Community Engagement Policy

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council aims to respond to the needs of the local community and to involve its parishioners in the Council’s decision-making about the issues which affect them. These areas can include planning, delivery of services and the future of the area.

To achieve this, the Council will provide its parishioners with

  • relevant information about services, policies and decisions that might affect or interest them;
  • opportunities for them to have their say about decisions, services and plans through consultations, surveys and conversation;
  • opportunities to get involved, over and above informing and consulting, to give them a greater influence over decisions and delivery.

In doing so, the Council will follow the principles set out below and will:


  • Listen and respond to individuals and communities, enabling and empowering parishioners to play an effective role in setting priorities, designing services and influencing decisions to shape their local area.


  • Undertake fair and impartial engagement to a high standard to ensure that all parishioners are offered equal opportunities to participate in issues that may affect them and make a difference.

 Work together

  • Act together when appropriate with a consistent approach to community engagement.
  • Share knowledge and information openly with parishioners and partner organisations, whilst respecting confidentiality and legislation.
  • Use what has been learnt from contact with local people to better understand and engage with the community, and to improve the services it delivers.


  • Provide feedback and demonstrate the changes that are made as a result of engagement.
  • Ensure that any information published is clear, concise and widely available.
  • Identify and embrace opportunities to work with other local community groups, as and when the need arises.
  • Participate in local community networks and to share knowledge and experience of community engagement activities in other areas.
  • Publishing the positive results that have been achieved from working relationships between the Council and other community groups; in order to encourage new relationships/partnerships to be formed and raise community spirit.
  • Ensuring that appropriate evaluation is carried out following consultation exercises to ensure that lessons learned are carried forward and an assessment of how effective/useful the consultation was.

The Council currently facilitates community engagement in the following ways:

  • Allocation of a ‘Public Participation’ session at all Parish Council Meetings. This provides an opportunity for local residents to make representations to the Council or ask questions relating to items on the agenda.
  • Publish contact details of all Council members and officers on the website and notice boards.
  • Production of regular news stories highlighting local, Council and the wider community news on the website and Council’s social media accounts.
  • Produce a quarterly update to be included in the St Stephen Community News publication.
  • Ensure that agendas and minutes of meetings are available on the website or copies available on request.
  • Ensure that the Annual Report newsletter is delivered to every home listed on the open electors register and available on the website.
  • Upload the financial annual report and statement of accounts and budget information onto the website.
  • Work in partnerships with Cornwall Council to provide improved services. These include the Local Maintenance Partnership for the maintenance of public footpaths, a grass verge cutting agreement and the continued devolution of services.
  • Advertise and promotes local democracy, Councillor vacancies and elections through Councils web site, social media accounts, local newspapers and newsletters where possible.
  • Inviting members of the public to attend physical and virtual ‘surgeries’ with Councillors in order that they can be represented at a local level.
  • Work with the younger generation where possible through the Youth Parish Council and Democracy Days with the local primary schools.
  • Ensure that all Councillors are available to interact with residents by the creation of individual email addresses.
  • Work with the local newspaper to ensure press releases are featured to keep the general public informed on events, projects and other items as necessary.
  • Attendance at Community Area Partnership meetings which include representatives from Cornwall Council, Devon & Cornwall Police, local Councils and other interested parties.
  • A continuing open dialogue with Devon & Cornwall Police representatives. The Council has an office conveniently located in St Stephen which is open Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 12.30pm or by appointment at other times.
  • The Council has the Brannel Room which is used by an array of different organisations and groups. It enables easy access to possible ‘focus groups’ if required for consultation exercises.
  • Attendance at community events organised by local organisations.
  • Creating a network with local organisations by appointing Councillors as representatives.
  • Ensuring published information is understandable and in appropriate formats for all.
  • Publish up to date information on services on the website.
  • Consult with local residents on projects such as the Neighbourhood Development Plan.
  • Have a large noticeboard in each village to share information.
  • Arrange regular parish tours to keep up with development and changes.
  • Councillors live or work within the parish and therefore have close connections with the community on a day to day basis.

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council welcome suggestions for addition methods of community engagement.

Adopted by Full Council at the meeting held on Wednesday 7th June 2023 under minute number FPC170./23. Due for review in June 2026.