A Notwestminster 2016 workshop idea from
Dr Andrew Mycock & Simon Campbell-Skelling
Many younger citizens say they feel excluded from politics, do not trust politicians or understand the language they use, and have a residual sense of powerlessness. This disconnection with politics is particularly acute in local forms of democracy and is often reflected in abstention from voting in local elections.
This workshop will draw on and discuss findings from the current pilot project, ‘My Country, My Vote’, undertaken by Kirklees Council and the University of Huddersfield. The project links schools across Kirklees to participate in a youth citizenship initiative to encourage young people to change their local communities and get involved in local politics. Members of the project team will present data from the project and open up deliberative spaces for participants to assess and analyse the issues raised by the young participants.
The workshop will explore what local democracy means to young people and how we can better engage those citizens who are not yet franchised. We will encourage participants to consider the development of strategic approaches to enhancing local democracy for young people – to enrich their representation, enhance youth-orientated policy-making, and empower young citizens to scrutinise local government. We seek to identify new forms of youth citizen engagement and encourage citizen to citizen dialogue.
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Reader in Politics
University of Huddersfield
Dr Andrew Mycock is Reader in Politics at the University of Huddersfield. His research interests focus on issues of youth citizenship and democratic participation. He served on the UK government’s Youth Citizenship Commission from 2008 to 2009. Current projects include a collaboration with Kirklees Council on a local youth democracy project, ‘My Country, My Vote’.
Community Heritage and Education Officer
Simon Campbell-Skelling works for Kirklees Council’s Community Heritage and Outreach Team. He is currently working on My Country My Vote. This is a partnership project between the council and the University of Huddersfield which seeks to encourage greater, and more positive, political engagement amongst young people.
All our 2016 workshops have been created by our participants in response to our Design Challenges for Local Democracy, which were crowdsourced from our Notwestminster network. This workshop is inspired by….
Young People: The young people of today are the voters of tomorrow and yet many see local politics as irrelevant. How can we get young people involved in local democracy so they have a voice, both now and in the future?