Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we doing this?

Through this deep listening and engagement exercise, we intend to truly hear what people care about, so that we can co-design better, and make more collaborative arrangements to support our local communities. 

What are we hoping to get out of it?

The aim is to have a transparent, honest, and open conversation, accessible by all parts of the community, that will discuss needs, hopes and aspirations for the future - and set out how the council, alongside its partners and local people can work together to help people to live their best life. 

How will we use people’s contributions?

We will use the feedback to help shape how we, at West Northants Council engage, involve and interact with local people and communities. Our employees working across the newly formed council will also be given the opportunity to reflect upon how we can better meet the needs of local people and communities. Moreover, staff will engage on the subject to envision a working environment where all staff actively and consistently live the Council’s THRIVE values (Trust, High-performing, Respect, Innovate and Empower.)


We are committed to:

  1. Developing neighbourhood strategies that are more aligned to local need and help create more joined-up sustainable living
  2. helping to create a charter between the council and local residents 
  3. co-creating the Council’s way of working, living the values and demonstrating the right behaviours and 
  4. embedding the capability to carry out similar conversations with sections of the community in the future.

The conversation topics:

Through this conversation, we want to ask questions that everybody can answer, whether you are answering mainly as someone who lives or works locally, represent a local business, education provider or organisation. We have made our questions general to encourage people to share their ideas and generate discussion between people. 

Are the questions relevant to me?

We want to hear from people who care about making West Northamptonshire a place where everyone can thrive and so anyone who lives or works locally can take part. We have also targeted a wide range of local people and residents through a range of organisations, networks, and groups to take part in this conversation. It is important that our new plans represent people from different backgrounds and with different experiences of West Northamptonshire. We ask that participants are 13 and over.

I’m a member of Council Staff. Can I join in?

Council staff are welcome to take part however we would like to remind you that there will a separate conversation in April to discuss the staff experience and to talk about how we live our THRIVE values. You absolutely can still take part in this conversation, but it is about what we need to do make this a place where everybody can thrive and as such is focussed on the perspective of those who live or are employed in this geographical area and how the council can support people to live their best lives.

How can I find out about what happens next?

When you join the conversation, there will be an option to sign up to hear more on this topic by email. It is important to us that as we produce local plans that you are able to co-design these with us, we will use our engagement platform to give you the opportunity to help shape the plans and use our website to share our progress and final versions.

I want to know more, how can I get more information?

If you would like more information, please contact

What is an online conversation?

The Clever Together platform operates like an online virtual room or discussion forum that you can join from any internet-connected device, at any time to suit you. It has been designed to be a psychologically safe place to share your opinions and have your voice heard. Our online conversation is intended to be an open and transparent place to post comments and suggestions anonymously, vote to support the ideas of others, or simply read what is being shared.

When is the online conversation open?

Our online conversation is open 24/7 for 4 weeks until the 27th March so you can vote, comment, and add your own ideas from your phone, tablet or computer.

What can I post?

We welcome all ideas, whether they are potentially controversial or about difficult topics. However, we expect you to be respectful with your contributions.

We have two simple rules, we do not allow:

  1. Personal comments ­– either naming or criticising individuals, or comments which make identifying individuals possible. These will either be amended to anonymise the individual or hidden completely from view.  
  2. Abusive or offensive comments. Clever Together will remove such comments and email the author through the platform if this is the case. This email will be sent via the Clever Together system, and they (including the Trust) will not know who you are.

Do I have to make comments or post ideas?

No. You can simply log in and read the discussion or use the 'like' and 'dislike' buttons to submit your views. We believe that everyone in the trust has something to contribute.

Is this really anonymous?

Yes, your name or identifying information will not appear with any of your ideas, comments or votes on the platform. This means your ideas will be treated by other participants based on what you say, not on who you are. 

How is the online conversation moderated?

This online conversation is being facilitated independently by Clever Together. In order to facilitate the conversation, the facilitation team may need to:

  • Move some ideas to other sections of the conversation, if that’s where they more logically fit.
  • Split some ideas that discuss multiple topics in one post. If your post contains more than one idea, the facilitation team may choose to break the post up into multiple posts. 
  • Deal with inappropriate contributions. If contributions are reported to the facilitators as being inappropriate or offensive, the moderators may remove an idea or comment. 

 How is the online conversation analysed? 

All contributions, no matter how large or small, will be read and analysed by Clever Together. They will then develop an iterative coding frame and use qualitative thematic analysis to identify key themes and trends. Clever Together will produce a summary report to represent the views from the online conversation, highlighting main areas of discussion and strength of opinion. 

Who can I contact if I am having difficulty?

The platform is provided by our independent partners, Clever Together. If you’re having difficulty using the platform, please email them directly at - they will respond promptly. If you would like to know more about Clever Together, please visit the Clever Together website

What will Clever Together do with my personal data?

Clever Together will only use your personal data in relation to this conversation. It will never be passed on to parties not involved in the project and it will never be used for any other purpose. Clever Together will delete personal data they hold about you within 30 days of project completion. 

This platform is covered by Clever Together's privacy policy.  You may request deletion of your data by emailing at any time.