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Blaenau Gwent We Want Engagement Programme

The Blaenau Gwent We Want Engagement Programme was the PSBs flagship public engagement programme which actively involved citizens and wider stakeholders in the development of the Well- being Plan over a two-year period.

The PSB committed in our terms of reference to the National Principles of Engagement and the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and is also subject to the Equalities Act (2010).

The programme is overseen by the PSBs Engagement Sub-group who set out a plan for delivery. The plan is scrutinised and supported by the PSB Strategic Support Group.

We approached our engagement in phases in line with the Statutory Guidance on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and embedded the “sustainable development” principle (also known as the five ways of working) throughout our working practices.

Engagement methods

During each phase of the engagement programme we involved people through face-to-face conversations through market stall events, by completing post cards, writing poems, drawing pictures, or by filling in questionnaires (paper copies or on line). To help get as many people involved as possible an inspiration pack was produced to encourage engagement. We also engaged extensively with members of Blaenau Gwent’s Citizen Panel.

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Phase 1 - August to September 2016

Phase 1 was about preparing an assessment of well-being in Blaenau Gwent and ensuring the assessment was informed by the views of people in the area.

To support the production of the Well-being Assessment the group delivered engagement activities between August and September 2016. During these, people were asked:

  1. What is special about Blaenau Gwent?

  2. What things are important to you to live well and enjoy life?

  3. What would make Blaenau Gwent a better place?

  4. What can you do to make Blaenau Gwent a better place?

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Phase 2 - February 2017

Phase 2 was the formal consultation on the Draft Well-being Assessment. A range of public engagement activities were held across Blaenau Gwent. During these, people were provided feedback from Phase 1, and asked:

  1. If the information presented in the Well-being Assessment was the Blaenau Gwent they knew

The feedback from Phase 1 and 2 was used to help produce a final Well-being Assessment

Phase 3 – July to September 2017

Throughout the process we continually looked to improve the way we involved people during the development of the Well-being Plan. During Phase 3, based on feedback received, we actively looked to:

  • Work more with people with protected characteristics;

  • Work more with businesses;

  • Capture more qualitative information; Increase questionnaire response rates Work more with Councillors

  • Set out to capture the community assets across Blaenau Gwent, as well as gain insight into how some of the key challenges can be addressed.

This information was really valuable as it helped inform the development of the Draft Well-being Plan, including the potential priorities that the PSB needed to focus on. We asked people to consider the 5 draft well-being objectives and priorities and to consider the following questions:

  1. Why do you think this should be a priority for Blaenau Gwent?

  2. What do you think needs to be done to help achieve this priority?

Throughout the process PSB members and all key partners were actively involved in working together to encourage as many people to get involved and participate, including staff.

Strengthening the Blaenau Gwent We Want Engagement Programme

We continually looked to find new ways of doing things better at each stage of delivery. This led to the analysis process being redesigned in Phase 3 so that citizen quotes were more readily available to inform the PSBs decision making process, and where consent was provided post codes were collected to compare involvement levels across Blaenau Gwent.

The analysis of information secured from Phase 3 was used to inform final draft objectives determined by the PSB in October 2017.

Phase 4 – October to January 2017

Phase 4 supported the 12 week formal consultation of the Draft Summary Well-being Plan ‘The Blaenau Gwent We Want’. Here we asked people whether they agreed with the intentions of the document and for any general feedback about the plan (such as style, format, use of language etc.).

Feedback received from Phase 4 was used to inform the development of the Final Well-being Plan.

Recognition for good practice

The PSB is committed towards ‘involvement’, as one of the five ways of working. It was pleased to receive recognition for best practice from the Future Generations Commissioner in July 2017, referenced in the report “Well-being in Wales: Planning today for a better tomorrow” The report complimented Blaenau Gwent on the creative ways used to reach out to people, and the use of citizens art work directly used in its Well-being Assessment.