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NPT Citizens’ Panel

NPT Citizens’ Panel has been set up to represent the diverse population of Neath Port Talbot and to hear the views of as many different people as possible to ensure we represent the local demographics of the county borough. 

The panel is currently made up of 450 local residents, from across Neath Port Talbot County Borough who have agreed to give their views on a number of topics. Panel members share their views by completing online surveys. 

The Panel is open to residents of Neath Port Talbot aged 16 and over. The purpose is to:

  • Make it easier for Neath Port Talbot Residents to give feedback to the council on its work and to contribute to policy and service development and change.
  • Actively involve residents in decision making at a very early stage, so they help shape proposals before these go out to wider public consultation
  • Develop a mechanism for obtaining quick and reliable feedback from residents about proposals and new ideas
  • Help the council to understand residents’ perspectives to help inform decisions

The Citizens’ Panel does not replace formal consultations, but will complement them and provide an opportunity for the people of Neath Port Talbot to influence some of the decisions that affect them.

All NPT council services can apply to include questions within the regular surveys of the full Citizens’ Panel which take place up to 12 times per year.

A steering group will consider all applications and make a decision on whether or not questions can be included. This is to ensure that questions are in keeping with the purpose of the panel and that they will help the council to meet our obligations under the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, – i.e. they demonstrate they wish to involve residents in decision making at an early stage (so the feedback will help shape proposals before they go out for wider public consultation), and wish to obtain quick and reliable feedback from residents on proposals and/or new ideas.

By applying to include questions in the Citizens’ Panel survey, the service must agree to provide feedback to the panel on how their responses helped to shape service or policy development / change.

The questionnaire length, and how well the topics fit into the consultation programme as a whole will also be taken into account in order to avoid respondent fatigue from the Panel.

The steering group will be a virtual group, set up as an MS team. All applications, discussions and requests for further information will be conducted via the Team. The steering group will make decisions in relation to the subject matter for each questionnaire (not on every question).

Please note, Citizens’ Panel surveys will be issued once a month on average. The whole process from application to responses being returned is likely to take around 6 weeks.

Communications business partners, when attending monthly SMT meetings for their relevant directorates, should raise requests for questions to the Citizen’s Panel as a standing item.


Step 1: All applications must be made using the form (see link). The form doesn’t ask for the service to specify questions, but about the matter to be consulted on, the information that the service is aiming to find out from the panel, and how the feedback will be used.

Step 2: Once submitted the form will be checked to make sure all of the required information is included and then forwarded to the panel for a decision. In the event that information is missing, the form will be returned to the applicant with a request for further details.

Step 3: the panel will consider the request, and the service will be informed of whether the application has been successful.

Step 4: If the application is successful - the Corporate Engagement & Employee Communications Officer, with advice from social research practice ORS, will work with the service to develop suitable questions in order to meet their requirements If the application is unsuccessful - the Corporate Engagement & Employee Communications Officer will discuss with the service alternative options for helping them obtain the necessary feedback on the matter concerned

Step 5: the questions will be included within one of the regular surveys of the full Citizens’ Panel

Step 6: after the survey has ended, the service will be provided with a summary report of all of the responses to their questions.

Step 7: feedback on how the survey responses were used to help shape service or policy development or change will be provided to the Citizens’ Panel members.

In addition to including questions in one of the regular surveys of the full Citizens’ Panel, there are also a number of other options for engaging the panel in specific activities. These include:

  • commissioning special surveys of the whole panel, or targeted to specific groups by, for example, age, location, gender etc. 
  • recruiting panel members to attend focus groups or workshops for more qualitative consultation
  • 'market testing' proposals, services developments or draft documents.

The above functions are not included as part of the existing contract with ORS and are likely to incur and additional charge which must be borne by the applicant. Any additional activity as outlined above must also be agreed by the steering group.