In the same vein as the popular television programme, 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!', the district councillors are putting themselves up for interrogation and scrutiny. Questions will be placed on a website and councillors will be notified of them via email; they will then be able to answer them at any time of day or night. After considering the answers provided by the councillors, all those schoolchildren who have registered on the site will be able to vote for their top councillor once per day. Voting will close at 9pm and the results will be emailed to the councillors by 10 pm the same evening. The councillor with the fewest votes is removed, and by the end of the week, only one councillor will remain.
Deputy leader Susan Hallock thinks the exercise is a great idea. She said: 'This is an ideal opportunity to get young people thinking about local issues and the roles that councillors play in them. The exercise also provides tomorrow's voters with a forum to intelligently question councillors on their views on local issues, or other issues specifically about young people.'
Leader of the opposition, councillor Andrew Smith, also believes it is an excellent way to get young people involved in local politics. He said: 'I think this is a way for us, as councillors, to connect with younger people from Chichester. I hope they will find it interesting and I am looking forward to seeing what their views of us are.'
The initiative is taking place as part of Local Democracy Week and tie s in with this year's theme of 'Listening to Tomorrow's Voters Today'. For this reason, local authorities are being asked to engage with 13-19-year-olds, many of whom will become eligible to vote within the next few years. Around 20 local authorities are participating in the web-based exercise which has been developed by Gallomanor Communications Ltd.