The prioritisation session is really a sifting and sorting exercise of all the suggestions placed on the model, with the aim of drawing out the main issues in order to identify a list of priorities.
The PFR events will have shown ‘what’ is needed, and the prioritisation session will tell us ‘when’ it is needed. All of the suggestions placed on the model at the PFR events are transferred onto ‘priority’ cards. Again, using visual, hands-on techniques, groups of local residents will work together to prioritise them as high, medium or low.
The prioritising will have shown us ‘when’ the action is needed and the action planning will now show us ‘how’ and ‘who’ can begin to take the ideas to reality. The action planning stage can be done as a continuation to the prioritisation session, or at a separate event. It involves adding time frames, identifying training needs and allocating the actions amongst the group and the ‘outside experts’ supporting them.
It is important to engage with the ‘outside experts’ from their professional fields within a local authority or other agencies from the outset of the process. Having the ‘outside experts’ actually present for the action planning stage is particularly valuable. This is where the partnership working between residents and professionals really begins to develop and it gives residents access to information and advice so that they can make informed choices and decisions. We don’t want broken promises. Instead, we want to end up with an achievable, realistic and deliverable action plan.
The results of this session are developed into an action plan looking at stakeholder involvement, actions and opportunities for progression. For neighbourhood planning projects, this is the stage when the neighbourhood development plan would be created.
At the end of this stage and again depending on the level of support chosen by the client, a final findings report will be produced.