The reasons are numerous…
- The more options that local residents have, the more likely they are to take part. Those who are strongly opposed to the scheme will no doubt have their say regardless, but the ConsultOnline gives a voice to those who are supportive / ambivalent about the scheme, increasing the ‘yes’ vote.
- The wider the range of tactics used, the wider the audience reached. The success of a consultation is largely dependent on the extent of the engagement, and therefore deploying a range of tactics invariably produces a better consultation.
- Local residents are increasingly communicating online and for many this is their preferred means of communication.
- Because local authorities are now required to post planning applications online, planning applications are discussed online anyway. It’s better to provide a platform for discussion and retain control of the discussion than to be unaware of what’s being said online.
- Local authorities welcome developers giving residents a variety of ways in which to get involved. Additionally they welcome online communication – in all of those areas in which we’ve worked to date, local authorities have been extremely positive about our approach.
- People are busy and often lack time to attend a public meeting or exhibitions. ConsultOnline gives them an opportunity to get involved when and where it suits them. Our websites are fully responsive, meaning that they operate on all tablets and smart phones.
And just because ConsultOnline uses additional means of consulting doesn’t mean that it costs more – in fact a consultation which combines ConsultOnline with some traditional consultation tactics is typically less expensive than using off-line tactics alone.