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Knowing Localities Making use of the Stakeholder Interview Series Robin Mann and Alex Plows School of Social Sciences 2 nd March 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Knowing Localities Making use of the Stakeholder Interview Series Robin Mann and Alex Plows School of Social Sciences 2 nd March 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowing Localities Making use of the Stakeholder Interview Series Robin Mann and Alex Plows WISERD@Bangor, School of Social Sciences 2 nd March 2011

2 Outline Creating the Stakeholder Interview Series Connecting the data to themes of interest – 2 case examples: – 1. Citizen Engagement – 2. Welsh Language WISERD Associates areas of interest and questions of access

3 ‘Knowing Localities’ Core project of the WISERD Localities Programme Providing a unique insight into stakeholders’ perspectives on localities, local knowledge Informed by inter-disciplinary debates around socio-spatial relations, policy spaces, impact of devolution at local and sub- national levels Data integration, understanding stakeholders use of data and methods, identifying data needs Informing a stakeholder-led research agenda through identifying key research issues and gaps (to be carried out in WISERD phase 2, 2012-)

4 Research overview 122 Interviews Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff 7 Unitary Authorities (Corresponding to areas within the Wales Spatial Plan 2008) 2 tiers – Tier 1: UA senior management (matched) – Tier 2: managers in other bodies with responsibility for service delivery Across 8 themes: – Education & Young People – Crime, Public Space & Policing – Health, Wellbeing & Social – Language, Citizenship & Identity – Employment & Training – Environment, Tourism & Leisure – Economic Development & – Regeneration – Housing & Transport

5 Matching Key methodological strategy to match role/department at tiers 1 and 2 level across UAs Allowing for compare/contrast across: locality contexts; policy remits; discourses of place (autonomous, bordered, connected, relational) Organisational asymmetry, particularly tier 1 Tier 2 relatively matched as regionally located national bodies (e.g. Careers Wales North East, South West) Elongated process

6 Tier 1 (Local Authorities) Tier 2 (Public bodies, partnerships, consortia) Total North Wales (Bangor) 122436 Central/West Wales (Aberystwyth) 162137 Heads of the Valleys (Cardiff) 192948

7 Crime, public space and policing 11 Youth Offending Teams; Community Safety Partnerships Economic development and regeneration 19 UA Depts., Regional Economic Forums, Communities First Education and young people28 UA Depts., Education and Young Peoples Partnerships Employment and training3Careers Wales Environment, tourism and leisure 23 UA Depts., Countryside Council for Wales, Parks, Museums Health, well-being and social care 16 UA Depts., Health Boards, CAFCASS Housing and Transport14 UA Depts., Regional Transport Consortia, Housing Associations Language and cultural heritage9 Welsh Language Board, UA Cultural Service Depts., Arts Council

8 Interview schedule Key topics: Role, biography, defining success, areas (remit and geography) of responsibility (what’s your patch?) Current agenda, issues at stake, resources, cuts Partnerships, working relationships, WAG, who sets agendas? Knowledge resources, e.g. local knowledge, professional knowledge, statistical data Knowing locality, knowing people, “good” and “bad” places, people, shared spatial identities, Welsh identities Citizenship engagement, consultation, co-production (citizens- government)

9 Available data 122 individual interview transcripts, available as word documents Very rich data set, over 200 hours of recorded interview data Coded data within Atlas.ti – All 122 interviews coded through development of coding frame based on pre-established research questions (deductive) – Inductive coding ongoing according to researchers’ themes of interest

10 Connecting data to themes of interest Example 1: Citizen knowledge, engagement and participation

11 Citizen knowledge and participation Informed by academic debates (deliberative democracy, ‘upstream’ public engagement, ‘place shaping’) and policy measures, particularly in Wales (‘citizen- centred’ service delivery: Beecham report 2006), specific codes in the data were analysed to look at: How the knowledge that citizens hold, and citizen participation more broadly, is framed by stakeholders How the stakeholders envisage and described citizens participating and making a contribution How knowledges of locality and local knowledge shape practises of citizenship and community participation Differentiating between a variety of typologies of, and rationales for, public engagement/ participation

12 Local Knowledge (1) INT: Do you consider most of your knowledge about your patch has been gained in your professional role or your life here, your personal knowledge? RES:I think it’s a bit of both really. I mean, um, I do go into the community, I do mix in the community, I do go to council - community council meetings, and, er, with being in the job so long, I know most of the (laughter), most of the characters and how people think about it. I know what they think about us, er, I think. Know what I mean? INT:Yeah. RES:So, er, I’ve got an advantage of, of, of that. Er, and with living in a community and when I talk to people, er, within the community, so, and, you know, um, when you’ve been from school, you know people... INT:Yeah. RES:... from all backgrounds, you know.

