Help shape the future in trial virtual engagement event

Release Date: 15 June 2020

Residents in Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside are invited to have their say on community issues, feedback their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and share their ideas on local priorities following the impact of the pandemic, in the borough’s first online community engagement meeting.

The Community Conversation is a chance for ward councillors to hear what matters most to residents and businesses and share ideas about the future of local areas. Over the past few years, events have been held in every area across the borough. 

Due to the pandemic, physical events are currently not possible, therefore the Council is trialling online engagement sessions using Zoom. The first trial event will be for residents and businesses in Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside on the July 8 at 6.30pm.

Those who wish to attend can pre-register for the event. Once registered, they will be sent a personal link and will be able to log in and hear from the Leader of the Council and local ward councillors live. 

Attendees will be invited to have their say via video or text chat on what coronavirus has meant for them and their local area and give their ideas on what needs to be done to help the recovery process in Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside.

Should the event be a success, it will be rolled out across the borough in the weeks and months ahead.

Cllr Michael Wilson, Lead Member for Communities, Equalities and the Voluntary Sector said:

“Whilst coronavirus has not gone away, we are certainly thinking to the future. As our businesses start to reopen and some of our children return to school, one thing is clear – the future will not and cannot be the same as it was before.

“Over the past few months we have seen an enormous outpouring of community spirit, with local people coming together to help one another, be it the weekly door step clap, the thousands of rainbows adorning our windows, or the hundreds of people who have come forward to help volunteer to support some of the borough’s most vulnerable people.

“We want to help support this community effort to continue, alongside the Council and its partners. The Council will have to make some important decisions over the next few months, and we want to do it with the community. We also want residents to have the ability to put in place local activities and measures themselves – so we will have a series of grants that will enable that to happen.

“For many people virtual meetings and meet-ups are now second nature. We want to use this opportunity to see if virtual meetings increase and vary the audience at our community conversations. If the trial in Ham is a success we will roll this out across the Borough. We will not let anyone be left behind as we use technology to improve participation, so we always make sure those who cannot access virtual meetings have an opportunity to have their say also".

Residents and businesses in Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside are invited to sign up to attend the event.

The day before the event, all those registered will be sent a link via email with the Zoom log in.

More information about the event, including the agenda, joining instructions and the event etiquette (pdf, 266KB).

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P224/20

Updated: 30 June 2020