What is a Community Liaison Group?
A community liaison group is a committee of people who meet on a regular basis to discuss a specific project. The purpose is to promote communications between a community and project team. It’s an important, useful way of sharing information, views and making decisions.
How is the membership formed?
The community liaison group is formed of representatives from the local community – this can include residents, commuters and businesses, but it is important they represent a wider network, not just individual causes. Key people from the project team are also part of the group – this can include people from Rotherham Borough Council, contractors and partner organisations. The group needs to be apolitical, open and inclusive.
What is the aim of a Community Liaison Group?
The aim is to ensure the Rotherham Energy Scheme project proceeds smoothly with minimum impact and minimal disruption to all concerned. The group ensures effective communications between the project team, local residents and businesses.
What exactly do they do?
Community Liaison Groups meet regularly and:
- Give the community the chance to meet key members of the project team face-to-face.
- Give an opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns.
- Provide an accurate and timely flow of information.
- Enable information to be shared to the wider community.
- Allow for a greater understanding of activities.
- Engage communities in finding practical solutions.
How can they help a community?
The group has made links between communities and project teams. The Rotherham community is ideally placed to advise on local needs and can help the Rolton Kilbride be proactive in responding to concerns at an early stage. Members can ask questions, raise concerns and help shape how a project progresses.
How do they help a project team?
Community Liaison Groups have proved invaluable on numerous projects. They’ve enabled teams to gather feedback and opinion from local residents and helped make decisions in some instances. It also enables project teams to understand and respond to the views of local people.
How often do they meet?
The group will meet regularly – generally once every two months but the exact timetable will be confirmed once the members have been confirmed.
Do Community Groups have a formal terms of reference?
Yes. The initial meeting sets out the aims and principles of the group, discusses roles and agrees on ways of working. The terms of reference are then prepared based on these decisions.
How have they helped other projects?
Many other successful projects have community liaison groups running in the background. Projects have been able to impart updates and information and also take on board relevant and useful feedback. In some instances, project teams have revised plans and reconsidered timelines and methods. Most importantly, it allows two way conversations between communities and project teams, which are vital to having a productive relationship.
Who chairs the meetings?
The Chair is elected following the first meeting, which sets out the guidelines for selection and voting.