Consultation as Science Communication?

The case of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM).

Project details

Funding body: ESRC

Collaborators: University of Hull and the Science Communication Unit, UWE Bristol

Dates: 2004-2006

Project summary

This project investigated the nature, scope and effectiveness of local government Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) consultation approaches.

The project aimed to develop a model of communication processes used by local authorities in discharging their air quality duties and responsibilities; hence devising a generic model suitable for application to other environmental protection consultation exercises.

The project report concluded that local authorities and their stakeholders' commitment to involve a range of stakeholders in the LAQM consultation process is best enabled via experienced and effective 'local champions' within both the community and the local authority.

Local authorities and their communities should, optimally, be able to access adequate resources to engage in the process levered by relevant funding streams. Perhaps the most critical determinant of 'better practice' in LAQM consultation is the link between consultation and subsequent decisions. Critically, stakeholder engagement should be timely and have the capacity to effect real change via a clear association with the LAQM decision-making process.

The final deliverable of this project was Steps to Better Practice: Guidance for Local Authorities on Local Air Quality Management Consultation (PDF).

Please email Professor James Longhurst at for more details.

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