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Consultation is technically any activity that gives local people a voice and an opportunity to influence important decisions. It involves listening to and learning from local people before decisions are made or priorities are set. The term is usually applied when talking about activities where different parties are trying to reach an agreement or for more formal or detailed pieces of work aimed at finding out what residents think about significant changes or proposals that affect them, such as plans to close schools, regenerate or redevelop a local area, or planning applications.

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