Local Democracy Week 2020

Local Democracy Week 2020

Local Democracy Week is a way of helping people to have a voice and be actively involved in the things that really matter in our local communities. In Kirklees, we’re celebrating our active citizens throughout October. Here are the covid-safe activities and online events that we know about so far. Please follow the latest covid-19 guidance when taking part. If you’d like to organise your own activity, here are some tips: Will you be part of Local Democracy Week?


The Town That Bought Itself Exhibition

Online exhibition & Pop up preview

and Saturday 26th, Monday 28th & Tuesday 29th September, from 11am to 4pm at the Pop up shop, The Piazza Centre (opposite Huddersfield Library entrance)

Exactly 100 years ago Huddersfield famously became known as The Town That Bought Itself when the local council purchased much of the land in the town centre and surrounding area. To celebrate the centenary of this remarkable event, West Yorkshire Archive Service Kirklees has teamed up with history students at the University of Huddersfield to curate an exhibition of archives that tells the extraordinary story of what happened 100 years ago and what this meant for the people of Huddersfield. The exhibition will tour Huddersfield venues from Spring 2021. You can view the digital exhibition online now, or get a sneak preview in a pop up event (shop-style Covid rules are in place).

Online exhibition | Pop up preview | Contact WYAS


Listening to East Bierley

Can we ask you about life in East Bierley village?

5th to 31st October 2020
Online and via post

Live in East Bierley? We’d like to ask you some questions about what life in East Bierley village is like. We’re looking for your views. We know that people make great places, so we’d like to ask how you feel about being here. East Bierley Village Preservation Society and the Birstall and Birkenshaw councillors are working together to find out what really matters to you. This is the latest ‘How good is our place?’ activity in our local places.

Listening to East Bierley | How good is our place?


Turning Arts and Cultures in West Yorkshire Upside Down

Part of AMP (Alternative Manifesto Process)

Monday 5th October, from 2pm to 3pm
Online event

What would it look like to support arts and cultures from the bottom up rather than the top down? We have an amazing range of arts and cultures happening every day in our local places, from food to poetry, choirs to sports clubs, and from exhibitions to a night out dancing. The current moment, in which some of this activity is at risk of disappearing, just begs the question of where we want to end up in the future and why. Anyone who enjoys, takes part or works in arts and cultures as they think of it is very welcome to take part in this online conversation. Organised by Same Skies Think Tank, this event is part of AMP (short for Alternative Manifesto Process), which aims to amplify the voices of citizens in West Yorkshire, and generate new ideas for the first West Yorkshire mayor, to be elected in May 2021.

Turning Arts and Cultures Upside Down – Register now


Dalton Together Ward Partnership Meeting

For community groups and local organisations

Tuesday 6th October, from 10am to 11.30am
Online meeting

The Dalton Together Partnership meetings are an opportunity to meet your local ward councillors and each other, share all the great things that are happening across the ward, update each other on key projects, get funding updates and share any key insights, including any opportunities and challenges. Any community group or local organisation working in the Dalton area is welcome to join the partnership meeting.

Meeting details | Dalton Together


Working in a political environment workshop

Workshops for Kirklees Council staff

Wednesday 7th October, from 10am to 12 noon
(also on 3rd November, 3rd December, 26th January and 18th March from 10am to 12 noon)

Online event

Want to find out more about working in a democratic organisation? Take part in one of our monthly workshops for Kirklees Council staff. You’ll hear about the importance of the councillor role, learn the basics about wards and councillors in Kirklees, and find out how our staff and councillors can work together to make a difference. This workshop will give you an understanding of the changing roles and responsibilities of councillors, council decision making, the benefits of working collaboratively and putting councillors at the heart of what we do, how we’re growing a stronger local democracy and where you can find further information to develop your skills and knowledge.

Kirklees Council staff can book via MiPod Xtra on the Intranet


Rethinking the Piazza

A Walking, Talking and Listening Event

Wednesday 7th October, from 6pm to 7pm
The Piazza, 23 Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield HD1 2RS

Take a stroll around the crescent of the Piazza, stopping off to listen to some of the citizens who have contributed their time and energy to making things happen in the empty shops. What do they think has worked well, what could happen differently? What would they like to see for the future of the Piazza? And how do public sector organisations listen and adapt to what we’re learning from successful experiments? We’ll meet opposite the library and walk anti-clockwise, ending with a discussion outside the BHS building. An outdoor, safe distanced event. Organised by Same Skies Think Tank and Town Lab.

Rethinking the Piazza


Introduction to local democracy

Workshop for members of Kirklees Council’s Young Employee Network

Monday 12th October, from 11am  to 12 noon

Want to find out about local democracy? Take part in our one hour introduction workshop and hear about the role of councillors and cabinet members, including how they make decisions about local places. Join this workshop to learn how, and when, Kirklees was formed. Discover which ward you live and work in, and how this relates to the rest of Kirklees. Explore, along with other Young Employee Network members, how staff and councillors can work together to make a difference.

To book please contact: yen@kirklees.gov.uk


What matters to young people?

Democracy in West Yorkshire

Tuesday 13th October, 12 noon to 1pm

What are your hopes for the future? How can we make them happen? How might a West Yorkshire Mayor be able to help? Come and talk about what matters to young people in Kirklees and how we can help shape the future of West Yorkshire. Alongside Dr Andy Mycock (Reader in Politics, University of Huddersfield), West Yorkshire Combined Authority officers will be there to listen to the conversation and give an introduction to West Yorkshire devolution. Organised by Kirklees Council Young Employees Network.