13 Local Knowledge (2) RES:... I grew up in the area and, you know, many of my recollections were of sort of slag heaps, coal, you know, the... the real scars of heavy industry right across the area. I just think that, you know, if... these days on occasions I drive, especially if it’s a nice day, if you drive through the three valleys of Blaenau Gwent they... they... you know, they’ve all got a natural back to them which, you know, 15, 20 years ago was sort of masked by... by the scars of the heavy industry so I think they’ve all improved but in particular, the one project that probably springs to mind here is on the back of the... the former steelworks site, we have a project called the... the Works Development which is singularly, I believe anyway, the largest reclamations, land reclamations scheme anywhere in, err, in Europe, both in terms of the size at the time and in terms of the rate of the land reclamation as well.

14 Public engagement eg 1): participatory ‘best practice’, where certain sorts of citizens are seen as holding ‘local and lay’ knowledge and expertise ; and where involvement is envisaged as having a direct policy input at local level RES:[W]e err set up something called the parent network and we call that Llais Rhieni Ceredigion. And we use the parent network as well to consult and particularly plan, you know, sometimes new policies that might be appropriate to consult them with. INT:Right. RES:So that's how we do it. And we encourage err other partners to, to have participation strategies for children and young people as well. And we actually have employed a participation officer that I'm responsible for. INT:Right. RES:So the participation officer would, you know, he'd do all the work, direct work, with youngsters, you know, conferences etc. We're also aiming try and urge other people to develop their participation err protocols. That's more of an expectation.

15 Public engagement eg 2): Top- down consultation, where an identified set of objectives (closure) has already been decided upon, and where consultation is viewed as a means of ‘rolling out’ policy, rather than an opportunity for policy shifts via citizen input RES:... we’ve already... closed one [swimming pool] this year and it caused a huge amount of political furore,... I’m now worried that it was like oh we did that once and we... you know, and we had such a rough time over it... we’re never going near it again… my worry is that... you know, that... that experience has... has scarred the decision makers beyond belief, and... and so we won’t be able to do the changes……..I think everybody recognises that, it’s much more political round here than... where I come from….and there is a completely different... culture involved in that….It doesn’t help mind you…, like this... closing the swimming pool…, it had such a lot of fuss about it that it perhaps puts [elected members] off making another [decision]…

16 So- interviews provided data to show that… Citizen participation is a mixed bag, with a confusion between typologies and rationales-means and ends-, which are all understood differently in different contexts by different people (policy makers, senior council officials, local citizens). Thus clarifying that there are different envisaged aims and outcomes in different contexts, could facilitate better practices simply through better communication and identifying which sorts of engagement are actually ‘on the table’ for participants. This clarity will be particularly important if citizens are to be genuinely included in place- shaping and service delivery participatory processes. Many of our interviewees did set great store by ‘local’ and ‘lay’ knowledge, an important basis for public participation. Findings informing academic debates- papers in progress

17 Connecting data to themes of interest Example 2: Welsh Language

18 Analytical procedure undertaken: – Key words (e.g. “language”; “speakers/speaking”; “bilingual”) entered into Atlas search tool – Extracts from this search were entered into a Welsh Language Code – Producing 160 pages (62,697 words) of text

19 Four thematic areas identified How national bilingual policies might be interpreted and enacted differently in contrasting localities Understanding the value placed upon Welsh Language Ability within Local Government/Public bodies Community Development strategies for developing and promoting Welsh from the “bottom up” Demographic change and migration

20 Negotiating bilingual policies in practice Gwynedd Council, is obviously, does all its business through the medium of Welsh, all our staff have to be able to speak Welsh, so we do recruit staff that don’t, but then they have to train...and then that's the difficult one, cos some can learn languages easily so you don' you do have some that really, yes might have done the course but are not really...never going to get on with it,, you know, we tend to run with that really, cos up to - we never have a political complaint about it, but occasionally they happen..but, you know, when you're balancing what we have to do is, we have to recruit, we have to advertise about three times and fail to get somebody, and then we can drop the, the Welsh language. INT:Okay, so you're allowed to do it then? But, you know, when you're desperate for a home carer…you don’t want to advertise three times, you want just to take her (sic.), you know…because she can do everything but she can't speak Welsh, you know, so you think. INT:It's a difficult one, isn't it. Sure, we, we don’t keep to that policy every time, because you've got to deliver the service, haven't you? You know, but I think there'd be a very different opinion by some members to that…so it's difficult

