Liberal Democrats believe in community politics – in the power of local people to come together to solve their own problems and make a better life for their neighbourhoods. This means rejuvenating democratic local government in England and supporting other forms of community organisation and empowerment.
Community Politics is to engage with people by listening to their views & opinions and by empowering them to become engaged in decisions which relate to their community and their daily lives.
Citizens feel disconnected with local politics. This is driving low resident participation, a mere 38% voted in H&F 2014 local elections. Engagement with the democratic process is vital to sustaining a healthy representative democracy.
Digital tools present significant opportunities to facilitate wider public engagement and improve transparency. However, these opportunities will only succeed if local representatives are prepared to listen to people’s views and act on them.
Liberal Democrats favour greater transparency as a tool for citizens to hold government to account. Publishing data about public service performance empowers citizens, allowing them to make choices about which services to use and which politicians to entrust with taxpayers’ money.
The Liberal Democrats would
- Trial online tools to improve civic engagement.
- Make Consultations use ‘Plain English’ and be available in formats that make them accessible.
- Increase civic engagement in the consultation process through user-friendly online surveys.
- Keep the council website up to date.