|Democracy Commission Roadshow l to r Cllrs Cooper, Firth, Wilson and Chair Andy Mycock|
Its mission is to achieve the following,
By 2020 Kirklees is an informed citizen-led democracy with accountable elected representatives who enable communities to influence and affect decisions governing their lives.
It is going to do this by looking at the role of Councillors, how we run our elections and seeking to improve how we go about our decision making to enable people to feel they have more of a stake and influence over how our decisions are made.
Kirklees is not a loved institution. It is an artificial construct cobbled together after Local Government reorganisation in 1974 and named after a place in neighbouring Calderdale rather than anywhere in the actual district. As such the name pleased no one rather than alienating any particular town by naming it after another. There are regular calls to split the Council by the Public and politicians seeking to garner a few populist votes but both Labour and Tory Governments have dodged this over the years.
A lot of time and effort has gone into preparing and running Commission events and sourcing witnesses by Kirklees officers. My own view is that we have the opportunity to come up with some radical and far reaching proposals for the Council to implement and where necessary to seek Government approval. we cannot go through this whole exercise and only propose piecemeal changes. We also need to regard what we are doing as a possible template for other cOuncils We need to be bold, forward thinking and consider doing things that have never been tried before. I will be blogging about the work of the Commission throughout. Lets see where the journey takes us