Residents Panel feedback is helping to shape council services

PUBLISHED: 21 February 2024

Colchester City Council has recruited over 200 individuals to participate in its Residents’ Panel, driving forward its ambition to involve residents more in shaping projects and making decisions.

Two Panel meetings were held at the end of January 2024, focussed on sharing updates on the £40million Government funded regeneration projects in the city centre. During the session, panel members were able to ask questions about the schemes, provide insight to help shape the communications to residents and their general views for consideration.

One of the Panels was also joined by Sam Good, Chief Executive of Colchester’s Business Improvement District (BID), who gave a presentation and led a discussion on what the BID does to support businesses, the health of the city centre with a 91.8% occupancy rate (compared to a national average of 87%) and ongoing work to launch a new city centre app later this year.

Commenting on attending January’s Residents’ Panel, Sam Good, Chief Executive of Colchester’s Business Improvement District (BID), said: “I am passionate about continued and consistent engagement between ourselves, businesses and our residents. We are all emotive about the city centre, some positive, some negative and a bit in between however it is essential to maintain discussion. Quite a few of the residents came to speak to me at the end and mentioned that the stats and positive news we briefed on needed to be highlighted more, dispelling the myths. We will focus on enhancing this over the comings months communications.”

Feedback from residents at the panel meetings will help to further shape the regeneration projects in the city centre, this time, that includes thoughts on seating in Trinity Square, communicating more about the sustainable and net zero elements of the projects and consulting better with disability groups.

Previous panel meetings have helped shape the communication messaging for the launch of the chargeable garden waste service, feedback on the community composting proposals (grants process launching later this year), the city centre masterplan and more.

As part of this months’ panel, the council worked in partnership with the North Essex Heritage Trust to offer members who attended a meeting the opportunity to have a tour of Jumbo Water Tower, with a prize draw for 16 tour tickets.

Cllr David King, Leader of the Council, said: “I’m delighted at the response we’ve had to our new Residents’ Panel. The panel is already providing valuable insight and feedback on our service and projects and helping to shape our communications.

“This will be especially crucial as we navigate through our Fit for the Future programme of work to reduce our organisation by 25 percent over the next three years to ensure we live within our means, at least impact on our services and residents. Hearing their voice as we go will be invaluable. My thanks to all who have come forward and for their time, interest and passion for the city.”

The Panel is open to all residents in Colchester, aged 18 and over. Panel members are not required to have any prior knowledge or expertise to join, and members of minority groups are encouraged. 
Interested residents are encouraged to get in touch, with no obligation, to find out more. The next meeting is on Monday 22 of April (in person) 10am at Colchester Castle or a virtual meeting on Monday 29 of April 7pm via Teams. Please visit the council’s website for find out more: or email to join. 


Page last reviewed: 21 February 2024


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