Headlines: October 8th, 2002

The public place an increasing value on councils keeping people informed about what they are doing. A poll by the Local Government Association showed that 95% of people – 7% more than the previous year – consider communication to be important.Starting on Friday, with launch of Local Democracy Week, councils will be stimulating public awareness of how local government works, what councils do, and encouraging more people to be involved in the local democratic process. Some 200 councils are organizing events.

At the launch event a group of leading councillors from the main political parties will take democracy to one of London’s busiest streets to urge people to find out what goes on in town halls and to have a greater say in their local communities. Uniformed Westminster public service workers, including a street cleaner with mechanical broom, a parking warden, a member of the graffiti team, and one of the new City Guardians, will represent some of the services provided by local councils.

At a conference on 15 October politicians, political commentators, local councillors and senior council managers will come together to discuss the future of local democracy. They will put forward ideas and question some of the key players on the development and future of local democracy.