Consultation and communication are key to the most effective and efficient delivery of the council’s vision, to deliver the best customer focused services and support to all communities.

What is consultation?

The term consultation is often used to refer to a whole range of contacts between the council and the population it serves.

In fact, consultation is only one element within the wider field of community engagement/involvement.

It can be useful to think of consultation on a spectrum of participation: at one end people are simply passive recipients of information, to the other end where considerable influence is devolved to, for example, community groups and organisations.

Since 2010, the government has sought to reinforce the fact that councils are not accountable to inspectors or the government, but to their residents and communities.

By knowing and listening to our residents, service users and stakeholders, the council can develop a clear understanding of current and future needs, and use this information to shape and improve services. The more involved and informed people are, the more responsive and effective services will be, which in turn, will improve local outcomes and quality of life.

As a council, we recognise the enormous contribution that individuals and communities can make to improving Northumberland and making it a better place to live.

For this reason we try to actively engage with residents across the county; listening to their views and giving them a real say over decisions that affect them.