England & Wales Communities and society, Democracy, devolution and governance

Rocking local democracy


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Do you love local democracy? Do you have ideas about how it could be better? Notwesminster’s forthcoming event might be just the place for you; Spencer Wilson from Kirklees Council explains why.

Notwestminster 2016 is only a few weeks away. We’re still on the hunt for lovers of local democracy everywhere – local government officers, councillors, local activists, voters, the disenfranchised, data geeks and innovators; basically, anyone with an interest in changing the face of local democracy.

This free annual event is for everyone who has something positive to say about local democracy – and for anyone who is up for a challenge. We’re bringing people together to create and share new ideas for doing local democracy.

Friday, 12 February, is our Local Democracy Maker Day where we bring together digital makers, local government officers, open data advocates, councillors and activists to work on Local Democracy Design Challenges. Our aim is to turn our discussions around local democracy and digital into some practical tools that we can all use to make democracy work better for us.

Friday night is Pecha Kucha time, a chance to socialise and have a drink or two, listen to some slick presentations and have some fun. Read up on Pecha Kucha.

Saturday, 13 February, is our main event “We’re not in Westminster any more” – or Notwestminster for short – bringing together lots people who care about local democracy. We work together to create practical solutions for doing democracy in a way that works better, for everyone.

So, building on the success of last year and our aim of making democracy less obscure like jazz, more like rock and roll for the masses, as the line-up of participants and workshops comes together our fears of the difficult second album are beginning to dissipate.

When you scrutinise some of the headline acts and the anthems they’re singing, it is easy to see why. Dave Mckenna (Swansea Council) – ‘Redesigning the council meeting’; Sarah Allan (Involve) – The power of design: involving people in local decision making; Ed Hammond (Centre for Public Scrutiny) – How can make local democracy feel more relevant?; Steven Griggs (De Montfort University) – Getting Real about Representation. Not forgetting our very own on the doorstep political rock star lecturer, Dr Andrew Mycock (University of Huddersfield) – My Country, My Vote: Enhancing Youth Citizenship; plus many more. Take a look at the full line up.

Don’t miss out on local democracy’s equivalent of Woodstock. Tickets for our main event on Saturday 13th February are almost sold out – but if you can’t get a ticket straight away, please put your name on the waitlist and we’ll get back to you as soon as we have a place available. Free tickets are also available for our fringe activities on Friday 12th February – you can sign up today.

Book your free tickets

Notwestminster 2016 – book now

Local Democracy Maker Day 2016 – book now

Notwestminster PechaKucha Night 2016 – book now

Spencer Wilson is a governance and democratic services officer at Kirklees Council. Join the Notwestminster email network.