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TAKE PART TAKE POWER

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Local Democracy Week is to be expanded into a year-round campaign to increase young people's awareness that they ha...
Local Democracy Week is to be expanded into a year-round campaign to increase young people's awareness that they have the power to shape their community.

Since Local Democracy Week started in 1997, councils in England and Wales have held over 2000 events ranging from 'Question Time' through to 'Mayor for a Day', 'I'm a Councillor, get me out of Here' and 'Political Speed Dating'. Last year more than 300 councils took part in LDW.

The Local Democracy Campaign, which will be launched on 27 February (see Note 1), aims to make councils more relevant and useful to young people by encouraging them to 'Take Part Take Power'. The campaign also seeks to get young people to see councils as a route to shape change in their community. It aims to:

Make Local Democracy Week bigger and better

Increase councillor involvement in citizenship teaching in schools

Ensure that young people have the power to make a difference to their community

Get councils to devolve power, wherever appropriate, to local people

A survey by the Local Government Association to coincide with the launch shows that nearly three-quarters of councils in England and Wales are already actively involved in work with local schools in educating young people about democracy and their local authorities. Additionally three out of five councillors expressed interest in becoming a champion for local democracy and young people's views or said that their council already had one.

LGA chairman Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: 'Young people are a central part of every community. They use 85% of council services, and it is only right that they should have an input in the way they are run. We all recognise that we have to inspire young people to become involved in shaping their local communities. When they do it is of benefit not only to young people, but also helps the council with new ideas to improve and shape its services.'

Notes

1.The Local Democracy Campaign, Take Part Take Power, will be launched on 27 February with a reception at the House of Commons. Speakers will include chair of the all all-party parliamentary group on youth affairs Ed Miliband, Conservative shadow minister for industry and enterprise Charles Hendry, Lib Dem shadow secretary for community & local government Sarah Teather, Westminster City Council leader Cllr Sir Simon Milton, Chairman of the LGA's improvement board, and 'Young Mayor of Lewisham' Wilf Petherbridge.

2.The campaign is sponsored by the LGA with the Association of Citizenship Teachers, the British Youth Council, the Department of Constitutional Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, the Electoral Commission, the Hansard Society, the Home Office, the National Youth Agency, Operation Black Vote, the UK Youth Parliament and the YMCA.

3.Please contact Edmund McMahon Turner on edmund.mcmahonturner@lga.gov.uk or 0207 664 3214 or your local council for case studies of councils and young people working together.

More information

Contact for Enquiries

Contact: LGA Media Office

Local Democracy Week is to be expanded into a year round campaign to increase young peoples' awareness that they have the power to shape their community.

Since Local Democracy Week started in 1997, councils in England and Wales have held over 2000 events ranging from 'Question Time' through to 'Mayor for a Day', 'I'm a Councillor, get me out of Here' and Political Speed Dating. Last year more than 300 councils took part in LDW.

The Local Democracy Campaign, which will be launched on 27 February (1), aims to make councils more relevant and useful to young people by encouraging them to 'Take Part Take Power'. The campaign also seeks to get young people to see councils as a route to shape change in their community. It aims to:

* Make Local Democracy Week bigger and better

* Increase councillor involvement in Citizenship teaching in Schools

* Ensure that young people have the power to make a difference to their community

* Get councils to devolve power, wherever appropriate, to local people

A survey by the LGA to coincide with the launch shows that nearly three quarters of councils in England and Wales are already actively involved in work with local schools in educating young people about democracy and their local authorities. Additionally 3 out of 5 councillors expressed interest in becoming a champion for local democracy and young peoples' views or said that their council already had one.

Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Chairman of the LGA, said:

'Young people are a central part of every community. They use 85% of council services, and it is only right that they should have an input in the way they are run. We all recognise that we have to inspire young people to become involved in shaping their local communities. When they do it is of benefit not only to young people, but it also helps the council with new ideas to improve and shape its services.'

Notes

1. The Local Democracy Campaign, Take Part Take Power, will be launched on 27 February with a reception at the House of Commons. Speakers will include Ed Miliband MP, chair of the all All-Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs, Charles Hendry MP, Conservative Shadow Minister for Industry and Enterprise, Sarah Teather MP, Lib Dem Shadow Secretary for Community & Local Government, Cllr Sir Simon Milton, Leader of Westminster City Council and Chairman of the LGA's Improvement Board and Wilf Petherbridge, the Young Mayor of Lewisham.

2. The campaign is sponsored by the Local Government Association with the Association of Citizenship Teachers, the British Youth Council, the Department of Constitutional Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, the Electoral Commission, the Hansard Society, the Home Office, the National Youth Agency, Operation Black Vote, the UK Youth Parliament and the YMCA.

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