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Wandsworth Night Time Strategy (NTS)

Using Proptech innovation funding, the London Borough of Wandsworth (LBW) has been working with Commonplace to gather community feedback on the draft Night Time Strategy (NTS). This is London’s first-ever nighttime strategy!

Launch date:  20 September 2022

Visitors total: 11,000 (so far!)

Contributions: 1288

Working to create a more streamlined process to showcase data gathered both on and offline, let's take a look at how Wandsworth used Commonplace as part of a full engagement strategy to build and launch their Night Time Strategy. (Everything between 6PM and 6AM)

Wandsworth Night Time Strategy Background

So, how was this Night Time Strategy started? Wandsworth were looking to create a strategic vision to make sure the borough is safe and prosperous during the nighttime hours. There was a big focus on:

  • The safety of women and vulnerable people 
  • How best to support night workers, including people working in entertainment, leisure and hospitality businesses, health care, warehouses, deliveries and offices.  
  • Helping the borough’s night-time economy thrive post-Covid.

Whilst night life is an integral part of London as a city, our purpose for this strategy is much wider. We have sought to understand the intricacies of the night time as it changes and identify services that could be provided or improved.

- Wandsworth Council

To do this, they set out a thorough engagement plan from 2021-2023 which included a multi-stage Commonplace website

Find out more about the plan here!

The desired outcome from the project was to allow for the delivery of a clear summary of each stage of a
consultation through pictures, graphs and copy so the council could present the information back to
the public as a complete project consultation report. 

The first phase of the development of the Night Time Strategy included a range of engagement activities to build their initial consultation. This included a number of in-person meetings and stakeholder panels as well as interviews with business owners to highlight the main themes to cover in the strategy. Engaging young people was crucial so a number of youth clubs and sessions were also visited.

The initial online consultation was held on their website between January and May 2022. 

Thus the first consultation PDF was born.

And this is where Commonplace comes in.

Wandsworth's Commonplace engagement

After this, two interactive Heatmaps were launched where local people could drop a pin and leave a comment. The first covered issues like conditions for night workers as well as economic and cultural developments. It includes ways the council can plan for safety, design, lighting, and transport at night. There was a focus on gathering the voices of young people as well as night-time workers, including ethnic minorities and women (who often have lower-paying night-time jobs). This inclusive focus was sparked by the tragic Sarah Everard killing and LBW wanted their NTS to improve safety and connectivity to public realm spaces.

The second Heatmap had 6,000 businesses plotted so people could see what was available on the high street and when they were open. This was done to understand footfall at night. It’s an example of linking this nighttime strategy with policy design. The council was able to see the quiet spots and create plans to support economic growth.

Wandsworth Interactive Map

We also developed a new ‘import tool’ to capture live feedback from in-person sessions and incorporate it into the final report. This was challenging previously as it had been tricky to collate feedback across multiple formats.

Between consultation stages, a summary was posted using graphs, and infographics to make sure that those engaging could see how their feedback was being considered. Once the process is complete, feedback reports will be shown on the same website so local communities can see exactly how they have been involved.

Once this feedback was collected, it was added to the draft NTS which we displayed as an interactive, digitalised document where people could add further comments.

The New Digital Document

Dashboard (2)

This solution was developed as an alternative to presenting long, often unengaging PDFs. Central Government (who awarded the Proptech funding) has called the digitalised PDF ‘groundbreaking’ and best practice for using tech when engaging with the public on long documents. 

The digitised NTS has different buttons for different chapters, so instead of users having to scroll through a PDF, they can go to any particular section of the strategy. This drove engagement levels by offering an interactive, visual way for communities to share what’s important to them. 

With the interactive document, the council can also directly present results and relevant themes as picked out by the public, for example, the 'young people' section when talking to youth clubs or the 'art and culture' theme when talking to creative organisations. 

As part of this project, we also developed a ‘build your own feedback report’ feature so officers can create bespoke reports by embedding charts and graphs to demonstrate key topics. With these embeddable charts, officers could easily show live, interactive results to stakeholders and the community as well as showcase the work they were doing as a direct result of these responses. 

Seen here:  

Overall, the project received almost 1,300 responses - all used to help shape the final NTS strategy


The results

Now that the Strategy has been launched, the council will produce an action plan and work with partners including Transport for London, the Met Police, businesses and community groups to deliver improvements.  It will also be considered by the council when making planning, highways, community safety and licensing decisions.

The PDF document was successfully used to present the first draft Night Time Strategy for Wandsworth for the project's final consultation before approval and will be used again for the Richmond Night Time Strategy in early 2024. 

Check out the full engagement website here

And if you'd like to hear more about Night Time Strategies or want to discuss your own plan, just book a session with our engagement experts below!

Contact us to find out more