Portobello Community Council

Do you need help hosting a Community Discussion onUnconventional Oil and Gas for the Public Consultation?

Posted on: April 13th, 2017




 

Do you need support hosting a Community Discussion on Unconventional Oil and Gas (UOG)?

Dear UOG Community Council

You will have been made aware that on 31st January 2017, Scottish Government began a 4 month public consultation under the current UOG moratorium, which ends on 31st May. This is an important consultation with outcomes of direct relevance to your council area, which is within or close to a region considered prospective for UOG extraction.

We are contacting you from the Community Chartering Network (CCN), a not-for-profit organisation committed to empowering communities through participatory and democratic decision-making, on issues of local and national concern. This email is an offer of support by CCN to help Community Councils conduct the community discussion component of the Scottish Government’s public consultation on UOG. 

If after reading the rest of this email you would like our support then we request that you complete this short 2 minute form and we’ll be in touch. 

What is a Community Discussion on UOG?

In addition to the option for individual responses to its public consultation on UOG, The Scottish Government has also taken an innovative approach by initiating a “group discussion” process, whereby "discussion packs” can be downloaded directly from their website to help Community Councils and other groups host a conversation about UOG. The results of your "Community Discussion" can then be fed back to the Scottish Government as formal responses to the consultation.  

Why is a Community Discussion important?

This may be the first participatory democratic component of its kind in any public consultation. Community Councils have an unprecedented opportunity to help ensure residents of their community have a chance to participate in this consultation, on an issue which could directly affect them over the next quarter century.

Why is CCN offering support?

Although Scottish Government say their Discussion Packs include relevant information, so there is no need for specialist knowledge to host a UOG conversation, we believe it is equally important to be trained in the skills required to host a discussion that upholds participatory and democratic values and processes.

This is critically important under this consultation because they allow for residents to deepen their understanding of UOG through conversation where multiple views are expressed and heard without the loudest dominating, and for the community to come to an informed collective decision on a matter which stands to affect them directly. CCN supported community consultations in the Central Belt in 2016 which helped inform the Scottish Government’s process for the UOG Consultation.

What Services can CCN provide?

  • support and facilitation for the consultation with your community
  • strategies to support public participation in the community consultation
  • support in writing-up the outcomes for democratic approval (where CCN facilitators have been involved)
  • training sessions for councillors who wish to conduct all aspects above themselves 
We are a small team aiming to provide any support free of charge. While we are currently fund-raising for these purposes, we are already supporting Community Discussions, and our time and resources are limited so we may not be able to fulfil every request of support.
 
Therefore, should you wish to receive CCN support for a Community Discussion, we encourage you to complete short 2 minute form as soon as you can, and we will be in touch as soon as we can. 

Yours faithfully
The CCN Team
Find out more about the public consultation and CCN on our website.
 
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