|Community Engagement Policy
||8 July 2014
||8 July 2017
|Responsible Officer: Manager Corporate Strategy and Property Services
||Chief Executive Officer
The City of Greater Geelong’s City Plan outlines a four year vision for the municipality. Within this key strategic document is a priority to have an informed and engaged community. This policy outlines Council’s approach to achieve this.
This policy relates and applies to all forms of community engagement conducted by Officers and consultants / agencies acting on behalf of the City of Greater Geelong, including:
- The planning, delivery or evaluation of any communityengagement activity.
- Engagement with the community regarding issues, proposals and Council decisions.
- Internalengagement within the organisation.
- City Plan
- Community Engagement Hub
- ENGAGEon CityWeb
- Plain English Guide.
- Community - can be defined as a group of people united by at least one common characteristic such as geography, shared interests, experiences, values or attitudes.
- Community engagement - refers to the many ways in which council connects with the community to exchange views, ideas and information in the development and implementation of strategy, policies, programs and services.
- Stakeholder - is defined as someone who may be affected by, have a specific interest in or influence over the decision or issue under consideration.
- International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) - an international not for profit organisation to advance the practice of community engagement and promote the values and best practices associated with involving the public in decisions that affect their lives.
- City Plan - the key document that sets out the City’s vision and identifies the strategic directions, priorities, and strategies that will guide the City’s activities during the term of Council.
5. Council Policy
The City of Greater Geelong recognises that effective community engagement enables Council to best meet the needs of the community by ensuring that planning and decision making is based on an understanding of the needs and aspirations of the community.
The objectives of effective community engagement activities are to:
- Facilitate the exchange of views, ideas and information to inform service delivery and, projects that are more responsive to local needs, concerns and priorities
- Enhance relationships with the diverse community.
- Encourage our partners, government stakeholders, service providers, local businesses, the local community and visitors to play an active role in the way we plan for the future of our municipality.
In achieving these objectives the organisation will recognise the IAP2 core values ensuring that community engagement:
- Is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
- Includes the promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.
- Promotes sustainable decisions by recognising and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.
- Seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
- Seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.
- Provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.
- Communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.
When planning community engagement activities, Council will refer to the IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum which outlines the various levels of engagement activities from informing through consulting and involving to collaboration and empowerment:
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Community engagement activities will be managed consistently across the organisation. All engagement activities must be logged in Council’s online system Engage prior to being advertised to the community (when relevant.).
Council staff will be fully supported to plan and undertake effective activities through the use of the following resources:
- Community Engagement Hub (online)
- Engage onCityweb
- Staff from the Corporate Strategy department employed to assist all departments undertaking engagement activities within the community and internally within Council.
Council will not be in a position to engage in situations where:
- A decision needs to be made quickly – for example relating to an issue of public safety or health.
- A legal, commercial or legislative restriction makes engagement impossible.
- The decisions involved concern routine operational matters.
6. External Engagements
In additional to all external community engagement activities being logged in Council’s online system ENGAGE, all documentation that relates to the activity must include appropriate branding. Please refer to the Communications and Marketing Department for correct use of the City of Greater Geelong logo.
7. Quality Records
Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.
|[Name of engagement]Engagement Plan