About us

Meet the #notwestminster gang

The Notwestminster network brings people together to create and share new ideas for doing local democracy. It’s for everyone who has something positive to say about local democracy and for anyone who is up for a challenge. We aim to turn our discussions around local democracy and digital into some practical tools and techniques that we can all use to make democracy work better for us. Our volunteers organise an annual Notwestminster event each February in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which is the UK’s default unconference style event for all things local democracy. Follow us on twitter @Notwestminster

Carl Whistlecraft

Carl, photo by Anthony McKeown

I’m Head of Democracy at Kirklees Council. 25 years’ experience of working closely with elected councillors in the fields of policy and governance. I have a passion for local democracy and am fascinated by the opportunities presented by supporting and promoting democracy in a digital age.

Find me online at:



Diane Sims

I help people to use all kinds of technology to have a voice and get things done in their neighbourhoods. My work for Kirklees Council involves citizen engagement and digital engagement. I’m also a local food grower, heritage campaigner, writer and artist. I believe that, between us, we have everything we need.

We’re growing a stronger local democracy, from the ground up:
Kirklees Democracy Commission 

Find me online at:

Dave Mckenna

Dave MckennaI am a freelance public servant and local democracy geek. I have 20 years local government experience and a PhD in local politics. I help councils and other public bodies with their improvement, design and research work. In my own work I love to use solution focussed techniques and to learn about the amazing things people are doing to make democracy better.

Find me online at:
Practical Public Governance
How to be a public servant – Medium



Please contact us if you have any questions.

3 thoughts on “About us

    My #notwestminster journey | 72 Prufrocks said:
    February 11, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    […] same is true of the project team. We began with me, Carl, David, Spencer Wilson and Aggie Wilstrop, who all work for Kirklees […]


    […] been fortunate enough to be part the #notwestminster Team from the early stages, so to see the resulting Local Democracy for Everyone event come to fruition […]


    It’s Up for Grabs Now! | bundyboy66 said:
    February 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    […] part of the fantastic team who coordinated Local Democracy for Everyone – We’re not in Westminster any more in […]


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