The centre's aims are to help local authorities improve two-way engagement with
communities by providing best practice advice, support and practical solutions, focusing on the use of technology.
ICELE has been in development since early this year and has been designed to take forward the work of the eDemocracy national project, as well as create new solutions to drive up eParticipation rates.
Lichfield DC will support the development of ICELE as the responsible authority for the centre.
Local e-government minister Angela Smith said:
'I would like to congratulate North Lincolnshire Council on the work they have done in running a very successful national project. I look forward to seeing Lichfield District Council take this forward with the new Centre of Excellence for Local eDemocracy, incorporating the best ideas and innovations on engagement developed by the Local e-Gov programme'.
ICELE chairman Matthew Ellis said:
'Democracy is much bigger than party politics. ICELE will work with all parties to help ensure local people are well informed and have a real voice in
local decision making. Democratic participation is steadily declining, yet opportunities to involve local people in local decision making, are growing every day. From text voting, to online consultations, we need to harness new technologies to make it easy for people across the country to get involved in the democratic process.'
Andrew Pinder, former e-envoy to the UK government and president of ICELE, said:
'Technology plays a vital role in connecting local people to local government and ICELE's key role will be helping local authorities to increase eParticipation rates and reinvigorate the local democratic process.'
Some of the products from the eDemocracy National Projects, together with discussions and forums on the issues that local authorities face in their work to engage their local communities through edemocracy and eParticipation, were discussed at the annual e-Participation symposium last month. To find out more click here.