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consultation manchester style February 14, 2008

Posted by Bradley in : Uncategorized , trackback

How can decision-makers get useful feedback from the people they answer to? This story about my hometown’s response to an invitation to express views about spending priorities from the BBC, is a bit depressing:

A hotline for people in Manchester to offer suggestions on how the council should spend its £468m budget received one phone call in a month.
Thousands of leaflets were sent out to residents with a phone number, e-mail and postal address.
In addition to the solitary call, the city council received six letters and 21 e-mails in the month-long exercise.
Council bosses admitted disappointment at the response but said it was still an important consultation.
About 2,000 copies of a leaflet with contact information were printed and sent to community centres and libraries between Christmas and New Year.

Probably not the best time to send out the leaflets, while people were worrying about how they would pay all of the seasonal bills, but still….

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