Voice and Influence – A new model for communities of interest

Closed 25 Sep 2017

Opened 31 Jul 2017

Feedback Updated 27 Nov 2017

We Asked

Between 31st July 2017 and the 25th September 2017 Bristol City Council consulted on its plans to change the way it funds Voice and Influence services for protected characteristic communities in Bristol. There were three main changes to the current service;

  • A change from grant funding to a commissioned contract.
  • The inclusion of socially and economic disadvantage communities to the scope of the contract.
  • To have a contract to one organisation rather than a number of forums.

During the 8-week consultation, an event was held that was attended by members of the public, service providers, Council Members and other stakeholders. Officers also attended different meetings, on request, with protected characteristic groups to discuss the draft commissioning plan, the needs assessment and the consultation questions.

You Said

Responses were gathered through an online survey, which could be completed anonymously if preferred.

The survey received 63 responses, using the consultation hub website. We also received 9 responses using email from voluntary sector organisations, and one ward councillor.


We Did

This document describes the comments made during consultation and the Council’s response to them. Where a recommendation has changed because of feedback, this is incorporated in the final commissioning plan. Where feedback has resulted in no changes, the reasons are described.

Results Updated 30 Nov 2017



The Mayor and Bristol City Council are committed to hearing the voices of all our communities in Bristol to influence and shape our decision making and planning for our current and future city. We specifically want to support the participation and hear the views of individuals, communities and organisations that experience social and economic disadvantage and inequality so we can ensure that everyone benefits from the City’s success.

Why We Are Consulting

Bristol City Council - through the Bristol Impact Fund has allocated £392,000 over three years to empower communities to reduce disadvantage and inequality, using influence and participation as a way to achieve this.

Together with the Mayor’s vision for the city, and the Bristol Impact Fund objective to improve inequality and disadvantage, we are asking Bristol citizens what factors the new service needs to address to ensure communities can have a voice that is heard, thereby creating a more equitable city.

Previously Voice and Influence has been provided by separate equality forums governed by specific protected characteristics. We are proposing that in the future one organisation or consortium of organisations develop a voice and influence participation model designed to bring common issues together in a shared approach across equalities groups.  We also want the new service to work with people who experience poverty and disadvantage.

This consultation has three aims: 

  • Decide on the scope of the new service
  • Inform about what the new service should do
  • Determine the most effective way to provide it

What Happens Next

Once the consultation has ended, we plan to commission a piece of work using the feedback from the public.  However, we plan to release the feedback from the consultation survey beforehand early September, date to be decided. 


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Faith and religion
  • Gender issues
  • Older people's issues
  • Race issues
  • Voluntary sector
  • Sexuality issues
  • Democracy and participation