Community e-panel

What is the community e-panel?

The community e-panel is a group of over 600 local residents who have agreed to take part in consultation about local issues. The panel is an important way for the council to understand the views and needs of local people. The results of consultation with local people are used by the council to help us to make major decisions, and to improve the quality of the services that we provide.

What is the community e-panel consulted about?

Consultation with the community e-panel covers a wide variety of issues about the services that we provide. Occasionally we also consult the panel on behalf of other organisations.

How is the community e-panel consulted?

Members of the panel are usually asked to share their ideas and views with the council in two ways:

  1. Surveys (Internet)

    The main method that we use to find out the views of the community e-panel are surveys. They can be completed on the council's website.
  2. Focus groups

    Focus groups are meetings with panel members that provide the opportunity to discuss some issues in more detail. A typical focus group will involve around eight to ten panel members, and will last for two to three hours. Refreshments are provided.

We choose members of the panel at random to invite to focus groups so that each panel member has the same chance of being involved in this way.

How are community e-panel members given the results from consultation?

We share the results from consultation with the community panel in several ways:

  • In the "community panel news" newsletter for all community panel members
  • On our Internet site
  • On our Facebook page
  • In the council's residents' magazine, District Life (sent to all residents in the district)

Applying to join the community e-panel

The council is always looking for new volunteers to join the community e-panel. If you live in the Canterbury district and would like to join we would be pleased to hear from you.

Councillors are not eligible to be a member of the Canterbury district community panel.

How will any personal information that I provide be used?

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 we have a legal duty to protect any personal information we collect from you. The council will store and process the personal information you provide only for the purpose of building a database of people who wish to be part of the Community Panel, and to allow us to contact you for Community Panel purposes.

Data may be passed to other parts of the council to enable this to take place, but will not be sold, traded, provided, or rented to third parties. Specific personal information will only be released where the council is required to do so by law (for example, by a court order).

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