Next May sees all-out elections in Exeter, with 39 seats up for grabs following the changing of ward boundaries last week by the Boundary Commission.
Local Democracy Week runs from 12 to 16 October. 'Make a difference: Be a Councillor’ is a free workshop running at the Guildhall on Tuesday from 5.30pm, taking people through just what is involved in being a councillor. There will be a question and answer session with Council Leader Pete Edwards and Cllr Peter Holland.
On Thursday, Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw holds an Open Surgery at the Guildhall in Exeter from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. The public will have a chance to quiz the local MP on a one-to-one basis on any issues. Again, the event is free to attend.
Ben Bradshaw said: "I am delighted that Exeter City Council is fully embracing Local Democracy Week and all that it brings, and am pleased to be playing a part in their series of events. I am particularly looking forward to meeting local residents to find out about what is important to them."
Local Democracy Week aims to motivate people to take part in decision making processes at grassroots level. The City Council is encouraging people to get involved during the week of events.
The week kicks off on 12 October with an ‘Insight into Politics’, a session for local school students at Exeter Guildhall, Britain’s oldest working municipal building. Children from West Exe School, St Lukes School and Exeter School will be debating a number of topics including refugees, The European Union and Electoral Reform, in the presence of City Councillors Stephen Brimble, Ollie Pearson and Meg Williams, before voting on the issues.
Children have also been taking part in a competition to become a Mini Mayor for the Day! The children from local schools were invited to enter a competition to write a small piece on what they would do if they were Mayor for the day. The winning entry will be picked by the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Olwen Foggin, and will be invited to tour the Guildhall and accompany her on her duties on 24 October.
Exeter Community Forum will be holding a free workshop on 17 October to consider how communities can meet the challenges and create opportunities as Exeter grows over the next few years. This event takes place between 10am and 2.30pm and will help shape the plans for the Exeter Community Strategy. It will be attended by the City Council Leader, Pete Edwards. For more information on this event go to http://exetercommunityforum.net/our-communities-our -future/
To find out about Local Democracy and other events taking place, go to www.exeter.gov.uk
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