More details

The following FAQs gave information to people applying to be a member of the Panel:

What is Cheshire East People's Panel on the Cost Of Living?

The Cheshire East People's Panel on the Cost Of Living will be a diverse sample of 20-24 residents who will meet over two weekends in October. The purpose is for residents to discuss and decide upon recommendations to ease the effects of the increasing cost of living. Members of the People's Panel will receive balanced information from different speakers. We will deliver the final recommendations to Cheshire East Council to respond to.

The People’s Panel is supported by independent, experienced facilitators and sponsored by Cheshire East Council and the not-for-profit campaign and research organisation Positive Money. 

To thank Panel members for their time and participation all participants who attend both weekends will receive £150 worth of Love2Shop vouchers. We will cover Travel costs to venues and provide refreshments. Panel members will need to factor in time to travel to the venue when making their weekend plans.

When is it?

Weekend 1:

Dates: 15 - 16 October.

Times: Saturday 10am - 4pm. Sunday 10am - 12.30pm.

Location: At a venue near Alderley Edge*

Weekend 2:

Dates: 22 - 23 October.

Times: Saturday 10am - 12.30pm. Sunday 10am - 4pm.

Location: At a venue in Holmes Chapel*

*Selected panel members will be given all the venue location details.

How does it work?

There are two stages: first a whole borough online discussion via an open survey in September and then the People's Panel meeting face-to-face in October. 

In the first stage all residents of Cheshire East are invited to “Share their views” on the open survey on our secure Polis crowd wisdom website. This helps gather residents’ views and ideas to feed into the People’s Panel.

In the second stage the Panel will be drawn from the pool of everyone who has applied to take part. During the panel sessions they will hear from speakers with different kinds of expertise, ask questions, discuss and make final recommendations. 

Why is it happening?

Cheshire East Council wants residents to have a greater say in how local issues are tackled. The purpose of this panel is:

Cheshire East Council are partnering with not-for-profit civil society organisation, Positive Money for this project. Positive Money believe in promoting Participatory Democracy which is all about involving local people in decision making.

How can I take part?

To take part you just need to be willing to share your views and opinions and listen to those of other people. You don't need to have special skills or knowledge.

About the rising cost of living

As the Local Government Association says, “The rising costs of fuel, food and other essentials are combining with existing disadvantage and vulnerability within our communities to put many households at greater risk of both immediate hardship and reduced opportunity and wellbeing.” According to the Big Issue, we are now in "a situation in which the cost of everyday essentials like groceries and bills are rising faster than average household incomes." 

The rising cost of living is affecting people everywhere, and some people much more than others. It’s time for our community to come together to discuss the solutions we need to address the challenges we’re facing.

What is a People’s Panel?

A People’s Panel is like a smaller version of a Citizens Assembly. A diverse group of ordinary citizens comes together to learn about and discuss a particular issue and decide upon recommended solutions together. It normally involves independent facilitators, a panel of experts, and a commissioning body like a local authority. 

How are the People's Panel members selected?

Everyone who fills in the form to apply to take part in both weekends of the People's Panel goes into the selection process and on 6th October 24 names will be drawn using a stratified selection tool to make sure the People's Panel represents a wide range of views in Cheshire East. 

Who are Positive Money?

Positive Money is a campaign and research organisation who work to reimagine our economic system so that it’s more democratic, sustainable and fair. They believe that democracy can be done better than how it’s currently done in the UK, and want to support communities to be the ones driving the changes in their communities. Positive Money is a non-for-profit civil society organisation that’s existed since 2010.

How will my data be used if I apply to be part of the People's Panel?

Your data will be stored securely and used only for the purpose and duration of this project. Only the independent facilitators, Cheshire East Council and Positive Money will have access to the data, who will contact you only to communicate about this project. In February 2023, when this project draws to a close, your data will be deleted. 

Both Positive Money and Cheshire East Council are committed to protecting the personal information they hold of people taking part in the People's Panel. You can read the full privacy statements of each organisation here:

Privacy Policy - Positive Money (external link)

Cheshire East privacy notices