Consult cap for ‘in-depth’ look

JUST 25 people will be invited to Vincent council’s consultation session over its new consultation policy, despite more than 70 people applying. 

Vincent’s had a few hiccups owing to shortcomings in its consultation recently, like the upset over the surprise Carr Street bike lanes which much of the street was unaware of (cancelled after backlash), and the implementation of the new electronic parking permits (going ahead despite backlash).

To avoid repeats, councillors have been urging staff to finish up the year-overdue “Community Engagement Framework” to clarify what’s consulted on and how it’s done.

But even consulting on consulting has had problems: A reader who wanted to head along to this week’s community workshop tells us it was “very disappointing” to be told they couldn’t attend because numbers were capped at 20. 

It’s since been bumped up to 25.

More than 70 people wanted to go but Vincent limited numbers and picked from applicants to ensure representation across categories of age, income, gender, ethnicity and “previous level of participation,” to mix some new voices among the old.

Mayor Emma Cole tells us there’s wider consultation coming, and the workshop-runner wanted this first session small to allow for in-depth discussion.

“This is really the starting off point, where we’ve engaged a consultant to have a deeper conversation with a demographically representative focus group,” Ms Cole says.

“We’re going to do much broader consultation with the whole community in early 2021.”

by DAVID BELL

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