Events I Have Attended
New Towns as Sustainable Communities Conference
I have attended the New Towns as Sustainable Communities Project Final Conference in Brussels. This project aims to work with those in the UK, France and Netherlands to drive forwards the development of new towns such as Basildon in the best way. This includes addressing issues such as social cohesion, and maintaining economic investment, whilst at the same time ensuring the environment in such towns is protected.
You can find out more about this project by visiting the website:
Local Democracy Week
As part of this year’s Local Democracy Week Sustainable Community Services hosted a Local Democracy Event for local schools which I attended.
The day was a huge success with Beauchamps, Billericay, Bromford, Chalvedon, De La Salle, James Hornsby High, Woodlands and Barstable schools attended and each bringing between ten and twelve students. Also present were twelve Basildon District Councillors, as well as Superintendent Glenn Caton from Basildon Police, Ian Wake, Assistant Director of Public Health at South West Essex Primary Care Trust, Russell Ward Head of Street Scene and Open Spaces at Basildon Council, Roy Short, Cultural Services Manager (BC) and Tracey Ridgewell, Youth and Community Engagement Co-ordinator (BC).
As part of the Local Democracy Week campaign, the event helped to make the Council more relevant and useful to young people, encouraging young people to 'take part and take power'. The young people had the opportunity to meet and debate with local councillors and other guests through a range of interactive and fun activities designed to make councils more relevant and useful to young people.
The ‘question time’ event, which saw the young people grill their local representatives about pressing local issues proved to be very popular. It was also a great forum for young people to share their ideas about how Basildon district could be improved for them and what they felt were highlights about living in their local area. Importantly, the event enabled the Councillors to meet with their younger constituents, providing an insight into their needs and concerns.
The young people were also consulted on the Integrated Youth Strategy, which is under development. The event was a great opportunity to improve young people’s democratic engagement and promote the importance of involvement in local politics. Basildon Council also took away lots of innovative ideas for improvement from the young people and aims to put some of these into reality.