Greater Gwent Citizen’s Panel
The Welsh Government introduced the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act on 6th April 2016, bringing together several existing pieces of legislation. Welsh Government were keen from the outset to hear the views of citizens about the new law and how it is working, so a number of Citizen’s Panels have been developed at a national and regional level. The role of the Citizen Panel is to collect, collate and pass on the views of people affected by the Act to the Welsh Government via the Regional Partnership Board.
What is the Panel?
The Panel was formed in July 2015 and meets every six weeks. The Panel is made up of representatives of citizen’s organisations from across the five localities of Gwent. Members were drawn from a wide range of groups and organisations who all contribute to the work of the Panel. Any individual can also join if they have experience of using, or working with, Health and Social Services. The Lead Engagement Officers of the Health Board and Local Authorities also regularly attend Panel meetings.
Like most new groups, the Panel took some time to settle down, understand the legislation and develop a role. A Chair and Vice Chair were elected who attend the Partnership Board meetings. The Panel regularly invites speakers from the broad field of Social Services to address key issues, gathers citizen’s views and sends representatives to the Regional Partnership Board.
Next steps involve forging relationships with young people to encourage youth engagement.
The Panel rotates its meetings around Gwent to make attendance easier and is keen to attract new members. If you require further information or are interested in joining, please contact CitizensPanel@torfaen.gov.uk