30 April 2010

500 groups. 500 locations. 500 debates taking place all around the county as part of the You Choose campaign.

The You Choose campaign is a major public consultation with the residents of Northamptonshire to find out what they think about the future of county council services and get their feedback on what services are important to them, to help influence future spending decisions.

As part of the campaign, the council has created DIY consultation toolkits, which allow groups of all sizes to hold their own discussions so that their feedback can be included within the consultation.

The toolkits have been developed so that people can have conversations with friends or colleagues at a time and place that suits them, whether at a meeting with colleagues, at a community group, or even with neighbours over a coffee. The toolkits include information about the council and its services, DIY exercises, conversation starters to help ensure the discussion flows and even a PowerPoint presentation with presenter’s notes for those who choose to use it.

Northamptonshire County Council chief executive Katherine Kerswell said: "These toolkits are a way of helping people to help themselves take part in this important debate on our future and public services.

"We’ve sent out over 500 DIY consultation toolkits to different groups and have since received a further 150 requests for toolkits. This means that groups all over the county are engaging with the campaign and having those all-important discussions that will allow them to contribute to the consultation.

"The toolkits are just one way for people to have their say; we want as many people as possible to take part in the You Choose campaign so we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible, with a variety of methods from the road shows which have been visiting towns in the county, to our website www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/youchoose. The consultation is open until the end of May, so make sure you have your say."

The DIY toolkits are available to download from the You Choose website www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/youchoose