Friday, 25 September 2009

Swansea prepares to celebrate Local Democracy Week

Swansea Council is gearing up for the 2009 Local Democracy Week that takes place from October 12 to 18.

The Local Authority is one of hundreds of Councils across the UK taking part in the campaign that's aimed at getting young people more involved with and aware of their Local Council.

Studies have shown most young people do not view local politics as a dominant force in their daily lives.

Research for the Local Government Association by Ipsos MORI shows that just a quarter of 11 to 16-year-olds believe that their local Councillor is the best person to approach in order to change something in their community.

And when asked who they respect most outside their family, only one per cent chose politicians. The same number chose their dog.

The same research shows that just one in three 11 to 16-year-olds have ever met a councillor or MP and also states that those who have are more likely to express feelings of political engagement and interest.

Plans at Swansea Council this year include Councillor blogging with at least three Councillors using this tool to engage with young people and enabling young people to engage with them on a range of topics.

The Council website will also feature a special questionnaire aimed at improving information on Councils as well as elections and voting.

Young people are also to be invited to take part in one of two debates.

And there will be a range of fun events at Swansea Civic Centre for younger children too.

Full details of the events will be issued in the run up to the week.

Huw Evans, Swansea Council Democratic Services Manager, said: "Living in a democratic country is something many of us take for granted. It is important that we help young people in particular understand how they can have their say on what goes on in their community.

"When they reach voting age, it is vital young people are well aware of how important it is to use that right to vote."

Details of Local Democracy Week nationally are available at


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