What matters to young people? – register


People Helping People Network

For voluntary, community and mutual aid groups in our local places

Tuesday 13th October, 1pm to 2.30pm

Looking for advice about what your group or organisation can (or can’t) do during Covid-19? We know that it’s a confusing and worrying time for organisations who are managing community spaces and running community activities. Join in this online meeting to hear advice from others who are going through the same thing. People Helping People Network meetings are run by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees in partnership with Kirklees Council. They are designed to give free information and support to community groups, voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises.

People Helping People – Register to take part


Living through the Pandemic: voices from Yorkshire

A ‘Community Makes Us’ webinar

Tuesday 13th October, from 6.30pm to 7.45pm

The Jo Cox Foundation in Batley and Spen are launching a new conversation project to understand the issues local people are facing because of the pandemic. The ‘Community Makes Us’ project will invite people from across Batley and Spen to get involved and share their experiences whilst meeting others from across the area in a series of online conversations. This online webinar will be chaired by Jo’s sister and Ambassador for The Jo Cox Foundation Kim Leadbeater. Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director of Public Health for Kirklees Council and Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner are among the confirmed guests who will be taking questions from citizens about the pandemic. Anyone is welcome to tune in.

Register to take part in the webinar


Policy-making for young professionals

Democracy in West Yorkshire

Thursday 15th October, 12 noon to 1pm
Online event

West Yorkshire will elect its first Combined Authority Mayor in May 2021. Kirklees Council’s Young Employee Network and the Northern Policy Forum are inviting young professionals, think tankers, policy officers and students from across the region to come and discuss what the future of devolution in West Yorkshire could look like.

Policy-making for young professionals – register


The Town That Bought Itself

Centenary celebration event for local schools

Friday 16th October, from 10am to 11.30am
Online event

Schools in Huddersfield and the wider area are invited to join us online at Huddersfield Town Hall to meet your councillors, learn the story of how Huddersfield became “The town that bought itself” and discuss what you think the town centre should be like in future. We have also created lesson plans and resources for you to use in school. Share with us your drawings, poems, letters and video clips about how you feel about your town centre.

To get involved please email: julie.mcdowell@kirklees.gov.uk


If you’re part of mutual aid, you’re part of local democracy

Working together in a citizen-led local democracy

Thursday 22nd October, 6pm to 7.30pm

Have you been involved in a mutual aid group or community organisation in your neighbourhood during covid-19? By being an active citizen in your local place you are part of your local democracy. You are making decisions about what happens in your neighbourhood and working with others to make it happen. This October we’re talking with active citizens about whether you feel part of local democracy now, and listening to ideas about what would help you and others to stay involved in civic life. Join in our online discussion workshop, or contact us anytime:

Register now: Take part in our online workshop

Email: Democracy@kirklees.gov.uk | Tweet: @kirkdemocracy


Moving forward with NCS

For 16 to 17 year olds in North Kirklees

Monday 26th to Friday 30th October
Batley Bulldogs
, Fox’s Biscuits Stadium

We’re working with The Huddersfield Town Foundation, to support young people who live in North Kirklees learn about local democracy during October half term. It’s part of the NCS programme, which offers 5 days of learning and activities to grow young people’s skills and confidence, including developing their own social action project. Young participants will learn about what councillors do, how their local place relates to the rest of Kirklees and how councillors make decisions about local places. They’ll hear about the importance of being on the electoral register from our Elections Team, how to register to vote and how young people can have a voice in their future.

NCS is heading to Batley | Sign up to NCS


Meet your councillors

New sessions for local schools

We think that all our young citizens should have the opportunity to learn about – and get involved in – local democracy and civic life. It’s now more important than ever that our young citizens can have a voice in the things that affect their everyday lives. So we’re supporting our councillors to safely re-engage with young people in schools in their ward. We’re offering a one hour session that will help children and young people to learn what councillors do, share how they feel about life in their local place right now, and explore opportunities to work together with councillors on community projects. Sessions can be either online or safe distanced, depending on what works for your school. You are also very welcome to sign up for our Democracy Friendly Schools programme.

Email: Youth.Council@kirklees.gov.uk | Democracy Friendly Schools


Meet the Mayor

Virtual session for primary schools

The Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Mumtaz Hussain, would like to invite primary schools to register their interest to take part in their own virtual ‘Meet the Mayor’ event live from Huddersfield Town Hall. Your school can find out what the role of the Mayor, Mayoress and Deputy Mayor is, take part in a quiz about Kirklees and put your questions to the Mayor online. You can also find out what a councillor is, what councillors do and how people become councillors. If you’re interested in finding out more about how your school can get involved, please get in touch with the Mayor’s Office.

To find out more email: mayors.office@kirklees.gov.uk 


Activities for at home or in school

What makes you proud of where you live?

Pic: Newsome’s Plant Drop

Most of us have been spending more time at home lately and thinking about what really matters in our local places. There’s so much to feel proud of in our local citizens and in our local places. Can you:
– Take a photo
– Make a video clip
– Share some words
– Create some artwork

Please share something that makes you proud of where you live.
Email: Democracy@kirklees.gov.uk | Tweet: @kirkdemocracy


Everyday democracy activities for schools

We’ve been inspired by the creativity of our young citizens during lockdown. Our everyday democracy activities are a way of helping young people to explore being part of their local place, having a voice or growing relationships. All these things help our young citizens to be part of local democracy. Have a go at one of the activities and let us know how you get on.

Everyday Democracy – activities for schools


About our partner events – We welcome other local organisations who want to get involved in Local Democracy Week in Kirklees. Please note that the content of partner events does not necessarily represent the views or policies of Kirklees Council.

If you’d like to organise your own event or activity, here are some tips:
Will you be part of Local Democracy Week?