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Durham e-Theses
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The role and purpose of citizens’ panels: a case study

Morrisroe, Nadine (2009) The role and purpose of citizens’ panels: a case study. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Central government has been consistent in its rhetoric about the need for local authorities to consult and engage with local people in decision-making since the implementation of the Local Government Modernisation Agenda. Local authorities have responded to this and other imperatives by providing a range of participation opportunities for local people. Citizens' panels are one such approach that has risen in prominence since 1997.This thesis considers the expectations and implementation of citizens' panels and their future role with reference to a detailed examination of a case study panel and emerging national policy. The case study draws on my own experiences and observations as practitioner-researcher, documentary analysis, interviews with council officers and a survey of panellists. The study reveals that in common with other local authority panels, the panel did not achieve some of the initial expectations and suffers from some of the wider difficulties experienced by public participation. The panel has however found a role for itself and succeeds in getting a large group of people more involved in local government. The study concludes that there is potential to build on this and in doing so help to deliver on the national policy agenda and better achieve panellist expectations. The panel can only truly flourish however if some of the unresolved issues regarding public participation are addressed including the extent to which central government and the local authority create an environment in which the benefits of public participation can truly be met and the extent to which local people respond to this.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2009
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:25

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