Date: 30th April 2020

WINSFORD Town Council is to make use of a new online platform designed to improve engagement and communication with local communities.

At its meeting held on 20th April 2020, the Council approved the holding of a pilot using the CitizenLab online engagement platform.

The platform will allow residents and communities to put forward ideas and proposals on how the Council’s COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund could be used to help people during these difficult times.

The pilot itself is costing the Town Council £1,500 and will begin during May 2020.

The engagement platform has been designed to allow communities to participate in council decision making and a demonstration can be found HERE

Winsford Town Mayor, Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones commented, “the Council has taken a decision to make use of the CitizenLab digital engagement platform”.

“What this means in practice is that the community as a whole can play a part in how the council makes decisions and can put forward proposals and ideas which the council can then take a look at before taking them forward, or not”.

The Mayor continued, “this represents a very different way of doing things for the Town Council but it is a positive thing to make the community a part of what we do”.

The pilot is expected to last for around three months and will play a part in how the Town Council assists the town during the pandemic. Following the conclusion of the pilot, the Council will look at whether it wishes to continue to use the tool in the longer term.

Winsford Town Clerk Mark Bailey said “this potentially represents a very innovative way of doing business as a council and the Council very much welcomes the challenge of using the engagement tool during these very challenging times. Our ambition is to help as many people as possible but we want to be sure that our help is focused in the right places”

“In order to ensure that we make best use of the engagement platform, we have set up a working group (made up of councillors and members of the public) which will meet on 30th April 2020 – via Zoom – and will agree the way forward in terms of this important project”.