It's often (too often) been said that a 'Camden Consultation' is a metaphor for secrecy, or a technique to not properly listen and respond to what residents want done. A fob off. Of course this is over-simplifying or over stating the problem. There are consultations, our ward councillors do listen, and some things (but only sometimes) we can have things changed as we wish, not as officers may want.
Here’s an extract from Camden’s Annual Governance Statement 2017-18
Establishing clear channels of communication with all sections of the community and other stakeholders, ensuring accountability and encouraging open consultation.
3.4.1 Over the last year the Council has worked with residents, partners and staff to develop a long-term vision for the Borough, which is called ‘Camden 2025’.
The Council invited everyone who lives and works in Camden to tell us what the borough should be like in 2025, to anticipate future challenges and to consider new and innovative ways to tackle some of our most difficult problems.
3.4.2 The Council also uses a variety of resident insights to assess how the Council is viewed by residents/services users and benchmarks services through the Residents’ survey, the Survey of Tenants and Residents (STAR), and Local Authority Performance Solutions (LAPS) benchmarking.
3.4.3 The Council also believes in transparency and residents have a right to see what is going on and to hold the Council to account. The Open Data Portal and the Open Data Charter are published on the Council’s website and are key mechanisms for meeting the requirements of the government’s Transparency Code.
3.4.4 Council meetings are also open to the public; however exceptions are made for matters that require confidentiality. The time, date and location of public meetings are displayed on the Council’s website.