The disconnect between democracy and services

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 Brainstorm by Jessica Lock from The Noun ProjectWorkshop idea by Phil Rumens

All of the workshops at Local Democracy for Everyone have been created by our participants. We’re sharing a summary of each workshop idea to help you decide what you’d most like to participate in – and so that everyone can start to share their comments about each idea.

The disconnect between democracy and services

The challenge:

How might we re-engage the democratic process with the delivery of council services?

Listening to public opinion, I’m increasingly hearing the perception of a disconnect between service delivery and the democratic process. In short, some citizens no longer see or perhaps understand that their votes or other participation in the democratic process allows them to have a say on which (and how) services are delivered to them.

It’s important to me, as in my view democracy if not linked to something tangible like service delivery becomes an abstract concept and as such, citizens may question the need for its very existence.

I don’t have the answers, but I’m hoping collectively that we may be able to start to find a solution.

#notwestminster #services

Phil RumensPhil Rumens
Web Development Manager
West Berkshire Council

With a background in creating digital services and online engagement, Phil manages the Digital Services Team at West Berkshire Council. He has a keen interest in democracy and has been involved in local government elections since 2003.

Phil is also Vice-Chair of the LocalGov Digital Steering Group, a national organisation for digital practitioners working in Local Government. He leads the Makers design and development strand of LocalGov Digital which includes the Pipeline platform, a “Kick Starter” for innovation and collaboration in Local Government.

LG/WWW – Phil’s blog

One thought on “The disconnect between democracy and services

    simon gray said:
    January 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I think as councils we could do more than we do to promote the democratic process itself – we tend to limit our engagement processes to be no further than our statutory consultation mechanisms, but they’re about consulting between citizens and officers rather than the actual decision makers, the councillors. I think we should be bolder (and I don’t think we’d be breaching the relevant codes of conduct so long as we were intelligent about it) about promoting the councillor body as a whole, and better promoting local elections in order to get people engaged with the fact that local democracy really does matter.


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