Involving local decision makers and key influencers can significantly amplify the impact of any of the activities outlined below. Building relationships and buy-in with local stakeholders can increase the likelihood of any recommendations directed towards them being taken on board and improve the neighbourhood group’s ability to target its efforts through a knowledge of the different work already happening in the area.
“My key learning was probably that there are other communities doing similar things which we can learn from, and how we need to work with our local council in partnership to make it happen, it’s not easy to do some of these things we’ve learned about, we can’t expect to do it all alone.”Sholver group member
There are two types of stakeholder the delivery team may want to engage:
- Strategic stakeholders who are involved in the management or governance of organisations the neighbourhood group may direct recommendations towards.
These might include council portfolio holders for neighbourhoods or the environment, ward councillors, a member of senior management from the local NHS trust, or a member of senior management from a local housing association relevant to the neighbourhood.
If these stakeholders are involved at any point in the CLEP process, it is important to engage them early to ensure they are aware of and interested in the work. As a starting point the delivery team could organise short half hour meetings with strategic stakeholders to explain the work and outline what its outputs will be. This could be limited to the Community-led Energy Action Plan and neighbourhood group or could go beyond this based on any of the additional elements described in amplify.
The final Community-led Energy Action Plan should be written for the strategic stakeholders as an audience, with an aim to address its recommendations and asks towards them.
- Local stakeholders who understand and are involved in delivering work based on the different energy themes or in the neighbourhood.
These might include local authority neighbourhood officers or housing association neighbourhood officers.
These stakeholders may be from the same organisations as the strategic stakeholders. This could be beneficial as it can provide some consistency of involvement from key local organisations in different aspects of the CLEP process.
It may be useful to meet with the local stakeholders who could contribute to the imagining workshops so that they understand the work and what will be asked of them by group members. If they attend a workshop they should have a clear brief about their contribution.
They should help to clarify the role of their organisation in delivering actions the group identifies and share information about mechanisms the group can use to influence their organisation. The insight these stakeholders provide should be used to inform the Community-led Energy Action Plans.