consultation. This will include media and online publicity, use of community and organisational networks as appropriate to the consultation type. Promotional material will be provided with sufficient notice of the consultation opportunity.

3.5 Principles of our engagement methods

The methods used to encourage involvement and participation will be relevant to stakeholders’ and communities’ knowledge and experiences. Methods included have been designed, in conjunction with stakeholders, to be suitable for the particular needs of those we are seeking to engage.

Methods will follow the basic principles:

  • The opportunity to contribute ideas – those involved should have the opportunity to put forward their own ideas and feel confident that there is a process for considering and responding to their concerns.
  • The opportunity to take an active part in developing proposals and options - where appropriate, there will be opportunities for people to actively engage with us in developing proposals and options.
  • The opportunity to be consulted and make representations on formal proposals – a formal consultation period on the draft core documents that make up the PDF will be undertaken, and all comments received will be reviewed and documents amended in response to comments as considered appropriate prior to adoption by the Authority.

Use of our website will be a key technique in the engagement process; a variety of additional techniques such as one-to-one meetings and workshops will be used – ensuring the process involves as many people and groups as possible.

We will endeavour to:

  • Indicate when there will be an exception to the general rule that consultations are treated in confidence, and only reported in aggregate.
  • Abide by the provisions of Data Protection legislation regarding information collected.
  • Use competent, trained staff or contractors to carry out the consultation.
  • Aim to make involvement an interesting, rewarding and enjoyable experience for participants in order to encourage and sustain participation.

3.6 Equalities policy

We are committed to considering the impact of our engagement policies and methods on men and women, Black and Minority Ethnic communities, disabled people, those of different faiths or beliefs, sexual orientation and age.

As part of this commitment, we will seek to do the following:

  • Provide translation services for consultation documents wherever possible upon request.
  • Ensure printed documents and web based information is produced in clear format with large print, plain text versions of documents available upon request.
  • Produce non technical and easy to understand information when we are consulting with the general public and tailor other materials to the specific audience involved.
  • Facilitate participation of interested individuals in the process, in ways which recognise and meet their needs. Within the resource limitations imposed on the process, we will ensure accessible information with sufficient time for people to understand proposals and articulate comments.
  • Ensure the timing of consultations will be as flexible as possible within the agreed timeframe for production of the PDF.
  • Provide information about consultation dates and on the consultation process in different forms, including online website, emails and e-bulletins or newsletters.
  • Ensure that venues used for meetings or events will be accessible for people with physical disabilities.

Enabling broad involvement

In addition to the policies listed above, we will work on the development of this programme with Local Strategic Partnerships and organisations representing diverse communities and interests.

Environmentally sustainable consultation

Wherever possible, we will reduce the environmental impact of planning and delivering the different information and consultation events by considering the choice of venue, measures to reduce CO2 emissions (including travel) and waste output. Measures to ensure this in delivering the engagement programme include intensive use of online communication channels (website and email) over and above paper and post, and where possible using meeting venues located close to transport hubs or easily accessible by public transport.

3.7 How we will use the information you give us

We will keep accurate records of all consultation events and responses. Following consultation on the PDF documents, we will collate, summarise and disseminate collective responses received to feed into our internal decision-making processes. Responses received will be published in a non attributable format unless participants express their desire to be identified in concordance to the Freedom of Information Act (2000). The information will be taken into account, along with our views, in making decisions.

We will provide collective feedback to participants through our website and press or postal channels where appropriate. This response will detail the comments received and provide a summary of the main issues raised, outlining how the issues have been addressed, including what action or change, if any, has been triggered.

Outcomes from the consultation should be provided in a timely manner, although it should be noted that the length of time will vary depending on how many people respond and what the stage of the PDF process is.

Following each stage of the PDF engagement programme, we will also provide information on the key future stages when further involvement will be possible.

3.8 Ensuring the process works effectively

Adequate funding for stakeholder and community engagement will be made available to enable engagement to be carried out in an effective way. We will work across our range of partners to ensure a co-ordinated approach to consultation.

Officers working at consultation events will help ensure that events are effective and thus promote a culture of learning, sharing and developing approaches to engagement internally.

Feedback will be sought on the effectiveness of consultation events, so that we can improve the way we conducts engagement activities. A monitoring pro-forma will be used to record this information online and during events.

The Engagement Process
Lee Valley Park
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