Calderdale residents are being encouraged to actively participate in the improvement of their local area by joining a volunteer panel designed to provide feedback on Council services and plans. The initiative, known as Talkback, has been in place since 2006 as a means for the Calderdale Council to gather the views and opinions of local people.
The Talkback panel consists of volunteers who partake in surveys and focus groups on various local issues. By volunteering their time and insights, panel members assist the Council in gaining a better understanding of the concerns and priorities of the residents, thus facilitating improvements.
At present, Talkback boasts an impressive membership of 300 individuals from across Calderdale. However, the Council is now seeking to expand the panel to reflect the diverse communities within the area. Their aim is to ensure that the panel represents a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
Adrian Paffett, a member of the Talkback panel, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I retired to Calderdale to be near my daughters and grandchildren and fell in love with the area. Joining the panel gives fantastic insight into what’s happening and planned for the area and what all the wonderful people are up to.”
Councillor Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, extended her gratitude to the current Talkback members, acknowledging their valuable contributions to shaping life in Calderdale. She then invited interested individuals to join the panel, emphasising their ability to make a significant difference. Councillor Lynn encouraged potential volunteers to select surveys that align with their interests and vocalize their concerns, allowing the Council to develop new plans and projects that better meet the needs of the communities.
The Council aims to involve as many individuals as possible and aims to ensure that the Talkback panel truly represents the wonderfully diverse communities of Calderdale. To achieve this, they have launched a recruitment campaign aligned with their Vision 2024 for Calderdale. By offering everyone a voice in the effort to make Calderdale an even better place to live, the Council hopes to foster inclusivity and community involvement.
Past survey topics have covered various areas, including health, climate action, housing needs, children’s centres, cycling in parks and moorland, as well as arts and culture.
Residents of Calderdale who are over 18 years of age are welcome to apply for membership in the Talkback panel. The Council particularly encourages individuals under 35 and those residing in north Halifax, Park Ward, Pellon, Warley, and Rastrick to join, as it is essential to represent the entire Calderdale community.
For additional information and to join the panel, please visit the official Calderdale Council website at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/consultation-and-feedback/calderdale-citizens-panel.