21 Supply and demand in service delivery We make the provision if that provision is taken up but I’m not aware of a ground swell of, of people who, who are coming in saying that ’we would like this but we would like to deliver it in the medium of Welsh’…this metaphoric dividing line between the north and south of the county, south then there is virtually no request for Welsh. And relatively low Welsh speak, spoken. North then yes here is a lot of Welsh spoken and it is the, the first language for a lot people but that doesn’t then translate into a, a serious demand for service delivery, certainly within cultural services, in Welsh. So there is the take up obviously, but it’s not demand made in that sense…but we are in a demand type thing where, where we can we make a provision. (Pembrokeshire Stakeholder)

22 Employment and Welsh Language Skills Value systems – Different value systems were evident in different employment sectors and these translated into seeing different kinds of values in recruiting Welsh speaking staff. Examples – “Local Knowledge” – Getting close to local people, knowing your community – prominent in bodies such as CCW, Parks, Forestry Commission. – “Cultural Awareness” – Arts Council, Cultural Services Depts.

23 “Local Knowledge” “we are very, very much closer to our community because of the language very largely because we employ 96%, I can’t remember what it are but by far the majority are Welsh speakers and, um, most of them come from the area, so they know their patch…and so we are able to be grounded in the community we’re aware of or become aware of what the communities feelings are” “Welsh language skills are far more developed than they used to be…you’ve got to be part of the community you work in”

24 “Cultural Awareness” INT:Do you think people are more particularly interested in the Arts, we’ve talked about this before in Wales? Yeah I think, Welsh speakers in particular I think engage naturally really, it is part of the culture isn’t it more culturally aware I think so I think it makes our job easier. I think what I’m noticing is that it changes I think, people come in and may be there’s more incoming. I think there’s a lot of our brighter young Welsh speakers going to Cardiff, but then they’ve probably always left but they’ve always probably gone to Manchester, Liverpool and London before. More people going to Cardiff I think. And probably staying there for the early parts of their careers I think. As I said they’ve probably always left, and in a way it is perhaps better that we’re actually retaining them in Wales now.

25 Education and social class I think what would be interesting in a way to do a socioeconomic breakdown of the Welsh and English sets in secondary education. Because I think, again it’s anecdotal, through experience, that erm there are more middle class Welsh speakers...than middle class English speakers. By preference, because you know they’re estranged in the secondary school...into the language set. So by, you know if you follow that through then those people that speak Welsh will be more successful in the labour market. It’s whether it’s a linguistic reason or a socioeconomic reason…(Gwynedd stakeholder) There is danger perhaps that the language is increasingly seen as a middle class language…in the stronghold areas like Blannau Ffestiniog, Llangefni and Caernarfon, first language Welsh speakers feel that their Welsh isn’t enough to be able to get jobs in Gwynedd council or in the university. There are lots of Welsh speaking kids that aren’t in Welsh speaking streams, and they’re the groups that perhaps wouldn’t feel confident about using it in a work place (Gwynedd stakeholder)

26 Publications in progress Mann, R. & Plows, A. (forthcoming) ‘East, west and the bit in the middle: Localities in North Wales’ in Knowing Wales: Policy, Places and People University of Wales Press. Burgess, S. & Plows, A. ‘Place Shaping and Geographies of Participation’, submission to Antipode. Jones, L. Mann, R. & Watkin, S. ‘Doing socio-spatial relations: Geographies of patch’ submission to Geoforum. Mann, R. ‘Bilingual policies and local practice’ Plows, A. ‘Participation in Wales: Towards a typology of citizen engagement’

27 Protocols for access to the data set For Associates and thematic group members Meta data set available ‘Cleaned’ (anonymised) copies of transcripts available Subject to protocols: eg, demonstrate targeted use. Protocols available from WISERD

28 Potential use of dataset by Associates Directed research requiring direct access to ‘cleaned’ transcripts subject to protocols Potential for researchers to contact WISERD@Bangor staff with research idea, and to work with us directly (e.g. on joint authored papers), for example we can pull out relevant code retrievals which are more targeted searches through the dataset

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