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Pledge 6 | Open and transparent community led decision making

Meaningful engagement and consultation

We are committed to making our local authority work for residents. Currently council business is conducted in a top down, old fashioned and closed door manner. Decisions are made in private before resident’s views are sought. Consultation is a con. Both the Civic Centre and Southborough Hub projects are just two recent results of this backward process where there has been inadequate consultation and a refusal to take notice of significant public opposition to the projects.

Residents are best placed to inform and shape future decisions and should be at the centre of how a Council operates. Consultation should never be an afterthought or a box ticking exercise to satisfy legal requirements.

Overhauling the decision making process

We are committed to playing a role in overhauling the decision making process in Tunbridge Wells. We want to put residents at the heart of finding answers to the big questions facing our future. How should we handle our household waste? How do we encourage wellbeing for all? How can we support challenges faced by local businesses? What can the authority do better? We will seek to make public meetings more democratic and increase public engagement in the work of the Council. This could include more opportunity for the public to speak at meetings and to undertake effective real community engagement such as co-design in responding to the major challenges facing the Borough.

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