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The UK Consult: Binary Choices in Public Consultation Questions

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Welcome to the UK Consult, our occasional ramble through all things about public consultation and citizen experience in the UK, with special guests and lovely examples of online public consultation and digital engagement from around the world!

In this episode, Jonno’s feature topic invites you to worry about simple yes or no questions — or more precisely — the problems created by introducing binary choices into public consultation questions. We also have our shout out, the tool of the month and the return of an old favourite topic: the stat of the month (a homage to Stato).

This episode will cover the following sensational topics and provide glorious insight into citizen engagement in the UK (and further afield):

  1. Feature Topic. An invitation to explore the challenges created by using simple yes and no questions in public consultation. Without room for a nuanced response, or a yes, but or a no but, what are the consequences of forcing consultees to choose between one of two options? This feature topic was based on a recent blog post by Marion Lawie, contributing writer.
  2. Shout Out. The Vale of Galmorgan. Their new site Participate Vale invites people to ‘have their say and get involved with council decisions and local issues in the Vale of Glamorgan.’ Woohoo, we say! One of the first things the council has done is create a petitions page so people can raise issues of concern, giving councillors the opportunity to consider the need for change. More woohoos!
  3. Tool of the Week. This one goes to Torfaen Council for their use of the Ideas tool. This is one of the best examples we’ve seen that ask people if there is anything they have missed about Pontypool’s regeneration plan.
  4. Stat of the Month. This one is about the weight of the internet (and yes, we make it relevant somehow).

All this in one episode! Grab a cake and a coffee and take your time with this epic episode of public consultation goodness.

Until next time!

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