In May 2016, Morecambe Town Council sought the views of local residents to set the priorities for a new neighbourhood plan.
The Council priorities for the plan were to encourage investment, raise civic pride and enable regeneration of key heritage assets.
What was done?
Working with PlaceChangers, the town council adopted a digital approach that could quickly generate a wide range of ideas. The digital platform allowed citizens to easily see these comments and provide enhanced input.
Action-focused 'nominations' enabled citizens to respond to key questions facing the town (“what should be protected”, “what should be tidied up”, “what could be done to make planning in (and for) Morecambe easier”).
Using those questions, PlaceChangers provided an interactive engagement tool which asked residents to leave suggestions on the map of the town by nominating particular locations for specific actions.
Citizens valued the opportunity to provide comments on the input of other residents. The digital consultation tool facilitated active discussion not just static commentary.
PlaceChangers also supported the town council to convert paper-responses into responses visible online.
What outcomes were achieved?
The campaign delivered a focused dialogue for the neighbourhood plan by identifying residents’ concerns per ward.
Of the 165 unique contributions, 96 came from the website-embedded PlaceChangers platform, with the rest coming from mailed-in forms and emails.
A comprehensive report summarised the responses per area. The popularity of topics established key priority areas for the neighbourhood plan.
PlaceChangers digital App helped deliver a virtual consultation that was equal to, and in some aspects, surpassed a physical process.
The app was fantastic. It helped to bring the consultation alive and allowed for more meaningful response
David Croxall Morecambe Town Council