On 1 April 2019 Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be replaced by a single district council called West Suffolk Council. It will entirely replace the borough and district councils but will continue to deliver the same services while finding improved ways of supporting communities, businesses and the local economy. Over the next few weeks you may notice changes to the website, forms, letters and emails, and there will be limited access to some of our online systems as we prepare for the creation of the new council.
We carry out many consultations with residents, business and other people who have an interest in West Suffolk.
West Suffolk Council is committed to ensuring that everything we do takes account of the needs and views of local communities, residents, businesses and interest groups.
This happens through a wide range of mechanisms:
Depending on the issue, different mechanisms are appropriate – co-design, engagement, dialogue, opinion polling or consultation. The information on this webpage focuses on consultation.
By consultation, we mean proactively seek input from people with an interest in a decision or proposed course of action by the council. Consultation is not a democratic process; it is used to inform decision makers about what people think about a decision and its likely impact.
West Suffolk Council is committed to listening to local people and undertaking meaningful and focused consultation that feeds directly into our decision-making processes, shaping the local area and services we provide. We want to ensure that consultations are relevant, cost-effective and have a real impact on how the council makes decisions.
It is important that we reach all groups that want to be involved, including hard-to-reach groups. We can do this by ensuring that consultation exercises are inclusive, accessible and appropriate.
West Suffolk Council has adopted the Consultation Principles Guidance issued by the Cabinet Office in January 2016. The principles apply to all council services.
The consultation statement is also linked to West Suffolk Council's Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). The SCI sets out how the council intends to involve all the people who have a stake or an interest in the future planning of West Suffolk, whether they are organisations, developers or members of the public.