Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Barnet Council sets out bold vision for working together with communities [October 2022]

The press release issued by Barnet Council on 1 November 2022.

Councillors last night (31 October) committed to do more to listen to residents and involve them in designing council services and addressing issues that affect them.

The council will put communities at the heart of everything it does, reach out and involve people who are less often heard to address inequalities better, highlighting the good work already underway and the key changes that will be made.

‘Together: The Community Participation Strategy 2022’ was approved at the Community Leadership and Libraries Committee. It commits Barnet Council to five principles that will guide its work: listening, going to where communities are, learning through doing, being transparent and valuing community power.

The strategy also outlines four ‘pathfinder projects’ through which the council will explore new ways of working in participation, engagement and co-production:

  • ‘Leader Listens’ events will see the Leader of the council, Cllr Barry Rawlings engaging with residents about how to change council services to make them more accessible and effective for their communities;
  • The Citizens Assembly on Climate Change and Biodiversity will provide a platform for residents to help shape the council’s sustainability strategy;
  • The council’s Arts and Culture Strategy will trial an innovative co-production approach, with creative and cultural listening, participation and development events in communities across the Borough; and
  • The council will transform how it empowers ‘grassroots’ community action through its partnership work with the charity, community, faith and social enterprise sectors.

Cllr Sara Conway, Chair of the Community Leadership and Libraries Committee, said: “We’re excited to make this commitment to changing the way Barnet works with local communities. Community participation means recognising that residents and community groups have the experience, skills and insight to be more directly involved in designing and developing solutions that improve local services and places.

“There are already examples around the council of where we are working better at involving residents in engagement and co-production. As the council enters a period of significant transformation, we will put the inclusion, participation and celebration of communities at the heart of everything we do.”