Have Your Say in Local Democracy Week

Published: 29 Sep 2017

Residents are being urged to make their voices heard and help shape Hertfordshire County Council’s plans for the future.

A series of events are being staged as part of Local Democracy Week (October 9 -15) in a bid to encourage people to make a difference to their local area by getting involved in the council’s planning and decisions.

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Education, Localism and Libraries, said: “It’s vital people know they have a voice when it comes to local issues, and Local Democracy Week is a great opportunity for residents to find out how they can get more involved.

“We would also encourage more residents to take an active role by joining the Hertfordshire County Council Citizens Panel, which enables them to state their opinion on a variety of topics, including council and health services.”

One of the highlights of the week is a schools debate at County Hall on Thursday 12 October, where a selection of sixth form students from Hertfordshire schools will have the chance to debate an important issue in the council chamber.

The event, hosted by Council Chairman Richard Thake, is being staged to help young people understand the decision-making process of a council, and how local communities can influence these decisions.

Councillors are also planning to visit local schools in the county to explain how the county council provides services locally, and to answer any questions the young people may have.

As well as these events, Young Commissioners will be sharing their stories throughout the week on Facebook and Twitter about what local democracy can do for young people, and how the council listens to people’s views.

Cllr Douris said: “We want young people to know they also have a voice when it comes to making important decisions about services across the county, and our Young Commissioners are a prime example of how this is possible.”

The Young Commissioners programme gives young people a direct say in the running of services and the opportunity to feedback. Having undergone a training programme, the Young Commissioners participate in site visits, attend tender panels and interviews and are very much involved in the co-production of services.

Residents can also get involved by following @hertscc on Twitter and using the hashtag #ELDW2017

To find out more about how residents can influence decisions, visit http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/localdemocracyweek

To join the Hertfordshire County Council Citizen Panel, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/citizenspanel