At the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 15th November 2017, Kirklees councillors are discussing the next steps for the Kirklees Democracy Commission.
A cross-party motion has been proposed. Here are the full details, which includes a separate debate about votes at 16 and some changes to the wording of four of the recommendations from the Kirklees Democracy Commission’s full report. Councillors are also proposing that a cross-party working group should be formed to take the work forwards, and that the Head of Democracy will have strategic responsibility for progressing the work.
Agenda Item 13 – Cross-party motion:
That Council undertake a separate debate and vote on recommendation 18 as set out in Appendix 1 in respect of votes at 16 immediately on the conclusion of the rest of the debate.
That Council agrees the strategic outcomes and underpinning recommendations set out in Appendix 1 to the report subject to the changes set out below:
1. Kirklees Council should make Active Citizenship a shared strategic priority and use this as a basis for developing a new democratic relationship between all Kirklees citizens and the state.
2. Kirklees Council should ensure that schools play a central role as local democratic hubs as part of the delivery of an Active Citizens Strategy. This should involve designing (and putting into practice) a range of approaches which will create pathways for young citizens to become involved in civic society, including raising awareness about being a councillor. These could include:
• Designing local democracy resources for Kirklees schools to be used in the context of civic education.
• Strengthening the links between local councillors and the schools in their wards through programmed “school surgeries” as part of citizenship education.
• Working with the National Citizen Service to develop a mentoring scheme, to be piloted in Kirklees.
• Working with the Local Government Association (LGA) to develop a young councillor “apprenticeship” scheme, to be piloted in Kirklees.
• Working with the University of Huddersfield and local colleges to develop a structured approach to work placement.
• Developing a mentoring scheme between Kirklees Councillors and Kirklees Youth Councillors;
• Kirklees Council should work with local businesses to develop the idea of “Business Citizenship” as part of delivering an Active Citizens Strategy with our partners;
14. Kirklees Council should revisit our approach to consultation. We should place a greater emphasis on appropriate, timely citizen engagement as part of the policy development and decision-making process. We should test this on a pilot basis to begin with, and consider models of good practice from elsewhere.
19. All schools in Kirklees should be encouraged where appropriate to make their premises available to be used as a polling station on the day of an election.
That a cross party working group be established (with a ratio of 3:2:1:1) to facilitate delivery of future work.
That the Head of Democracy, in accordance with the Commission’s expectations, has strategic responsibility for progressing the work required to deliver the intended outcomes and underpinning recommendations.