Lightning talks 2018

Notwestminster lightning talksWe’re asking some of our Notwestminster 2018 participants to give a very short Lightning talk on the day. These quick-fire talks are aimed at getting us all thinking about the context for our work together. 

You can watch live webcasts of the talks from 10am and 2pm on Saturday 17th February 2o18, or have a look at the slide presentations and watch the videos here after the event.

We also organise Notwestminster PechaKucha Nights of rapid talks. Fancy being a speaker on the evening of Friday 16th February 2018? Email:

Join our network to be the first to hear about other opportunities to get involved.

The generational divide – reality or myth?

The generational divide in terms of how people want engage and be involved feels wider than ever. As someone who is passionate about involving others in decision-making, an ex-local authority communications director and a real life person tackling the generational communications divide daily, I’ll share my thoughts and many more questions on what this all means for local democracy.

Jacqui McKinlayJacqui McKinlay

Chief Executive, Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS)

Under Jacqui’s leadership, CfPS is the leading national organisation promoting and supporting excellence in governance and scrutiny. Jacqui oversees their work with a wide range of sectors including local government, national government, health and social care, education, the private sector and housing. Jacqui is a strategy, business planning and governance expert, helping organisations to use insight, planning, governance and scrutiny to become more outcome-focused, effective and efficient.

‘A United States of England’
the only hope for English Local Government

England has, in terms of powers devolved, the most centralised system of local government in the world. In many ways local government is merely the delivery arm of the state, with a veneer of local democracy and accountability. If our country is to move forward and prosper we need a federal union and devolution of powers to the truly local.


Councillor Peter FlemingCllr Peter Fleming
Leader of Sevenoaks District Council & Deputy Chair of the LGA

Peter in images: a Soulless ginger patch, kid being a pilot, Sevenoaks road sign, Deputy Dawg badge, a chair and the Local Government Association logo

Social and economic  justice: a new local social contract


Neil McInroyNeil McInroy
Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES)

Neil is CEO of CLESUK and Europe’s leading independent ‘think and do’ tank, realising progressive economics for people and place. CLES’s aim is to achieve social justice, good local economies and effective public services for everyone, everywhere. CLES collaborates and works with a broad range of local, regional and national governments and agencies across UK, and their work is growing across Europe, Asia, US and Australasia.


The Past, Present and Future: Women in Politics

Mehrissa SufiMehrissa Sufi

Youth Councillor, Kirklees Youth Council

Mehrissa is an active member of Kirklees Youth Council.

She attends numerous events based on equality and local democracy.

Mehrissa is a high school student who is currently about to sit her GCSE exams in summer.



Growing our own democracy

Cllr Cathy Scott
Kirklees Council

Cathy Scott represents the Dewsbury East ward in Kirklees. She is Cabinet member for Adults and Public Health and was one of the Kirklees Democracy Commissioners. She has championed the work of the Democracy Commission, in particular the Commission’s recommendations about supporting our young citizens and making local democracy easier for citizens to understand by proving bite-sized information.


Young women, political participation and creating a new politics

Grainne McMahonDr Grainne McMahon
University of Huddersfield

Grainne is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, and a member of the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research. She joined the University in October 2009.

Her current research interests are around women, girls and feminism, and young people’s social, cultural and political participation.


Participatory Democracy: A complex yet simple idea

Michelle Brook

Michelle Brook
Managing Director, The Democratic Society

Michelle has a strong interest in technology, networks, and open data. Her work at The Democratic Societya not-for-profit organisation that works for better democratic systems in which citizens and institutions have the desire, opportunity and confidence to participate together, explores how to ensure better decisions can be made by both governments and citizens, informed by evidence, data, and lived experiences.


Notwestminster 2018