At our report launch event on 30th June 2017 we’re looking forwards to the practical work of redesigning our local democracy. We have a selection of practical workshops, each hosted by someone who has given evidence to the Kirklees Democracy Commission:
Young citizens – Room OA4/02
Hosted by Michelle Ross and Kirklees Youth Council
We’re seeking to redesign local democracy for the future and we’re strongly aware of the responsibility that we have to our young citizens. We want to develop an environment and a culture across Kirklees that nurtures young people’s interest in local democracy – and we think that schools and youth organisations should play a central role. Join us to hear what’s already happening now and share ideas for the future.
Michelle helps young people to gain skills, confidence and knowledge so that they can make their voices heard on issues that are important to them and can contribute to local democracy in Kirklees. Youth councillors have been part of the Democracy Commission every step of the way, helping us look to the future.
An informed local democracy:
“Who knows wins” – Room OA7/29
Hosted by Joe Mitchell, Democracy Club
How do we learn about local elections? Do we understand what is at stake? Do we know who the candidates are and where they stand? Democracy Club crowdsources data and creates information to try to help voters. We believe that better informed voters take better decisions that benefit everyone. Please join us to discuss how to help voters through the election process.
Joe thinks that digital tools can begin to empower everyone – even those who don’t use them directly – to make democracy better. He’s part of Democracy Club, a network of volunteers who are working to solve the practical issues that prevent people from voting and from getting involved in democracy.
Valuing our citizens – Room OA7/26
Hosted by Sarah Allan, Involve
We need to have a much stronger focus on genuine dialogue and engagement as part of our changing relationship with citizens and communities across Kirklees. Consultation is not currently enabling or facilitating active citizens – in fact, it appears to be having the opposite effect. Come and hear about different ways of involving people in decision-making and share your own ideas.
Sarah’s work at Involve is about connecting people with politics and decision-making, giving us a greater say over decisions that affect our lives. Sarah gave evidence to the Kirklees Democracy Commission about the importance of people’s local knowledge for informing local decision-making.
Connected councillors – Room OA7/28
Hosted by Cllr David Harrington, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Our citizens value the role of councillor, although many don’t fully understand what councillors do. It’s clear that citizens want more direct contact with their local councillors. Come and share your experiences and hear some examples of how councillors can use digital technologies, mixed with offline activities, to help connect with citizens.
David represents Ingleby Barwick, which is believed to be the largest private housing estate in western Europe. He was the first Ward Councillor in the North-East to use social media as a means of engagement and was awarded Online Councillor of the Year in 2013 for his innovative use of Skype and Twitter.
Networked citizenship – Room OA7/02
Hosted by Neil McInroy, CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies)
A strong local democracy grows from the connections between people. Networked citizenship is about local communities, social organisations and businesses working together, to create social good through collaboration. How can we develop this idea to support communities and encourage collaboration with active citizens in Kirklees?
Neil runs CLES – the Centre for Local Economic Strategies – a charity and a “think and do” tank. CLES find ways for local economies to work effectively for local people and for social inclusion. Neil gave evidence to the Democracy Commission about how citizens, business and communities can create great places together.
Please come along to hear some new ideas, meet some of the people who are already doing democracy differently elsewhere, ask questions, and take part in our practical workshops to bring the ideas in our report to life.