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Suffolk CC is marking Local Democracy Week with a range of events. ...
Suffolk CC is marking Local Democracy Week with a range of events.

The first Suffolk-wide budget roadshow kicks off on Saturday 18 October as part of the council's consultation on the 2004-05 budget. For more information, click here.

Suffolk CC leader Bryony Rudkin will be operating an online surgery from the county council's website this week at People can post questions via email.

Kathy Pollard, member of the county council's executive committee, said: 'It is vital that we try and engage as many people as we can in the democratic process, to involve people in the decisions we take and to give them the chance to have their say.'

As the theme this year is young people, the county council have set several groups of students the task of helping to set a budget.

Kathy added: 'Involving young people in local democracy is important because we want to know about the issues that matter to them and what they need from us to be able to take part in the decision-making process.'

A number of other events involving young people are taking place:

  • Tuesday 14 October - Access and community involvement committee meeting at County Hall, in Ipswich at 2pm.

    Young people from the UK Youth Parliament, Connexions, Millennium Volunteers Lowestoft and Somerleyton will be giving presentations and working with councillors to discuss how young people can be involved and supported in decision-making.

  • Wednesday 15 October - XL Club, Newmarket

    Councillor for Newmarket Town Bill Sadler has been invited to join young people at the club in the morning for a question and answer session. There are seven young people involved, who are all in year 10 at Newmarket Upper School.

  • Friday 17 October - Forest Heath DC Offices - Mildenhall from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

    Youth workers from the Jubilee Centre Youth Club and Forest Heath DC will be piloting an activity called the Castlefield Challenge (a mock-up of a district council). This is just part of a whole day aimed at discussing how local democracy works with young people from Year 10 at Newmarket Upper School. The day has been organised by Nicola King (development worker at Forest Heath) and Tim Bond (community education - youth forums and participation).

    In addition, young people across the county are being encouraged to think about standing for election as a member of the UK Youth Parliament. Anyone aged between 11 and 18 can stand for election, and this year young people have the chance to find out more about the job of a member of the youth parliament from this year's representatives before they put their name forward.

    A number of workshops are being held during the week beginning 3 November, and young people have until Friday 17 October to sign up to take part. Anyone who's interested just needs to contact Dave Ormston at Kesgrave Youth Centre on 01473 624381 for more details. There are four MYPs and four deputies elected to represent Suffolk on an annual basis. The elections will take place at the beginning of December.

    The UK Youth Parliament was set up to give a voice to young people aged between 11 and 18. Over the last year the Suffolk representatives have taken part in training sessions, put forward their views to county councillors and others at events and meetings, developed their own website and worked on publicity materials about the UKYP for other young people. They have also visited the Houses of Parliament and taken part in UKYP conferences, including the national sitting in Lancaster.

    County councillor for Hoxne, Guy Macgregor will also be holding a surgery at Stradbroke Library on Saturday 18 October from 10am to 12noon for local people to drop in and talk to him about any issue.

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