Margaret Yates Julie Goodall Democratic Services Annette King Digital Birmingham
<ul><li>WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Government by all the people, direct or representative’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Form of society ignoring hereditary class distinctions and tolerating minority views’. </li></ul>
<ul><li>HOW DOES IT WORK? </li></ul><ul><li>Parliament - Politics </li></ul><ul><li> - Law </li></ul><ul><li>Local Government </li></ul><ul><li>Unitary Councils, Metropolitan Councils </li></ul><ul><li>County Councils </li></ul><ul><li>District Councils, Borough Councils </li></ul><ul><li>Parish Councils, Parish Meetings </li></ul>
WHAT IS DEMOCRACY IN BIRMINGHAM? <ul><li>120 Councillors </li></ul><ul><li>4-year term of office </li></ul><ul><li>Progressive Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Local Government Act 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Leader/Cabinet Model </li></ul><ul><li>What about the future? </li></ul><ul><li>Elected Mayors </li></ul>
Regulatory Committees City Council Overview & Scrutiny Committees Constituency and Ward Committees Cabinet Council Business Management Committee
Democracy in Birmingham “ The DVD” http:// www.birmingham.gov.uk /democracy-video
<ul><li>E-democracy in Birmingham why is it important? </li></ul><ul><li>Improved access to its services and decisions for Councillors, Officers and Members of the Public. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures Openness, Accountability and Transparency of Decision Making. </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable. </li></ul><ul><li>Have your say and get involved. </li></ul>
E-initiatives In today’s society there is an ever increasing number of ways or channels that people want to be able to receive information. Through traditional methods such as newspapers, books, leaflets, meetings and more often now through digital technologies such as PC’s, Mobile Phones, Digital TV, etc.
E-participation/E-democracy CAMPAIGNS IDTV VIDEO VIEWS PHOTO SITES SOCIAL NETWORKING, SECOND LIFE ETC E-PETITIONS PLEDGES E-participation can broaden engagement by using technology to make process more manageable and more convenient for the time-poor, it can help open up the debate to people who would not be able to participate otherwise. Birmingham still has at least 50% of the population who do not have access to a broadband connection at home. By using IDTV everyone can take part in the democratic process.
<ul><li>Councils use a wide range of consultation methods but e-consultation is not simply about saving time and resources it is also about reaching out more widely to increase breadth and depth of consultation. It can aid citizens to get more engaged. and participate in issues that affect them. </li></ul><ul><li>Democracy can be enhanced if councillors want a quick poll on an issue that affects their ward, or a quick survey on a particular issue affecting the city. </li></ul><ul><li>Information or content is key to involvement and engagement by citizens in the democratic processes. </li></ul><ul><li>With more and more people expecting information to be available using digital channels Democratic Services are keen to ensure that everyone in society has access to the democratic processes. </li></ul>E-Consultation/E-Democracy
<ul><li>What is a petition? </li></ul><ul><li>A petition is a request to change something. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually signed by numerous individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Sent to someone in an official capacity that can do something about it. </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we need a system for petitions? </li></ul><ul><li>People have the right to speak against things they are not happy with. </li></ul><ul><li>The public need to know that petitions will be accepted and acted upon within the City Council. </li></ul><ul><li>Will it change the outcome of the decision? </li></ul><ul><li>It does not necessarily mean that a decision will be changed. </li></ul><ul><li>It may result in the decision being changed, or a compromise reached. </li></ul><ul><li>It does give the public the right to be heard. </li></ul>E-petitions
<ul><li>E-petitions </li></ul><ul><li>The City Council at its meeting on 14 October 2008, noted that the implementation of an e-petitions facility would be an indication that the City Council was fully supportive of the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Birmingham was offered the opportunity to be involved in a European Union Petitions Project. </li></ul><ul><li>Following investigation into e-petitions facilities a report went to Council Business Management Committee on 24 March 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>E-petitions site went live on 15 June 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>The Local Democracy, Economic Development Construction Act 2009 – “Duty to Respond to Petitions” came into force on 15 June 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Local Authorities are required to provide both a paper and an e-petition facility to meet Government Legislation by 15 December 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>System upgraded to include European Petitions 21 September 2010. </li></ul>
Is it successful? E-Petitions (number of hits per month)
Useful sites for Birmingham City Council Information and projects www.digitalbirmingham.co.uk - information about its work and projects www.birmingham.gov.uk/bulletin - information alert service by email based on subscription (over 120,000 subscribers – in 8 months and growing) http://www.visitbirmingham.com/visitor_information/meet_birmingham_mobile/ - wireless city centre free information zone for people who come into the city and on the move www.digitv.gov.uk/digitv/cds/Birmingham/Netgem/home - Birmingham's IDTV service part of a National project hosted and developed by Kirklees Council Best performing microsite in the country. http:// www.summitvirtualtours.co.uk/Preview/BCH/BCH_bch.html - virtual tour of the Council House http://slurl.com/secondlife/Birmingham%20Island/235/238/1001 - Second Life Virtual Council Chamber www.birmingham.gov.uk/Democracy - Agendas, Reports and Minutes of meetings. www.birmingham.gov.uk/petitions - E-petitions site.
Democracy in Birmingham E-Initiatives not a replacement but an enhancement to existing systems. Questions
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