England & Wales

Policy Café Kirklees: Reshaping local democracy


Kirklees has recently published a landmark report about the future of local democracy in their area. The Kirklees Democracy Commission has been investigating what a strong and healthy local democracy should look like in Kirklees for the next generation – and beyond. As part of Local Democracy Week, LGiU and Kirklees are organising a Policy Café to showcase this report and debate what it means for local government.

Their report, Growing a stronger local democracy, includes recommendations for working with active citizens, making the most of digital technologies and culture, suggestions about councillors, decision-making and elections, and how we can get local voices heard in regional devolution. What can others learn from the work undertaken by Kirklees? How can we take their ideas forward elsewhere?

12:00 Lunch, introductions
12:15 Context setting by Andrew Walker, LGiU

  • How local government is responding to the ‘ideas vacuum’ when it comes to reshaping local democracy
  • The changing local democracy landscape
  • If not in Westminster, then where?
  • Is devolution stalling?
12:45 Presentation from Kirklees Council

  • How did this happen? Our story
  • Our ideas for growing a stronger local democracy
  • Next steps: how we’re taking these ideas forwards
13:15 Discussion: which ideas will work elsewhere? How can we use this report?
14:00 Close of event

Our Policy Café events are a series of short, informal member networking events built around the burning questions we – and our members – are asking. Events are planned up and down the country as part of our commitment to supporting our member councils. We aim to help officers in policy, strategy and related roles share thinking and build local networks.