On the 13th October 2011, the Boundary Commission for Scotland (BCS) launched a consultation on its proposals for UK Parliament constituencies, using a fully automated and modernised public consultation process.
The constituency boundary review has attracted a significant amount of political, public and media attention. The recommended changes, which implement a reduction in the number of Scottish constituencies from 59 to 52, include substantial change to most constituencies, resulting in uncertainty about the future constituencies of several high-profile Members of Parliament (including Danny Alexander and Charles Kennedy). It was essential for the BCS to ensure the accessibility, transparency and integrity in its consultation approach. The Commission appointed Informed Solutions to tailor its Consultation Platform and provide this as a secure Cloud based service, delivering an innovative online solution that is now enabling BCS to manage the public consultation flexibly and conveniently.
Consequently, for the first time in any UK parliamentary boundary review process, members of the public are able to query and assess the proposed boundary changes via an interactive mapping interface and postcode gazetteer, as well as directly provide their feedback through an intelligent, secure on-line portal.
Hugh Buchanan, Secretary of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: “Informed Solutions’ Consultation Portal and expertise in automating exacting workflows has modernised the Commission’s approach and provided unprecedented engagement with the public. We are very pleased with the flexibility, responsiveness and performance of the [on-line consultation portal] service and are impressed with the ease with which Informed Solutions has commissioned the service for us and deployed it securely on the Cloud.”
Seth Finegan, Informed Solutions’ Director of Consulting Services and the Project Director for the engagement, said: “Our Consultation Portal is ideally suited to modernising and making more cost effective complex, rigorous and sensitive public consultation processes, and in particular those that have area, boundary or other location based characteristics. Providing an interactive, on-line service encourages greater public engagement and high quality responses; very significantly increases the performance of the process whilst reducing the administrative burden; and in very practical terms offers exceptional levels of flexibility and value for money because it is based on open source and Cloud services.”
Informed Solutions is Europe’s foremost independent consultancy in geographic and location based decision support systems and a leading Specialist Systems Integrator ( www.informed.com).
The Boundary Commission for Scotland
The Boundary Commission for Scotland is a public body responsible for reviews of constituencies and regions for the Scottish Parliament, and constituencies in Scotland for the UK Parliament.