Latest Public Sector News


County launches new system to give residents a voice in decision-making

A county council has launched an innovative system to give residents a say on major issues in their area and give people a more important role in the authority’s decision-making progress.

West Sussex CC has this week launched ‘Your Voice – The People’s Panel’, which is an online community of people who have volunteered to be regularly consulted about local matters that affect them.

The programme is open to anyone living in West Sussex, and once registered, members will be sent links to surveys, reports and outcomes, as well as public surveys, which give them a chance to voice their opinion on issues, and then see the results of how key decisions were affected by their action.

‘Your Voice – The People’s Panel’ was formerly known as the E-Panel, Cllr Louise Goldsmith, leader of the county council, asserted that the system is central to putting residents’ views at the centre of council decision-making.

“It is so important that we make sure our residents’ voice is at the centre of everything we do,” she said. “As a county council, 80% of our services are provided to our residents, so we need to consider their views with every decision we make.

“To help us do that an E-Panel was developed to help us engage with people across the county. We have 6,000 local residents signed up to this already and they are regularly helping us to make decisions through the views they give on a whole range of issues.”

The county council leader also stated that in order to get more people involved and to make sure those involved represented the whole of the diverse county, the authority had made the decision to update the system.

“Renamed ‘Your Voice: The People’s Panel’, we will be using both new and emerging digital channels to gather opinions, but also finding new ways to reach out to more people, in person and online,” said Cllr Goldsmith.

The county council’s innovative system is an example of decision-making being taken out of the town hall, as suggested by the Local Government Information Unit recently, who said that: “An essential component of local democracy is building strong connections between citizens and the institutions that represent them.”

To register for ‘Your Voice – The People’s Panel’, click here, and for more information email

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


An unsettling finance settlement?

23/02/2018An unsettling finance settlement?

Piali Das Gupta, head of policy at Solace, looks over the final local gover... more >
Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

23/02/2018Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

The local government finance settlement must enable counties to continue to... more >


BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuar... more >

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >