Engaging young people in strategic planning - South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan
A key aim of the engagement was to move the conversation towards issues that are relevant to local people, and to reach a younger audience; the innovative and easily accessible material and digital tools created by the team allowed this to happen.’’ Chris Outtersides, South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan Director.
The five local planning authorities within South West Hertfordshire (Dacorum Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, Three Rivers Borough Council and Watford Borough Council) are working in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council to develop a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP), with the intention to proactively plan for the region’s growth up to and beyond 2050.
The aim of our work was to effectively communicate the development of a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) and widen community participation in the process, particularly amongst young people.
We led an engagement programme which focussed on gaining insight into priorities, issues and opportunities across the area. We undertook a widespread 4 week digital engagement exercise, resulting in:
- Over 10,100 visits to the webpage
- Over 3,200 polls completed
- Over 14,000 individual free text comments
- Over 600 individuals provided contact details to be involved on an ongoing basis
- Even spread of ages of respondents, from under 25’s to over 65’s
- Clear emerging consensus on community priorities
- Reach and quality of feedback surpassed officer and member expectations
We are still advising the JSP team, with a youth forum now in place, sessions with local schools and further stages of engagement undertaken, all securing a significant youth voice.