The politics of community & local democracy


Kirklees Democracy Commission invited me to give evidence on what happens when local democracy works as it should. We explored a range of issues including:


1. How best to mobilise citizens to use their franchise; and beyond voter participation, to become more civically and political active?

2. How to make public service more attractive to young people?

3. What does it take to support communities to create a shared vision that honours difference and encourages shared visioning?

4. What can we learn from other Local Governments around the world?

5. How can we nourish a truly bottom up Local democracy, where citizens are in the lead and agencies are in service of their priorities?

6. Is party politics a problem?

7. What role does political legitimacy play?

8. What changes does local government in the U.K. need to make to be bottom up and citizen led?


We hope you enjoy this very thorough and thoughtful enquiry, ably lead by Councillor Fazila Fadia & Councillor Andrew Palfreeman in the video. We’d love to hear your comments. We believe the views shared here strongly echo the views of Elected Members throughout the UK and beyond.



Cormac Russell



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