Here’s our timeline of what’s happening when:

Recent activities

June 2019 – How we can best work together to make our local places better?

We’re working with local citizens and the New Citizenship Project to explore how we can change the relationship between Kirklees Council and citizens, so that we can work together better in our local places. We’ve started with some joint workshops in Ashbrow and Fieldhead.

How can we best work together in Ashbrow?
How can we best work together in Fieldhead?

May 2019 – Growing Great Places

We’ve launched Growing Great Places, our civic crowdfunding programme in partnership with Spacehive, to support citizens and organisations who have great ideas about making our local places even better. We’ve pledged £50k of funding in the first year, and we’re supporting local people to run successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Growing Great Places

March 2019 – How good is our place?

Following our successful pilot in Golcar, we’ve begun working with citizens, colleagues, councillors and local organisations to use the “Place Standard” as a way of having conversations about our local places. This is part of our new approach to citizen engagement, which we’re developing based on what citizens told the Kirklees Democracy Commission.

How good is our place?

February 2019 – Democracy Seekers

We’ve started encouraging Kirklees citizens to become Democracy Seekers, to help improve our democratic information, so that we can grow a stronger local democracy for everyone.

Democracy Seekers

Previous activities

October 2018 – Local Democracy Week

We were delighted to welcome some new Local Democracy Week partners. Together we hosted 18 public events and ran some local campaigns.

Local Democracy Week 2018
Face to face with our councillors and officers

October 2018 – Putting councillors at the heart of what we do

Councillors have a unique role in connecting us to our communities. Yet the Democracy Commission’s work has shown us that the valuable role of councillor is often misunderstood, by both our citizens and our staff. We’re working to change the culture of our council, to put councillors at the heart.

Putting councillors at the heart of what we do

September 2018 – Batley 150

We’ve been working with the Batley 150 volunteer network to celebrate the the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Batley Borough Council. Activities have included a touring exhibition, lots of work by volunteers with local schools, and the restoration of Batley’s historic charter.

Batley 150

August 2018 – Growing a stronger youth council

We’ve been supporting a group of Young Commissioners to celebrate the first ten years of Kirklees Youth Council and make recommendations about the future. Over 1,500 young people have taken part in the Kirklees Youth Survey to share their views, there have been discussion sessions with many groups and organisations, and we’ve gathered research from across the UK.

Growing a stronger youth council
Meet our Young Commissioners

July 2018 – Huddersfield 150

We’ve been working with the Huddersfield 150 network of local organisations and volunteers, to celebrate 150 years of civic achievement in Huddersfield. Activities included an exhibition which opened in July, to mark 150 years since Huddersfield became a borough, heritage walks, town hall tours and workshops with local school children.

Huddersfield 150

July 2018 – Place Standard pilot

We tried out a tool called the “Place Standard” in the Golcar ward of Huddersfield. This is a way of helping to get conversations going about any place (it could be your street, neighbourhood or town), by using some simple questions. The Place Standard is already widely used in Scotland, to help citizens and organisations talk about places.

Place Standard pilot – Golcar ward results

July 2018 – National Democracy Week & Kirklees Question Time

We took part in the first National Democracy Week, a week-long celebration of democracy in society. This marked the 90th anniversary of the 1928 Equal Franchise Act, which gave women the same voting rights as men. Events included the first in a new series of Kirklees Question Time.

National Democracy Week 2018
Kirklees Question Time

April 2018 – Corporate Scrutiny Panel

We gave an update about our progress to the Corporate Scrutiny Panel on 19th April 2018. This included information about our programme structure and ways of working, and some of the new activities and approaches we’ve tried out.

Democracy Commission recommendations – progress so far (PDF)
Webcast: Democracy Commission update
Kirklees Democracy Commission update – report (PDF)
Programme structure (PDF)

March 2018 – Cross-party Working Group begins

We’ve set up a cross-party working group of councillors to oversee the delivery of our future work. On 2nd March 2018, this group met to agree on some Terms of Reference and ways of working. Meetings of our Working Group (from June 2018 onwards) are webcast and tweeted live.

Who we are: Cross-party Working Group
Terms of Reference for the Cross-party Working Group (PDF)

Priority recommendations identified by the Working Group (PDF)

February 2018 – Voice of the Councillor

We hosted a Voice of the Councillor event in Huddersfield, in collaboration with other councils and De Montfort University. This included workshops to share the learning from our report, and opportunities for our councillors and citizens to hear the experiences of councillors from other areas.

The Voice of the Councillor

February 2018 – Vote 100 in Kirklees

Vote 100 is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act. We’ve created a Vote 100 Kirklees website where you can see a list of upcoming events, get ideas about running your own events and find out more. We’re sharing local stories via our “100 little deeds for local democracy” campaign throughout the year, including practical examples of how citizens are putting our recommendations into action.

Vote 100 Kirklees

December 2017 – Outstanding work in promoting local democracy

We were delighted to receive the first ever special award from ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Officers) for “outstanding work in promoting local democracy”.

We’re delighted to receive a special award from ADSO

November 2017 – Approval by Full Council

At a Full Council meeting on Wednesday 15th November 2017, Kirklees Councillors approved the recommendations in our final report, agreed to form a cross-party working group (including councillors from the different political parties) and gave the Head of Democracy strategic responsibility for progressing the work.

Next steps for the Kirklees Democracy Commission
Cross-party motion on the Commission’s recommendations

October 2017 – Local Democracy Week

We held a special extended programme of events to celebrate Local Democracy Week. This gave us our first opportunity to host a Kirklees Question Time with party leaders (as recommended in our report), to provide free workshops for citizens who want to learn more about democracy, and to enable our young citizens to take part in local decision-making.

Local Democracy Week 2017

June 2017 – Promoting our work more widely

We held an event on Friday 30th June 2017 to share our work with other regional and national organisations.

Report launch event:
Growing a stronger local democracy – 30th June 2017

April to May 2017 – Sharing our recommendations

We are sharing our findings with participants. We held two preview events for Kirklees citizens. We then published our draft report and our recommendations, which will be considered by Kirklees councillors at a special Full Council meeting on 10th May 2017.

Preview evenings
Full Council debate – 10th May 2017

Download our draft report:
Growing a stronger local democracy, from the ground up (PDF)

10 minute read:
Growing a stronger local democracy – Key themes from our draft report

March 2017 – Report writing

We’ll create a report and recommendations, based on everything that we’ve learned.

January to February 2017 – Deliberations

We’re deliberating all the evidence that we’ve gathered, from over 1,000 participants.

Our evidence

November to December 2016 – Group discussions

We gathered further evidence through a series of discussions with political groups, partner organisations, Kirklees Youth Council and newly elected councillors.

September to October 2016 – Public inquiries

We held 27 public inquiries where we heard from expert witnesses and considered all the evidence that we’ve gathered so far. These sessions were webcast wherever possible and people also joined the debate online.

Public inquiries calendar
What’s a public inquiry?

July to August 2016 – Local democracy roadshows

We held sessions in different parts of Kirklees, where residents and interest groups could come along, get involved in the debate and share ideas. People also contributed online and we began gathering evidence from other organisations.

Local democracy roadshow