4.1 The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 requires local authorities to consult on their proposed local housing strategy. In addition, the statutory Equality Duty on public bodies requires the involvement, consultation and engagement with as wide a range of local residents as possible. Principles of Inclusive Communication, may be a useful reference: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/09/14082209/0.
4.2 Early engagement with key partners and stakeholders is key to identifying priorities and agreeing, through a range of options, how to deal with the priorities identified. The LHS can also draw on information obtained through local authorities' continuous engagement with residents, through tenants organisations, satisfaction surveys and specific topic consultations.
4.3 The LHS consultation should be conducted using a range of media to ensure engagement with as many local communities, interest groups and individuals as possible and that the make-up of the local population is accurately reflected in the process. It is necessary to recognise that some people's views may not be readily heard through using the traditional engagement methods.
4.4 The LHS should be clear on how representative groups and local people were involved and how this involvement in the process has helped influence the LHS and in particular, the agreed outcomes.
4.5 The Scottish Government strongly advocates a co-production approach to public services wherever relevant. Co-production is a more inclusive process than standard consultation, involving people at a much earlier stage in the development of the strategy. It supports the empowerment of service users and frontline staff, allowing the strategy to be developed `with' and `by' people rather than `for' them.
4.6 Two Co-production pilots with disabled people were conducted in 2010/11 and the pilot evaluation for using Co-production in the development of an LHS is available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/365083/0124090.pdf.