An interesting evening was had last night:
Futures Forum: Do you want to be a councillor? Advice evening 13th March... but you must register by 28th February... presented by the Parliamentary Outreach Service
Especially with the contributions from the District's young people, who have been campaining against the proposed cuts to youth services:
Futures Forum: "Young campaigners denied a voice at Devon County Council budget meeting"
With things hotting up on that particular front:
Torridge and North Devon councils to debate Devon County Councils cuts at special meeting today | North Devon Journal
Exeter and East Devon teenagers continue their battle to save Devon County Council youth centres from closure | Exeter Express and Echo
Devon County Council plans to cut youth worker jobs lacks transparency claims union | Exeter Express and Echo
Two very sharp observations of the meeting on how to become a councillor:
“WHY STAND FOR ELECTION?” ASK THE YOUNGER GENERATION….
A special event at Knowle yesterday evening, involving the Parliamentary Outreach Service , was excellently organised by EDDC officers. Around 80 people attended the event, which had been advertised as an advice evening for prospective councillors. The session began well with a lively talk by Elizabeth Price of the Parliamentary Outreach service, who gave a quick overview of Parliament. The audience, including EDDC Leader Paul Diviani,listened attentively as she explained how its essential role is to hold government to account, represent the public, and to raise key issues. They also heard about parliamentary processes and, usefully, how to raise an issue in Parliament. The informal cross-party groups (All Party Parliamentary Groups, APPGs), may be of particular help to EDA as a member of Community Voice on Planning (www.covop.org). Ms Price also made a reference that seemed especially apt to the Knowle venue: she quoted Winston Churchill’s words, “We shape our buildings, and our buildings shape us”.
Julien Bassham of the Cabinet Office then described the Individual Electoral Registration (IER) reform which will be introduced in June 2014. It will concern only those people newly applying to register to vote, who will be required to give their Department of Work and Pension number along with their name. The aim is to prevent electoral fraud,largely in postal voting, where registration has sometimes been made by household. Questions from the audience showed some concern that this huge IT exercise could go awry (as with the NHS). We’ll soon see!
The high standard of presentations was impressively continued by George Downs and Alfie Weaver, speaking about the work of the Youth Parliament, the British Youth Council, and Devon Youth Service. George described various community action projects in detail, including the ‘Make Your Mark’ initiative to encourage young people to get involved, with the message that “Issues that matter, are politics in disguise”. Alfie stressed that the Devon Youth Service has no Party affiliation, but is “issue-affiliated”.
What a contrast this was, to the political mindset of the following speaker, EDDC Deputy Leader, Andrew Moulding. His closing talk was mostly based on trivialities (dogs harrassing political canvassers) and the implication that opponents’ leaflets (in this case, Councillor Douglas Hull’s) are only fit for the dustbin. No attempt was made to inform the listeners about what councillors do. This abysmal anti-climax to the evening provoked a sharp reaction from the audience.
“Why stand for election?” Ask the younger generation…. | East Devon Alliance