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We have been very pleased to have been of service to Cardiff Council this year and have learned a great deal from the work, helping us to hone our skills and broaden our knowledge.

In February we facilitated a workshop for stakeholders of the Council’s transport team. They needed to consult with city centre businesses and citizen’s groups on proposed changes to the street scene and traffic flow in central Cardiff.

We helped our client develop a workshop approach to obtain the information they required, promoted the event to targeted individuals and organisations, and managed the task groups and discussions during the three hour long session in Cardiff’s Central Library. The team took the data gathered to help them design costed project work and reported that they were very happy with the level of stakeholder engagement, the workshop process and our management of time and discussion.

From January to July we have been working intensively with the Council on their Transport and Clean Air Green Paper. We were tasked with conducting research to inform the drafting of the paper, and helping with consultation once it was published.

Desk-top research looked at reports compiled within the last five years, emerging trends in transport, and the activity in other cities around the world. Seminars and conferences included Cynnal Cymru’s 2016 “Future Car:diff� event, “Car Futures Wales�, and the Innovate UK “Transport Challenges� workshop. Interviews took place with Innovate UK’s Transport Systems Catapult, Arup, Jacobs, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Living Streets, and Cardiff Civic Society.

Early drafts concentrated on innovative practices that were not already included in the existing Council Transport Strategy or the Cycling Strategy.

As drafts progressed, a team of Council officers and Cynnal Cymru staff was formed under the leadership of Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Wild. This team began to blend existing Cardiff Council transport research and strategies – material that had informed the previous Transport Strategy and the Cycling Strategy for example – with new information gleaned from the research. The team included representatives from the Transport department, Economic Development, City Services, Shared Regulatory Services, Research and Customer Services, Policy, and Operations, and was chaired by Andrew Gregory Director of City Operations. The end result ensured innovative practices from other cities was combined with existing strategic and policy commitments and an awareness of emerging trends to meet the specific needs of Cardiff.

Following publication, we worked with the Transport Team, Customer Services, The Cardiff Research Centre and FOR Cardiff to undertake a variety of consultations events and communications. These included an event for businesses and targeted engagement of specific locations.

In May, we helped the Council’s policy team to stage a presentation by the leaders of Cardiff’s Public Service Board.

This was to mark the milestone of the Cardiff Well-being Plan’s publication and consultation. At a city centre event, the leader of Cardiff Council, Huw Thomas, was joined by Maria Battle – Chair of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board – and South Wales Police Commissioner, Alun Michael. We secured the contribution of Cardiff citizens who spoke about their experiences and hopes for the future. These stories related to education, youth services, Living Wage, health and social care. We provided the compere role for the event and managed the Q and A session as well as leading on the promotion, invitations and social media.

What We Have Learned

We now have a much deeper understanding of the way that local authorities work, particularly the relationship between officers and elected members within a given policy portfolio. This work has enabled us to broaden our knowledge of the sustainable development aspects of transport, and the dynamic relationship between road use, air quality, carbon emissions, road safety, health, technology and the economy. We have consolidated research, facilitation, presentation and communication skills, adding valuable experience to our core offer. We would be confident to take on similar work for new clients, working with them as partners, as we are continuing to do with Dwr Cymru-Welsh Water and others.

If you have communication, consultation and engagement needs and feel that we could help then contact lynsey@cynnalcymru.com

If you want help with research, analysis, facilitation and presentation of data, then contact rhodri@cynnalcymru.com