DIY Toolkit – notes for facilitators

Introduction The recession has been really tough for families and businesses in our area. The County Council is also facing significant financial challenges and we need to make savings both now and over the next few years. At a time when every penny is more important than ever, we are determined to work with you to provide the highest quality services. We know we need to protect the essential services, so we need your help: This is your county – what is most important to you? We want your views and the DIY toolkit is just one way to do this. Before having a discussion about the You Choose process, it can be useful to give some background on the challenges that we will all be facing. One way to do this is through a PowerPoint presentation. This guide is designed to accompany the DIY Toolkit PowerPoint presentation which looks to: • Introduce local people to the ‘You Choose’ process • Give them the opportunity to have their say Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions (all contact details are on the website) at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/youchoose - or ring us on 01604 236426 Notes for the presentation You may feel comfortable reading through the presentation and delivering it. However, the notes below might make it a little easier to make sure you cover as much as possible. Slide 1 – Title slide This is the time to cover all the standard presentation introductions: turning mobile phones onto silent, how long it will take etc. It is also worth reminding attendees that they are not expected to be experts on Northamptonshire or the County Council. We are simply looking for people’s views. Slide 2 – What’s next? This simple ‘signposting’ slide just lets participants know what is coming next. Slide 3 – What is ‘You Choose’? The You Choose process is a way in which local people can have their say on

the challenges facing the county. There are a couple of key factors behind this; one being the financial pressures the County Council is facing and another being ‘Helping You to Help Yourself’. This is the idea that local people can play a more active role in the delivery of services. It could mean anything from a greater sense of responsibility in reporting anti-social behaviour, to taking the time to look after elderly neighbours. You Choose asks local people what they see as being the future of County Council services and how we can overcome the challenges together. It is more than consultation…. (Next slide) Slide 4 – Excitement through engagement …..It is also about giving people as much information as possible about the future so we can make the decisions together. You Choose will use a variety of different methods to involve local people, including comment cards and our ‘Big Brother Diary Room’ VideoQube. Slide 5 – Why do this? It is worth underlining that the challenges facing the County Council are significant and people may not have made the connection between the recession and the effect on public spending. Only a proportion of County Council money comes from Council Tax; less money is now coming in to spend from central Government. It is important that we make any difficult choices that have to be made early, in collaboration with local residents. Slide 6 – When is it happening? It is happening in a relatively short space of time because we have to act now; the pressure is real. We also know how important it is to demonstrate that people’s views have been taken on board after they have told us what they think. So from May through to August, we will be feeding back to residents on how their ideas have been used. Slide 7 – The challenge… These are some of the things that some people might say when introduced to the You Choose process. We understand that these are real concerns and that we have a tough job in answering these. Slide 8 – You are the key… This follows on from the last point in the final slide – we need to make sure as many people as possible from across the county have the chance to have their

say. Whether someone is a member of staff for the County Council, involved in a community organisation or just has friends and family who are interested in the future of the county, we are looking to these people to help us involve the sorts of people who will not usually attend public meetings or take part in surveys. These issues are too important for people not to give their view, if we can make it possible. Slide 9 – You are the key…(2) This diagram demonstrates that the only way we will genuinely involve people from across the county, is if people pass the message on to their friends, family or colleagues. We will explore how we have tried to make this as easy as possible later in the presentation. Slide 10 – How can you get involved? There are four main ways to have a say in the You Choose process. This has been designed so that people can choose what works for them. Slide 11 –High profile engagement events We will be ‘touring’ Northamptonshire to ask people what they think. This will include events in all seven boroughs. Look at the website – www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/youchoose for full details of the tour. The website address will be displayed again on the final slide in the presentation. Slide 12 – Online mechanisms For people who prefer the internet, there is a website with a facebook group and Twitter feed too. You can share your views online as well as keeping track of latest developments, see what other people have said and also, download all the toolkit documents for yourself. Slide 13 – You Choose comment cards For those who haven’t got much time, we will be circulating comment cards around Northamptonshire on which you can jot down your comments and send them back to us freepost. Slide 14 – DIY toolkit Finally, for those who think they know others who would like the chance to give their views on the future of the county, we have created a ‘toolkit’. This can be downloaded from the website or get in touch if you would like us to send you one.

Slide 15 – What is a ‘toolkit’? It is a small A5 pack which has DIY exercises and tips on how you can take part in the You Choose debates. Basically, if you have a staff meeting, a community group meeting or even just want to discuss the issues in your own time with likeminded residents, the toolkit gives you a structure and all the background info you need to have that debate. Slide 16 – How can it be used Here are some ideas but you may have some of your own. The key is to write it all down and send it back to the You Choose team so that all your views and opinions can be used to plan for the future. Slide 17 – How can you get involved? This is a summary of all the different ways people can get involved in You Choose. We have also added ‘Community Communicators’ to this. A ‘Community Communicator’ is anyone who might be interested in helping other people to use the toolkit or have their say in any of the other ways identified. If you or someone in the group is interested in finding out more, please get in touch. Slide 18 – Ready to discuss now Now that you have covered the background, you have the opportunity to have your own say. The next three slides simply give a framework (which you don’t have to follow) to make sure all the big questions are covered. From here, the toolkit instructions should tell you everything you need to know… Slide 19 – Where are we now? Discussion Slide 20 – Where do we want to be? Discussion Slide 21 – How do we get there? Discussion Slide 22 – Thank you The key point to underline here is that for people’s views to make a real difference they have to be sent back to the You Choose team – all the con tact details can be found in the toolkit. If anyone has any problems, they should not hesitate to get in touch.

If anyone can think of someone else they think would like to give their views, please pass the message on and give them the opportunity to do so. Any spare toolkits can be distributed.

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