Publication - Strategy/plan

Democracy Matters - local governance review: phase 2

This discussion document builds on the first phase of Democracy Matters conversations. It would have provided the basis for a second phase of deliberation on future scenarios for community decision-making in different settings if the pandemic had not prevented these from taking place as planned.

Democracy Matters - local governance review: phase 2
Accountability and Participation

Accountability and Participation

In the first phase of Democracy Matters, people told us that decision-makers must involve the community and be accountable to them for the difference made with the total resource available.

New decision-making bodies are fully accountable to their community. The two come together at annual community events to discuss progress made on local priorities. Community events have a gala day feel to them while also offering everyone the same opportunity to have their voice heard about what the new decision-making bodies should do next. The emphasis is on inclusive respectful dialogue and purposeful deliberation.

Fernshill has been experimenting with a digital platform which is open to the whole community and provides information on progress, along with online voting, to inform future priority setting. Christietown is currently working with the community to agree whether to take on a further set of powers. This has involved asking whether current accountability mechanisms should be strengthened to reflect the proposed increase in responsibility.

Q6. What do you think are the best ways to ensure new decision-making bodies are accountable to their community?

Q7. Are community events a good way to involve local people in scrutinising progress and setting future direction?

Q8. What other mechanisms would help achieve high levels of community participation in local decision-making processes?