Residents attend new People's Panel event

Posted on: Thursday 1 February 2024
People's Panel crop

Twenty-eight residents attended our new-look People's Panel event this week. 

The event was held in the Civic Centre Chamber in Pontypool on Tuesday evening and included information about changes to parliamentary voting, a new approach to working with communities and the Replacement Local Development Plan.

Residents also asked questions about the council's plans for the Pontypool Cafe Quarter and Cultural Hub, investment into Pontypool town centre and the borough in general, and affordable housing.

It was suggested a working group is set up to look at issues specific to Pontypool town centre, including parking and anti-social behaviour problems faced by residents living in St James' Field, opposite the council's proposed cafe development.

Council leader Cllr Anthony Hunt said he hoped the People's Panel events would form part of a ongoing conversation with residents.

He said: "Councils everywhere want to engage with residents but they face the dilemma of how best to do it. Sometimes consultations can be dry and get little response, others can generate a lot of response but people feel like a decision has already been made.

"We're trying to break that mould and have more of a consultative conversation with residents so you can ask questions and give your views on things.

"It is particularly important during difficult times like we are facing now across all public services with a huge increase in demands and a lack of resources to go around. It's important we work together to design solutions."

Debbie Powell was one of those who attended. She said: "The concept is a good idea and it was lovely to hear people's passion for Pontypool. It was nice to see so many people make an effort to attend."

The new-look People's Panel events aim to inform residents about future council proposals and consultations, and to raise issues they would like to discuss.

Those who attended were asked for their feedback about the event which will be used to improve future meetings. Suggestions included better promotion, less jargon in presentations and an option for people to join online.

You can find out about future People's Panel events and consultations by signing up for our Get Involved Torfaen website

Find out about other citizen panels in Torfaen

Last Modified: 01/02/2024 Back to top