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Newsletter, September 2008


Contents this month

Project News

Workstream large scale engagement (Dialogue and Engagements Specialists Team)

The Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre is undertaking in-depth studies of six areas that pose particular challenges when planning and delivering public dialogue. These so-called workstreams are carried out by a team of dialogue and engagement specialists, DbyD’s director Pippa Hyam being one of them. Our workstream focuses on large scale engagement processes.

Mass engagement – deliberative processes that involve large numbers of people – seems to be on the rise, in the UK as well as abroad. We are analysing a number of recent projects, ranging from Defra’s Citizens’ Summit on Climate Change to the European Citizens’ Consultation, in order to get a thorough understanding of the merit of working with masses. We intend to find out in particular what drives policymakers to order for mass engagement and how practitioners deal with the design and delivery of such processes.

We are currently having interviews with key players of seven large scale processes. Results of this workstream and of the other workstreams, which are about issues such as working with the media and the effective use of experts, will be published early 2009. During a workshop in London on 29 October, each of the workstreams will be subject to an in-depth discussion.

EDF Energy Networks – Consultation on the future of electricity distribution networks

EDF Energy Networks operates the three licensed distribution networks that deliver power to homes and businesses in London, the South East and East of England. The company is currently undergoing a Distribution Price Control Review process which will determine the amount of money the company can invest in its networks between 2010 and 2015. Dialogue by Design is working with EDF Energy to deliver the engagement around this process.

Over the last few weeks we have run a series of workshops to complement the online consultation. The three workshops brought together a range of stakeholders to hear presentations and to provide feedback to EDF Energy on the proposals contained within their draft document. The first workshop dealt with the topic of Capacity Headroom – ensuring that the company has the ability to provide enough electricity to meet the needs of increased future demand. The second and third workshops considered EDF Energy’s South East and London Regional Plans and their East of England Regional Plan respectively. All three workshops were characterised by fruitful and constructive discussions which provided EDF Energy with useful input for developing the plans they will submit to their regulator in 2009. In addition as so often happens when we run workshops alongside online consultation, it has the effect of boosting detailed comments to the online consultation process.

The reports from the workshops are available at the consultation website under the Heading ‘Workshops’. The online consultation closes on 28 September.

Thames Water – Price Review (draft five-year plan)

On 11 August 2008 Thames Water published their draft five-year plan. The plan sets out our proposals for work to maintain and improve services, and will ultimately set the prices Thames Water charge their customers from 2010 to 2015.

As reported in one of our previous newsletters, this consultation is accessible from the same web pages as Thames Water’s previous consultation on the draft Water Resources Management Plan. Thames Water’s consultation website allows for multiple consultations to run at the same time and participants can choose which consultations they would like to register for and take part in or to simply review the results of.

The consultation on the draft five-year plan is due to close on 6 November 2008 and can be accessed via the consultation website. The results from the draft Water Resources Management Plan consultation are expected to be released in October 2008.


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