And your prospective Councillors are…

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been quite vocal (here, here and here!) about encouraging you to vote in the upcoming Council elections.

But you may have been wondering “OK, but who am I voting for?”

It’s a good question!

Well today, we can finally announce the full list of candidates for all 62 County Council seats.

Visit our dedicated elections web page at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/elections  to find out who’s standing in your local area.

And then don’t forget to vote on 2nd May!

Registering to vote – new video!

So we’ve been talking for ages here at Warksdemocracy about how important is to register to vote.

We’re holding County Council Elections in Warwickshire on 2nd May – and residents will have a chance to have their say and vote for who they think will best represent them.

This is all great – BUT if you’re not registered, you won’t be able to vote on 2nd May, and you’ll lose your voice.

Our News Team have made this great video about registering to vote – take a look!

Don’t forget you can register at aboutmyvote.co.uk. If you’ve got any questions you can drop us an email or find us on Twitter.

Want to vote? Get registered!

Voter registration form

We’re holding our County Council elections on 2nd May this year. This is when local residents get the chance to elect their County Councillor for the next four years.

Great!  But if you haven’t registered, you won’t be able to vote… and you’ll lose your voice.

You should have had a registration letter through the door, or a visit from the Council in October last year. If you missed this, you might not be on the electoral register.

But don’t worry; it’s not too late to get registered. Just go to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk and fill in your details. Make sure you do this before 5pm on Wednesday 17th April.

Why should I vote?

By voting on 2nd May, you get to have a say about what goes on in Warwickshire, who makes decisions on your behalf and who will represent your views throughout the County.

Councillors are elected to represent local residents – and you can vote for the person who you think will represent you the best.

Every vote counts. So if you don’t use it, the person you want will have less chance of getting elected.

How do I vote?

You’ll receive a polling card at the end of April, which will tell you where to go on election day. Take the card along to your polling station any time between 7am -10pm to cast your vote.

So – if you’re not yet registered to vote – go to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk, and fill in your details. Then make sure you vote in the County Council elections on 2nd May.

County Council Meeting – Thursday, 21st March 2013

Councillors will have plenty to talk about at Council on 21st March.

Councillors will have plenty to talk about at the Council meeting on 21st March.

On Thursday, 21st March we’ve got a County Council meeting, which will be held at Shire Hall, Warwick from 10am.  This will be the last full Council meeting of our Council’s four-year term, ahead of the elections in May (more on this soon).

We’ve got a pretty full agenda for the meeting. Amongst other things, we’ll be talking through the following:

  • Councillors will be looking at a report on the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, including some of the risks and challenges it will face in the coming years, and some of the work the Service will be doing to overcome these challenges
  • Councillors will be setting up the Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Board, which comes about as a result of central government changes to the NHS, which will take effect on 1st April this year
  • Three of our Cabinet Members (who have special responsibility for certain council services) will be updating everyone on the key issues within their portfolios:

Councillor Richard Hobbs will talk through Community Safety issues,

Councillor Heather Timms will focus on Children and Schools

And Councillor Izzi Seccombe will talk through some of the changes in Adult Social Care

You can find the agenda for the meeting and all of the supporting documents on the County Council website.

As with all of the big meetings here at Shire Hall, full Council is open to the public, and we’d encourage residents to attend.

If you’ve got any questions, or would like to know more about Council meetings or how to get involved in local democracy, drop me a line at martynharris@warwickshire.gov.uk or comment below.

Council Budget Setting 2013/14

Photo: Alamy

The County Council will be meeting this Tuesday 5th February to debate the Council’s Budget and Council Tax for 2013/14.

The whole meeting is open to the public, and will start at 10.00am at Shire Hall, Warwick. Why not come along and see some democracy in action?

The proposed budget and papers for the meeting can be found here:

Council Meeting Papers – 5th February 

All Councillors will be debating their proposals for spending in the coming year, including their priorities for services, and setting the level of Council tax for the coming year.

You can find out more about the process the Council goes through to set the budget and how the Council spends its money here: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/budget

For more information, or if you have any questions, contact me at martynharris@warwickshire.gov.uk or comment below!

Councillor Question Time – Local Democracy Week

It was Local Democracy Week  last week. One of the key aims of the week is getting young people involved in democracy. Warwickshire VOX and Members of the Youth Parliament are elected each year by young people and do a great job of representing the views of young people and campaigning on the issues that matter to young people in Warwickshire.

We’ve blogged here before about Councillors engaging with VOX and MYPs, and we thought we should build on the success of our previous events.

We thought it would be great to bring together the VOX and MYPs and some of our Councillors for a Question Time event – putting our Councillors on the spot and giving VOX and MYPs a chance to hold them to account – any they really did!

We selected four Councillors from across the County to form our panel – Alan Farnell (Leader of the County Council), Richard Cheney, Mike Gittus and Tim Naylor.

The MYPs and VOX didn’t hold back on questions – about cuts to the  youth service, transport to sixth forms and colleges, careers advice in schools, and the minimum wage for 16 year olds.

We had a good debate online with some of the young people  as well, who were reporting on the event as well:

The event went really well. In listening to the young people discuss issues with the Councillors you could see that they have a lot in common – both are elected to represent the views of others, and campaign for the issues of local people.

I’m confident that we’ll be blogging on here soon about the other ways our Councillors will be engaging with young people about the issues they face, and how the Council can try to address them. If you’ve got any ideas about how we can do this – leave us a comment below!

Everything we do is Democracy – but this is Local Democracy Week

This week (15th – 19th October) is European Local Democracy Week. What does this mean?

Here at Warksdemocracy we help support your local County Councillors in their roles as your representatives and community champions, so that they can represent your views and deal with residents’ problems.

But our job is also to help you get directly involved that the decisions that affect you – whether by coming to meetings and telling Councillors directly, signing a petition, or writing to your Councillors to let them know your views.

All of this happens every day, and we regularly have public questions at meetings and have plenty of petitions submitted, both traditional paper and via our ePetitions facility

Local Democracy Week is all about making that extra push to get people involved in the decisions that affect them, with a particular focus on young people.

We’re taking the opportunity to let members of the public know about the various ways they can get involved in the work of Council.  Nearly all of the Council’s meetings are held in public, and you find out about future meetings, and download past reports and minutes here.

Before making any major decisions, the Council consults local people first.  All of the current consultations can be found on our consultation pages. You can also sign up to receive emails when consultations are launched.

We’ll be blogging more about Local Democracy Week as the week goes on, and tweeting from our public meetings this week. In the meantime you can find our more information about Councillors, Petitions, Elections and Democracy on our website.

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