Monday, 13 February 2012

Let's Keep Talking


Turning Ideas Into Action

Last summer Labour took back control of Reading Council and launched a new way of working with local people, aimed at building long-lasting relationships with local residents and providing new opportunities to influence Council decisions and services.

The ‘We Need to Talk’ public engagement initiative focused on the difficult decisions facing the council in the current economic climate and gave local people the chance to have their say on the issues that matter most to them and their communities.

Redlands Labour Councillor Jan Gavin reports back here on the success of the first round of  "We Need To Talk" initiative and the next steps to be taken, including:

■ On-going work on the ideas and suggestions from phase 1 of the consultation

■ A database of residents who wish to be consulted or involved further, on specific subjects or generally

■ Linking the engagement programme and the budget setting process, including ongoing dialogue about the hard decisions the Council must make in the face of a reducing budget

■ A ‘Let’s Talk Health’ initiative to help shape local priorities

Jan Gavin, who is also Reading’s Lead Councillor for Service Delivery and Improvement, said: ‘This administration promised residents that we would listen to them, so we have started a conversation with residents about what is most important to them. Even though there is less money, we want to work with residents to find new and better ways to deliver improved services. Residents will be able to see in the budget for next year that we have listened and taken action on what they have told us matters to them. This is not a one-off, we will continue to listen and talk to residents.’

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