Ideally, residents and the wider community share some ownership of a local council through their active participation in local affairs. It will involve becoming knowledgeable about policies, issues, and initiatives decided at council meetings. An elected councilor may invite residents to represent them on a committee or board. Others may want to nominate themselves for this type of involvement as they have the skills to help with projects such as designing a playground or sorting out recycling collections in the suburb.
Enhancing the legitimacy of decisions and their implementation
It is essential when a new council replaces an existing one. Most boards will engage their communities to develop and implement a plan when a new governing body comes in. It means that the new council needs to ensure that the plan reflects community concerns and values and has its unique vision for how the neighborhood will develop.
Building a culture of trust, recognition, and understanding in Council decision making
The new council does not want to spend too much time developing a new plan. The commission wishes to deliver results to the community, meaning they need to know the key players in their communities. They need feedback about how decisions are made, integrated into the budget, and implemented. Otherwise, it will be harder for them to decide how resources can best be allocated among different projects and programs.
Helping build community capacity
Local government is a joint exercise that involves deciding on priorities, formulating plans and policies, and developing implementation strategies. Councils must have community members and stakeholders at all decision-making process levels. It will help them effectively communicate their goals to residents, who are essential partners in developing council policies and procedures for the future. The outcome should result in better neighborhood improvements, a better quality of life, and a more active community life.
Community engagement is about building relationships and collaborations among communities, councils, and individuals to foster a sense of belonging in the community. Communities are made up of people who have various skills to offer. Councils can use them to promote a better understanding of the concerns and aspirations of residents and their own opinion on how they think the neighborhood can be improved.