Greater public involvement in Overview and Scrutiny

networkingScrutiny Members have made a commitment to increasing communication with and actively involving the public in the work that they do. Members have agreed to adopt a Toolkit which will introduce a planned and structured approach to public engagement, ensuring that the community has a greater opportunity to shape and influence the work of scrutiny.

As the overall purpose of scrutiny is to improve services for the public, it’s essential that both individuals and groups can have their say when Council services and policies are reviewed. At the start of each piece of scrutiny work, we will be working closely with the Localities teams to target communication to the relevant community and special interest groups, as well as maximising the use of social and local media in order to raise awareness and encourage wider participation.

This new way of working will see scrutiny activities being taken out of Shire Hall and into the community in order to listen to people on their own patch, such as at local community centres, schools and church halls. The Toolkit also encourages the use of alternative engagement methods which will encourage greater participation and ensure that everyone involved has the chance to have their say.

A copy of the Toolkit is available here.

If you have any queries, please contact Georgina Atkinson, Democratic Services Team Leader at georginaatkinson@warwickshire.gov.uk or (01926) 412144.

Children’s Centre Report to Cabinet

Report of the Children’s Centres Select Committee

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The Children’s Centres Select Committee will be reporting it’s findings and recommendations to Cabinet on 12 September 2013.

The Select Committee was set up in response to the proposed changes to Children’s Centres across the county, which were subject to an open consultation exercise which closed on 27th August 2013.

The  Committee met on 14th August to undertake a focused, in-depth analysis of the proposals in the consultation document and examine the possible implications on parents and children. Part of this included a full morning question and answer session, during which over 50 Centre managers, staff and parents presented their views to the Committee. These included emotional case studies and personal experiences, which emphasised the value of Children’s Centres in providing individual support to families in a safe environment, building parents’ confidence and assisting with the early identification of issues, such as a child’s behaviour or health. The Committee also considered evidence from health partners which focused on the  importance of an integrated universal service with the Health Visiting scheme.

Response to Early Years Children’s Centre Consultation

A copy of the Committee’s response to the consultation and nine recommendations, which will be presented to Cabinet on 12th September, can be found here: Select Committee Report

Election Results Declared

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So – all of the results have been declared in Warwickshire. You can see all of the results here. The current makeup of the Council is:

Conservatives: 26 seats

Labour: 22 seats

Liberal Democrats: 9 seats

Independent: 3 seats

Green Party: 2 seats

We’ve had a really busy morning at the five election counts – inputting all of the results in our brand-new, open-source, open-data elections results system. We’ve developed this in-house with our e-services team, who built this from scratch, effectively for free. We’re really, really pleased with the system – we’ve had some good feedback already, and would love to know what you guys think. drop us an email or tweet us @warksdemocracy.

It’s Thursday 2nd May – Vote today in the County Council Elections!

Morning folks. It’s an early start for all of the elections staff working in the County Council elections!

Polling stations will be open today all over the county, and you will have received a polling card through the post telling you where to vote.

Polling stations will be open from 7am -10pm – so there’s plenty of time to cast your vote. Just don’t forget!

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Add this to your to-do list: “Vote on Thursday”

Things are getting really busy here @warksdemocracy, so a short blog today.

Today’s message is simple. Don’t forget to vote on Thursday.

Add it to your to-do list. Stick a post-it note on the fridge. Put it on the calendar.

Vote here.As usual, if you’ve got any questions, or want any information, give us a shout on twitter, or at democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

First-time Voter?

Here at Warksdemocracy we’re always keen to get more young people interested in local democracy, and playing an active role in their local community. We’ve blogged before about the great work that the Warwickshire VOX and MYPs do to encourage young people to take part in local democracy.

We want to encourage young people to use their vote in the County Council elections on 2nd May, and have thier say on what goes on in the County.

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To do this, we’ve sent out postcards to every first-time voter in Warwickshire (that is anyone who is registered to vote, and has turned 18 recently) to remind people about the importance of using their vote, and the opportunity to pick the candidate who they think will best represent them.

So – if you’ll be voting for the first time in May, keep a look out for some info from us. In the meantime, if you want to give us a call or drop us an email then feel free. At the least, you should all go and follow us on twitter, right now.

Don’t lose your voice. Register to Vote!

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Our County Council elections take place on 2nd May, and we want to make sure that as many people in Warwickshire use their vote, and have a say about what goes on in Warwickshire.

Registering is easy – but if you don’t do it in time you’ll lose your chance to vote. Simply fill in this online form, or contact your local Electoral Office:

North Warwickshire

T: 01827 719221 E: democraticservices@northwarks.gov.uk

Nuneaton & Bedworth

T: 02476 376230 E: electoralreg@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk

Rugby

T: 01788 533595 E: elections@rugby.gov.uk

Stratford on Avon

T: 01789 260208 E: elections@stratford-dc.gov.uk

Warwick

T: 01926 456107 E: elections@warwickdc.gov.uk

Remember, you only have until 17th April to register.

There’s still time, but do it now to make sure you can use your vote on 2nd May.

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