Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)
Vision and principles
Our principles for involving communities
As a minimum, we will comply with any legislation that is currently in force or comes into force in the future. This includes any national legislation in an emergency situation, such as the coronavirus pandemic.
We will tailor our approach where needed for specific issues, audiences and the scale of proposals, so that it is fit for purpose for the subject being consulted on, making it easier for people to take part. For example, where proposals have a local or limited impact, then we will seek to more closely involve those most affected. When we are planning for a large area, or thinking about choices which might affect the majority of Buckinghamshire, then we will engage comprehensively.
Our main principles of involving the various communities in the planning process are set out below:
- encouraging our communities to contribute by providing opportunities to put their ideas forward where there is scope to influence our decisions
- we will be transparent and clear about the planning process, what is being proposed and the scope to influence
- we will use a variety of methods to make it easier for people to take part in the planning process, this will be appropriate to the subject being consulted upon
- we will design engagement exercises to be accessible
- we will encourage better inclusion of everyone affected by a planning matter, making the effort to include “hard to reach” groups such as young people, ethnic minorities, disabled people, Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople
- we will make information available that is appropriate and understandable, raise awareness of planning matters and ensure people are kept up to date. All data stored and published will be compliant with our data protection policy
- we will analyse carefully and, where appropriate, provide clear feedback for participants after an engagement exercise within a published timescale. This will include changes we have made as a result of comments
- we will protect Buckinghamshire’s residents by redacting sensitive information before it is made public, such as personal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and dates of birth- where we are able to we will also redact statements which we consider may cause offence to individuals or the wider community
- we will encourage appropriate representations (comments), by only accepting comments that are relevant to the subject being consulted on- no profanities, or statements considered derogatory or offensive to persons sharing a protected characteristic (such as disability, race, religion and others) will be accepted
We want residents to be at the heart of what we do. There are lots of different ways for people to get involved in shaping the new council’s knowledge, plans, policies and planning decisions. We have sought to include all of these in our Statement of Community Involvement.
More information on our values and how these are delivered through our services can be found in the council’s Corporate Plan.
As required by law, this document has been drafted to have regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation. We also aim to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups.
We have prepared an Equalities Impact Assessment of this SCI to make sure we have considered these duties in relation to planning. We have included its recommendations below.
This SCI has also used the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
More detail on the council’s equalities commitment is set out in the Corporate Plan.
Buckinghamshire Council is committed to delivering a digital planning service. We are working with the MHCLG and other authorities to improve our service through digital innovation and technology, including the use of emerging digital tools. Using these tools we aim to reach a wider range of people, in greater depth, while making planning more accessible, transparent, and efficient.