BMG Research is currently refreshing the Birmingham People’s Panel on behalf of Birmingham City Council.  More than 500 new members will be recruited to the panel from Birmingham’s 16+ population through a combination of postal and face to face methodologies. The panel is also open to those who wish to join online at www.jointhepeoplespanel.co.uk

What is the People’s Panel?

The Birmingham People’s Panel was first set up in 1999 as a way of involving the citizens of Birmingham in the development of Council priorities and policies.  It consists of between 1,000 and 2,000 residents who represent a broad cross-section of the Birmingham public.

The People’s Panel is extremely valued by the Council and its decision-making partners, who see it as a vital sounding board.  Over the years it has been consulted on a wide range of issues from council tax to local leisure facilities, recycling and community safety.  The Panel has been instrumental in the development of important and far reaching Council policies.

What is involved?

Members of the People’s Panel receive one or two questionnaires per year. These capture views on issues such as the need for service improvements, satisfaction with Council services, and what residents feel are the priorities for the city.

Members do not need any knowledge of Council services to answer these questions, and all questionnaires are set out clearly and in plain English.  Each questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete and pre-paid envelopes are provided for their return.  Panel members may also be invited to participate in informal discussions, workshops, telephone interviews and other forms of consultation.

Panel members receive feedback on the results of surveys and how they made a difference. Members tell us that they really enjoy taking part.

BMG are also currently updating the information held on the panel’s existing membership, through a separate exercise. All panel refreshment exercises have the aim of keeping a panel engaged, responsive, and representative across key demographic criteria. Refreshments also mean that over time, more members of the community are given the important opportunity of having their say.

For more information about this or how BMG Research can support you in developing a citizens panel please contact  Ceri Matthias or Gemma Baker on Tel: 0121 333 6006 or email ceri.matthias@bmgresearch.co.uk