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Role playing scenario 1

Consultation documents on a road-widening scheme.

Q1. What are your expectations of consultation?

ResidentsGovernmentRoad users
  • a voice
  • veto
  • transparent
  • effective
  • democratic but cognisent of special interests
  • we want to be informed
  • we want to be heard and respected
  • we don't want the new road
  • environmental and other consequences taken into account
  • joined up consultation (with other interested groups)
  • at our convenience
  • cost neutral
  • involving our local representatives
  • screen our plans for problems or undesirable consequences that we have not identified
  • get approval for our plans
  • inform the public of our plans and why they are such a good idea
  • manage the process
  • satisfy our constituents wishes
  • have others take the blame
  • say that since we've done consultation our plans are sound
  • listen, up to a point...
  • be perceived to be listening
  • comply with statutory requirements
  • access
  • capacity to do/get to job
  • listen to us first
  • rational decision
  • minimize cost
  • information: analysis of costs and benefits
  • a wider road

Q2. To what extent are your needs met by the ways the consultation is conducted?

ResidentsGovernmentRoad users
  • we prefer individual letters
  • newspaper advertisements are not seen
  • we haven't time to read long plans - need a summary
  • why should we have to find out the details
  • marginalise those who are not literate (or middle class with influence!)
  • doesn't let us organise with others
  • resource intensive
  • may slip something inmportant past us
  • information is one-way only. Doesn't really let us make suggestions or take into account or views
  • it's all decided anyway
  • big resource drain
  • they don't read them!
  • no guarantee of getting responses from the respondents we want
  • no guarantee of getting the responses that agrre with us that we want
  • we can do it over xmas or in the july holiday
  • we can sometimes get detailed and useful feedback
  • can potentially reach a wide audience
  • + everyone knows about it
  • - time-consuming
  • + easier for business organisations to respond
  • mobilisational bias