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Local e-Democracy National Project A benefits study Jane Ratford – IDeA

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Presentation on theme: "Local e-Democracy National Project A benefits study Jane Ratford – IDeA"— Presentation transcript:

1 Local e-Democracy National Project A benefits study Jane Ratford – IDeA

2 Definition of e-Democracy any application of e-technology that enables or enhances the interaction between government and its stakeholders with the goal of raising engagement and participation in democratic processes. Defining e-Democracy

3 Key messages e-Democracy has the potential to bring real and important benefits to councillors council officers and citizens Councils must take advantage of these tools for their statutory activities, and should be able to frame cost-neutral additions to business cases that include e-Democracy tools and techniques.

4 Stakeholders e-Democracy can help: Councillors in their roles of oversight, scrutiny and representation. Increased visibility within their communities and their capacity to engage with constituents Council officers inform citizens, gather their views and feed back into service delivery. Helps meet government targets Offers useful service improvements Delivers cost reduction and efficiency gains Citizens and communities to organise and campaign. Improved channels for engagement with councils and councillors


6 Local e-Democracy Success Stories (1) Bristol conducted 12 consultations in 10 months using e-Panels. To do this by conventional means would have cost a total of £96,000. Using e-Panels the cost was less than £40,000. One young person in Kingston started an e-Petition when funding was withdrawn from a local voluntary organisation that offered youth advice and counselling. The petition received over 200 signatures in 2 days, and the organisation was helped to rebuild its services.

7 Local e-Democracy success stories (2) Approximately 23,732 citizens read one of the 10 Councillor blogs over a period of 12 months. If one councillor at each Local Authority blogged, it is estimated that between 350,000 and 2.5 million citizens would read one each month. In Swindon, where the Microdemocracy pilot has been running since 2004, there was a 1.5% increase in turn out at the 2005 general election, a reversal of national trends. This represents many more actual voters as Swindon has a sharply increasing population, due to new housing developments.

8 Meeting government targets National Strategy Transforming Services Renewing Local Democracy Promoting Economic Vitality Bridging the Digital Divide – e-Inclusion Efficiency “Liveability”/ Environmental Quality BVPI 157 Priority Service Outcomes Schools Community Information Democratic Renewal Local Environment E-Procurement Payments Libraries, Sports & Leisure Transport Benefits Support for Vulnerable People Supporting New Ways of Working Accessibility of Services High Take-up of Web-based Transactional Services Making it Easy to do Business with the Council CPA Framework Corporate Assessment Ambition Prioritisation Capacity Performance Management Achievement and Investment Sustainable Communities and transport Safer & Stronger Communities Healthier Communities Older People Children and Young People Use of Resources High BenefitMedium Benefit Lower BenefitN/A Key

9 Addressing newer agendas Neighbourhoods Bottom-up e-Democracy Democracy should be an open public conversation Representation can be a direct relationship where citizens speak themselves. Enhancing, highlighting and connecting grass roots networks Politics can be carried out in day-to-day language as a part of everyday life Digital inclusion Hard to reach groups Transformational government “Systematically engage with citizens”

10 Making e-Democracy happen Position democracy at centre of council’s strategy (as inferred by the Transformational Government paper). This means re-evaluating engagement in all activities. This requires skills to be in place. e.g. Councillors use of the internet, Council’s ability to manage Online Networks Step 3Select channels &tools Step 4 Implement & Support Step 2 Build new skills Step 1 Re-assess Strategy Political vision and leadership The key to success is political vision and leadership that recognises democracy as an integral part of the council’s strategy and e-Democracy as an important new set of tools and channels to make this happen Making it happen

11 Summary e-Democracy can generate real, tangible benefits for: Councillors Councils Citizens Requires sustained commitment from councillors and senior officers to succeed Any touch point with citizens can be enhanced when considered through the lens of e-Democracy

12 More information… Northlincs Net Contact: Fraser Henderson Email: Or: Tel: 01724 275005

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