Morecambe generates 58% of engagement feedback through PlaceChangers

“The app was fantastic. It helped to bring the consultation alive and allowed for more meaningful response”.

In May 2016, Morecambe Town Council sought the views of local residents to prepare the development of a neighbourhood plan. Priorities for the plan stemmed from a desire to encourage inward investment, discourage fly tipping, and support urban regeneration of key heritage sites. Thus, the initial plan preparation focused on trying to understand the concerns and topics by area that local residents viewed as priority.

What was done?

Working with PlaceChangers, the town council requested a online campaign that would support the open-ended nature of the initial plan preparation stage. It was important to support continued engagement online in addition to six public workshops held in the area. The council eventually settled on three questions (“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 campaign tool which asked residents to leave suggestions on the map of the town. As incentive, other participants’ commentary was visible and could be rated. PlaceChangers supported the town council during the campaign by making comments from public meetings available via the tool.

What outcomes were achieved?

Of the 165 unique contributions, 96 came from the website-embedded PlaceChangers app, with the rest coming from mailed-in forms and emails. The campaign to encouraged a focused dialogue for the neighbourhood plan by identifying residents’ concerns per ward. A comprehensive report summarised the key concerns per area. The popularity of topics helped towards establishing key priority areas for a skeleton plan.

 

Key benefits provided

The PlaceChangers’ engagement platform provided a number of benefits over the clients’  established processes and added new capabilities. For example:

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