Invitation to join the ConCensus group
ConCensus in Milton Keynes
What is ConCensus
The Council of Citizen Engagement in Sustainable Urban Strategies (ConCensus) is an initiative within an EU project in Milton Keynes. ConCensus is a transparent, citizen based method of decision making at a local level. It is an opportunity for you to represent citizens in local decision making.
The ConCensus is a group of citizens who:
- Will participate in the preparation of a specific Council policy.
- Are willing to act as the policy watchdog when the policy has been approved by the Milton Keynes Cabinet.
- Will receive guidance in how to observe the progress of the policy in question and to ensure they are ready to interact with other citizens, the town hall, the professional sector and the local press.
Why do we want ConCensus in Milton Keynes
The principal task of the ConCensus group is to ensure the implementation of a strategy that has been designed as the result of citizen-engagement initiatives. The ConCensus is the guarantor of the action.
The ConCensus must act in a politically neutral manner. They must ensure that a change in local government due to elections does not affect an agreed policy or project that is already under way. ConCensus will ensure a new administration does not abandon or renegade on an agreed policy or strategy.
The ConCensus will be responsible for maintaining public awareness concerning the policy in question and to further inform, involve and encourage all citizens to understand the importance of the initiative in a more global strategic context.
The ConCensus will be responsible for encouraging and participating in the post-implementation analysis of the policy. It should suggest further options and form the basis for the subsequent citizen-engagement activities for subsequent proposals.
The ConCensus will be responsible for exchanging knowledge and experience with other Councils both in the same country and further afield. This adds a further communication and engagement dimension to the concept.
The ConSensus Process
ConCensus is a form of representative democracy designed principally to oversee the implementation of strategy, project or plan. It is a move towards a more direct form of democracy in which citizens provide and input.
The Concensus will be a group of citizens who are apolitical and have no financial interest in the project or policy under discussion.
Discussions and suggestions will be communicated most of the time using the Digital Social Platform (DSP) developed in POWER.
The local administration and any subcontractors responsible for the technical implementation of a strategy or project will report the progress to the ConCensus group on a regular basis. The ConCensus group will report to the Council, local neighbourhood associations and the community, using the DSP in the Milton Keynes POWER Water Community.
This concept was introduced to the participants at the first ConCensus workshops in February 2019. The concept was well received providing the approach was practicable and would be implemented and respected by Milton Keynes Council.
The ConCensus methodology has been approved by the leader of Milton Keynes Council. Milton Keynes Council will recognise the existence and legitimacy of the ConCensus group and acknowledges that a number of citizen participants may be offered the opportunity to play an important role during the planning, implementation and post-implementation stages of the plan, project or strategy.
The ConCensus board will have 10-15 members and ideally will include at least one representative from each interested non-governmental municipal institution (NGOs, neighbourhood or community organizations, schools, colleges or universities, SMEs or enterprises, commerce representatives) and distinct channels of public communication (printed and digital press, local television and radio).
Pioneer ConCensus project in Milton Keynes
The first issue ConCensus considers will be the sustainable management of water. We will look at the proposed development of part of Midsummer Boulevard East as an example.
Ideas are likely to include a Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and exploring ways to utilise rainwater collected from the roofs of buildings. The aim is to create systems that citizens will want to use. This could be using the collected rainwater to irrigate gardens, trees or edible crops.
The SuDS will manage drainage through collection of rain through permeable or semi permeable surfaces. The water collected will be used to reduce demand on the water supply.
Ideas can be submitted now in preparation for the next meeting on the 5th June 2019 which will be held at the Civic Offices. If you live in Milton Keynes and would like to be part of ConCensus please register your interest by emailing email@example.com. You will then be sent an eventbrite invitation if there are spaces available.
If you have ideas but can't attend the meeting you may still have your say by posting your ideas in the comments section below. All suggestions will be considered.
Please email the Sustainability Team if you would like more information on ConCensus firstname.lastname@example.org
- ConCensus pdf [null | 131.59Kb]
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