About Me

Full-time husband and dad, Head of Governance and Democratic Services at Kirklees Council. Passionate about democracy, local government, Sheffield United, my mountain bike and punk rock. Views here are my own

Sunday, 13 September 2015

#LDMaker15 and #LocalGovCamp - Some Quick Reflections

This is a very quick post following two exciting, creative and thought provoking events - LDMakers15 and Local Gov Camp.

I'm sure there will be loads of post-event blogs which I urge you all to read.  As I'm a bit lazy I'm going to point you to Phil Rumen's excellent blog post which sums a lot up for me and tells the story of the journey many of us have been on which resulted in the Makers session on the Friday.  A special thank you to Phil for his efforts in pulling it off.  Top man.

Whilst I will commit to sharing the details of the stuff I was involved in over the two days, this post is just a general refection, obviously with a focus on local democracy.

The most heartening outcome for me was that local democracy, both specifically and generally, seemed to be much more of a continuing feature over the two days.  The fact that we were able to get democracy people, councillors, makers, activists and digital folk together for a full day to try and resolve our design challenges was something we could have only dreamt of 12 months ago.  There is still much to do, but the fact that so many people selflessly gave up their time provides me with hope and confidence for the future.  Thank you.

My optimism increased further when I heard the pitches that were put forward on Saturday.  Local democracy was front and centre with pitches on accessibility to voting, devolution, the challenges of participatory versus representative democracy and some dodgy session on redesigning local democracy.  I look forward to reading and sharing the session write-ups.

Having sometimes wondered if local democracy was getting lost or forgotten in the whole digital discussion I am feeling more positive.  Perhaps it's not the Cinderella we thought it was Dave.  It's always about what happens next so we'll try and keep the local democracy train rolling all the way to Notwestminster on 12 and 13 February.  Do come and join us on that journey, I think it will be a good one.

PS also massive thanks to Nick Hill (great to finally meet you), Diane Sims (digital artist and partner in crime), Catherine Howe (always good to catch up and be inspired), Sarah Lay (good to chat, about music as well as digital), Ed Hammond (enjoyed your session), Dave McKenna (wasn't the same without you) and the Notwestmister gang.

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