Involving the Community in discussions on matters that affect them is a fundamental element of representative democracy. As part of the City of Brantford Community Strategic Plan, the City of Brantford is committed to Excellence in Governance and Municipal Management. Specifically the City is committed to engaging and informing the citizens of Brantford about their community and their city government; the City of Brantford will be known for its open and accessible government. In order to ensure community involvement, the City of Brantford has developed a Community Involvement Policy, Framework and a Community Involvement Toolkit.
The goal of this initiative is to provide decision makers, staff of the City of Brantford, and most importantly, the citizens and stakeholders with a consistent genuine approach that will set a standard of excellence for community involvement plans in the City.
What is Community Involvement?
Encouraging participation in the municipal government process helps Council understand the needs and priorities of the community, so they can make decisions with the community perspective in mind.
Community involvement is happening all the time. It starts with information that is provided to the citizens of Brantford. Effective community involvement, however, considers opportunities to go beyond simply providing information and looks at how and when to best connect with community. The end result of effective community involvement is decisions that are often more reflective of the community concerns and values.
Community involvement is about dialogue with the appropriate people…in the appropriate way…at the appropriate time.
Actively getting the community involved can…
- Build cooperative working relationships
- Promote positive attitudes and build support for new and ongoing programs and policies
- Gather a wide range of options for solving problems and improving service
- Prevent delays on projects
- Establish a positive environment where the community’s opinions and feedback are valued and respected
Community involvement helps Council and City staff do a better job.
Community Involvement is a process that brings together individuals and groups from many levels, building cooperative working relationships and mutual understanding. Consulting with neighborhoods, interest groups, business and other affected parties is both desirable and necessary.