Tomorrow (10 December) we launch Local Democracy Bytes as part of our Rewiring Local Democracy work stream. Here Carl Whistlecraft (steering group vice chair, co-lead on the work stream and Head of Governance and Democractic Services at Kirkless Council) and Dave Mckenna (co-lead on the work stream and Scrutiny Manager at City and County of Swansea Council write about what Local Democracy Bytes is and why it’s important.
Digital is changing local democracy. Social media, webcasting and hyperlocal websites are all changing the way that local politics operates and the way that it talks to the public. We know that there are many great examples of councils and councillors working differently but we would love to see things change faster.
A central strand of “Rewiring Public Services” is an acknowledgement of the need to rejuvenate local democracy and redesign the democratic relationship between citizens and their elected representatives. We totally agree. We want to digital to be a catalyst for a new way of doing democracy.
That is why we are leading a workstream of the Localgovdigital steering group called Rewiring Local Democracy.
Those posts cover some of the reasons why we think digital local democracy is a good thing:
They also suggest some of the ‘transformation’ themes we expect to be working with:
These themes are described as part of a wider framework here. The framework reflects some ideas and current thinking. It is not intended to be set in stone but provides a focus for dialogue and collaboration as we hope to harness interest in how we might rewire local democracy.
We therefore see ourselves doing five things to support this work:
So, if you are involved in anything that sounds like this kind of work we would love to hear from you. Oh, and watch this space!
Carl Whistlecraft and Dave Mckenna