Over 100 of you gave us your thoughts on the service we’ve provided in our first year of operation. We asked our members what you thought of our mailings – Daily News, Policy Briefings – as well as how you use our information, and why you value it. We’ll use this feedback to build on what we’ve delivered over the last year and to make the next twelve months even better.
Every morning over breakfast, thousands of councillors, local government officers, CEOs, TDs, Senators and others receive our roundup of news headlines from across Ireland. We asked our members what they value most about this bulletin – the short answer is brevity, breadth and timing.
In the last 12 months we’ve published 91 policy briefings on topics ranging from looking at the future of dockless bike sharing in cities to exploring the question of directly elected mayors to an analysis of the Marine Spatial Plan. We’ve also briefed extensively on international local government, housing and planning. You told us in the survey that you appreciate how many areas we’ve covered this year. The fact that they’re also relevant to your work and include examples of local government practice from other countries also ranked highly.
We also checked in with members to see what topics you would like to receive policy briefings on. As you might expect planning, housing and homelessness, environmental management, and local government finance were the overall winners here. Brexit and local government, rural communities, new legislation and community development were also suggested by members. We’re working through every suggestion and will use these to inform our briefings programme for the coming year.
This year, we were particularly curious about how people use the wealth of information we send out. Many members have used information in our Daily News or Policy Briefings to write council policies, as well as reach out to other councils who are working on similar projects.
Perhaps most importantly in these challenging times, we also wanted to know if we are saving our members time and money. By providing digested news headlines, flagging up new ideas, sharing examples and summarising lengthy reports, the majority of our members feel that our services save them time and money.
We also asked if the work we do makes our members feel more prepared – to speak with colleagues, with residents and with managers. Over 90% of you felt more prepared to speak with colleagues! Some of you also felt more prepared to talk to residents, the media, elected members, managers, and even spouses!
And finally – a big thanks to everyone who took the opportunity to tell us to ‘keep up the good work’! We’re looking forward to an exciting and far-reaching programme of work over the next year – more on that soon.