The Consultation Institute provides a useful glossary entry on “consultation”
It says consultation is “The dynamic process of dialogue between individuals or groups, based upon a genuine exchange of views and with the objective of influencing decisions, policies or programmes of action”
The quote says “genuine exchange” – how often have we been involved in consultation where there has been a “genuine exchange”. One area where we could improve the relationship with local residents is by making that extra effort to go back and inform local people about the results of the consultation. This goes beyond a “you said, we did” press release; it requires time and patience, but the benefit is that local people will feel their voice is being heard.