To receive the report of the Communications & Community Engagement Officer.
The Committee considered the report of the Communications and Community Engagement Officer updating on a number of projects.
Consideration was given to a recommendation from the Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee to implement a ‘Wild Witney’ competition. Members agreed it was important to build on the success of ‘No Mow May’.
Discussion ensued and it was agreed that residents would be asked to submit photographs of their ‘wild gardens’ which could then be shown and promoted through social media channels. It was decided that winners would be selected in each electoral ward with an overall winner being chosen after that.
In respect of prizes it was noted that there no budgetary provision and it was suggested that the Council’s grounds contractor be contacted to see if they could provide some seeds as prizes. In respect of the overall winner it was suggested that the Wychwood Project be approached to see if they could provide a woodland visit.
Consideration was given to the results of the resident survey that had been circulated to members and how that information could be used by the council.
It was agreed that the main outcomes could be used in an information leaflet as had been the case in previous years. It was noted that some of the feedback was useful in helping to inform the draft strategies that were being developed.
There was a consensus that the Council needed to promote what it does and respond to issues raised in the survey. It was suggested that this could be done through social media channels and video clips. Councillors agreed that it would be good if they did direct video responses to concerns and also show what the Town Council is doing.
In respect of the survey it was noted that the responses were mainly from older residents and, whilst it was challenging, there was a need to gain the views of younger people. It was suggested that maybe offering the opportunity to ‘shadow’ officers could help in raising awareness.
Members noted that there was still some confusion about the responsibilities of the three tiers of local government in Oxfordshire and it was important that residents were aware of what each one did.
1. That, a ‘Wild Witney’ competition be supported with residents being requested to submit photographs of their wild gardens with winners being chosen in each Town Council Ward and an overall winner being selected thereafter;
2. That, in respect of the resident survey delegation be given to officers to assess the data further and produce an information document as in previous years;
3. That, the resolution above be supported by a campaign to promote what the council does via media channels including video responses, by Councillors, to issues raised in the survey; and
4. That, a document be produced outlining the responsibilities of the various tiers of local government in Oxfordshire.