In May 2016, Morecambe Town Council sought the views of local residents to set the priorities for a new neighbourhood plan.
Priorities for the plan were a desire to encourage inward investment, raise civic pride, and enable regeneration of key heritage assets.
The initial public engagement focused on understand the concerns and issues that local residents viewed as a priority.
What was done?
Working with PlaceChangers, the town council requested an approach that could generate a wide range of ideas by enabling resident suggestions to bounce off each other.
Action-focused 'nominations' enabled to respond the public to key questions facing the town (“what should be protected”, “what should be tidied up”, “what could be done to make planning in (and for) Morecambe easier”).
Using those questions, PlaceChangers provided an interactive engagement tool which asked residents to leave suggestions on the map of the town by nominating particular locations for specific actions.
As an incentive, participants coud respond to others' responses.
PlaceChangers also supported the town council to convert paper-responses into responses visible online.
What outcomes were achieved?
The campaign encouraged a focused dialogue for the neighbourhood plan by identifying residents’ concerns per ward.
Of the 165 unique contributions, 96 came from the website-embedded PlaceChangers app, with the rest coming from mailed-in forms and emails.
A comprehensive report summarised the key concerns per area.
The popularity of topics helped towards establishing key priority areas for a skeleton plan.
The app was fantastic. It helped to bring the consultation alive and allowed for more meaningful response
David Croxall Morecambe Town Council