The Kirklees Democracy Commission are finding out what we need to know to design democracy for the next generation in Kirklees. We reviewed local and national research to focus the discussion and we have heard from some expert witnesses in a series of public inquiries.
Citizens have taken part in our local democracy roadshow events across Kirklees, shared their views in our e-panel survey, taken part in group discussions and joined the debate online. There have been opportunities for online participation alongside every event, and the public inquiries were webcast live wherever possible.
The debate is focused on three broad themes:
Do you know why we have councillors and what’s involved in the role? Have you noticed that this is changing? What might councillors do differently to help communities do more for themselves? How do you think we can attract the next generation of councillors?
Help us to determine the future role of the councillor in Kirklees and share ideas about how we can support councillors to be strong representatives of their communities.
How do we encourage more people to vote in elections? How can we make better use of digital and mobile technologies to improve registration and voter turnout? What other changes might help?
It would save money for us to elect Kirklees councillors only once every four years, but this would give local residents fewer opportunities to exercise their democratic right. Help us to work out how to get the right balance and how to get more people interested in voting.
How do you think we can improve our local decision-making? Are you clear about how the council makes decisions now? How might regional or more local decisions change things? Do we have the right kind of checks in place? How could we make decisions more open?
Help us to explore whether we’re using the right methods for decision-making now and how we could use new technologies to open up decision-making more in the future.
What happens next?
Everything that we find out will be used to create a public report. The recommendations that we make will be considered at a Full Council meeting in April 2017.