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New residents’ panel for Woking set to improve community engagement

Date: 

Monday, 21 December, 2020

Residents of Woking Borough are invited to express their interest in participating in a new Residents’ Panel, to launch early in 2021.

The Panel will provide people who live in the borough with ongoing opportunities to shape the borough’s future, by acting as a sounding board for future initiatives. Participants will also be encouraged to put forward ideas for improving their local area, and propose solutions.

Results from panel surveys will be fed directly back to decision-makers within the Council, to assist them when making their final decisions. Participants will be kept up-to-date with outcomes of decisions.

Cllr Ayesha Azad, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “Establishing an effective, two-way dialogue with residents is an important priority.

“The Residents’ Panel will give a voice to members of our community of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, many of whom have not had their voice heard before. It will allow us to understand what our residents feel about the services we provide and the changes we are making.

“Council officers will be able to tap into the many diverse communities that live here, to communicate ideas and explain the reasons behind decisions they make, as well as seek alternative opinions and solutions.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to have an active role in local decision making, helping to create a place where everyone feels proud to live. We are searching for dedicated and enthusiastic panel members who want to help create an inclusive and innovative borough, which meets the needs of all our residents, both now and in the future.”

The Panel is open to all residents of Woking, aged 18 and over. Panel members are not required to have any prior knowledge or expertise to join and members of minority groups are encouraged.

Applicants will be asked to complete a profiling questionnaire, stating key demographics such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability and where they live. This will ensure that the panel is representative of local communities.

In the event of an overwhelming response from any specific demographic or geographical area, participants will be chosen at random from a segmented list of those who have applied to join. To encourage participation from diverse groups, a postal invitation will be sent at random, to autonomously selected recipients, from a cross section of the Woking population.

The Panel will be launched in the New Year and, until then, residents are encouraged to get in touch, with no obligation, to find out more or express an interest in being alerted when the application process is open. Please call 01483 755855, visit www.woking.gov.uk/residentspanel or email residentspanel@woking.gov.uk