By KLTV Newsdesk –
For Local Democracy Week 2023, Kirklees Council has unveiled an array of activities and events designed to engage citizens, schools, community groups, and council staff.
Local Democracy Week, running from the 9th to the 15th of October, serves as a national annual celebration of the significant contributions made by active citizens, emphasising the importance of community involvement, awareness of local democracy, and the ability to have a voice in decisions that impact daily lives.
Activities are scheduled to take place throughout the entire month of October.
As part of their efforts to foster community engagement, Kirklees Council is inviting citizens to share their experiences regarding community involvement.
They are eager to understand the factors that have facilitated or hindered citizens’ participation and are open to suggestions on how to encourage more people to get involved.
Interested parties can participate in three ways: by completing a quick online scorecard and providing comments, requesting a printed Conversation Pack for various groups, or sharing their personal stories about community involvement through an online form or phone conversation.
These initiatives fall under the umbrella of “Shaped by People,” a shared vision initiated by Kirklees citizens, emphasising the importance of allowing everyone the opportunity to shape their local environment.
Kirklees Council’s Local Democracy Week programme showcases the latest events from the ongoing “How Good Is Our Place?” activities, which focus on understanding community priorities and collaborating on desired changes.
Community-led events, such as “Marsden of the Future,” are scheduled, and helpful sessions and networking opportunities are being organized for community groups by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees.
Young people are not left out, as the innovative Democracy Friendly Schools program provides activities for children and young people to learn about and engage in local democracy and civic life.
In addition, the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Cahal Burke, has extended an invitation to primary schools for a special “Meet the Mayor” event at Dewsbury Town Hall on October 26th.
Furthermore, council staff are encouraged to participate in new training programs focused on collaboration with councillors, volunteering with local groups, and engaging in conversations with citizens to better understand how to promote community involvement.
‘Stronger local Democracy’
Cllr Cathy Scott, Leader of Kirklees Council and Cabinet lead for Democracy, spoke about the significance of Local Democracy Week, stating, “In challenging times, it really matters for people’s wellbeing and sense of influence that we keep on working to create a stronger local democracy, which more people are actively participating in.
“Everyone who takes a few minutes to share their experiences will be helping us understand what would help more people to get involved.”
A full overview of the Local Democracy Week 2023 programme, is available on Kirklees Council’s ‘Democracy Commission’ website.