Council commits to public consultation in its decision making

Cardiff Council has published a draft version of its new Participation Strategy, which it hopes will encourage more local people to get involved in its decision-making processes.

The strategy, which will be considered by the council’s Cabinet at its meeting on Thursday, has been compiled in the wake of a Welsh Government law which obliges authorities in Wales to adopt this approach.

For many years, the Council has undertaken consultations with the public over the budget and through its Ask Cardiff initiative, which have helped to shape policies and inform key decisions.

Now, following The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021, which states that each council’s strategy must help local people become aware of issues, it now plans to expand this on issues including

  • The council’s roles and responsibilities
  • How to become a councillor
  • Facilitating access to information about decisions
  • Ways they can make representations to the council about a decision, before or after it is made, and
  • Promoting awareness among councillors of the benefits of using social media

The council has already embedded participation in its ‘Stronger, Fairer, Greener’ policy statement, committing itself to amplifying the voices of people who are less likely to become involved in the decision-making process and improving engagement with ‘seldom heard voices’.

Now, the new Participation Strategy sets out ways for these goals to be achieved. Among the initiatives proposed are:

  • An annual ‘Ask Cardiff’ survey focused on satisfaction with Cardiff, local communities and public services
  • An annual consultation on the Council’s budget priorities, and
  • A Child Friendly Cardiff survey with all city school children every two years
  • A ‘democracy portal’ on the Council’s website to support the democratic process and enhance awareness and engagement
  • Identify measures to assist local residents to stand for office
  • Increasing awareness of the support available for disabled candidates standing for office
  • Creating a separate democratic social media presence
  • Mentoring and shadowing for stakeholders, including Youth Council and Youth Parliament


One of the key drivers of the strategy is Cllr Julie Sangani, the joint Cabinet Member for Tackling Poverty, Equality and Public Health. She said: “Promoting civic participation and giving the people of Cardiff a voice in shaping the decisions that affect their lives represent key priorities for the Council. These are also values that are close to my heart.

“We are therefore committed to doing everything we can to ensure every voice is heard. This means giving everyone an opportunity to contribute and we must be ready to listen and respond.

“We may not always go forward with the public’s preferred option but when we do not, we need to be clear and transparent and explain why not.”

The council has now agreed to undertake a six-week consultation on the draft strategy, running from July 24 to September 4, involving groups identified as under-represented, along with focus groups featuring:

  • Older people (75+)
  • Children and young people
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and
  • People who identify as disabled

Information on the strategy is available in Welsh, Polish, Arabic and Bengali and will be made available as part of the process. When this process is complete, the Cabinet will be asked to give its full approval to the final version of the strategy this Autumn.

Follow this link to read the Participation Strategy in full - Participation Strategy

The report will go to Cabinet for approval from 2pm on Thursday, July 13. A live stream of that meeting will be available to view here Cabinet web cast link