At the Electoral Reform Society we believe that citizens should be discussing where power lies in their area and how democracy should
work. So with the government devolving more powers to the local and regional level, we’ve
been down to Southampton and up here in Sheffield to run the UK’s first ever Citizens’ Assemblies.
We’ve drawn in people from across South Yorkshire to learn about the topic and to discuss their
ideas for devolution. The Democracy Matters project has been organised by the Electoral
Reform Society together with academics from the Universities of Southampton, Sheffield,
Westminster and London, with the aim of finding out how these assemblies could work right
across the UK. It’s the first real chance for local people here in Yorkshire and down
in Southampton to make their views heard about where they want power to lie and to debate
both the government’s ideas that are going through parliament but also the local authorities’
proposals. The Democracy Matter’s Citizens’ Assemblies project is about so much more than
just local devolution, it’s about how we can run really exciting deliberative events like
Citizens’ Assemblies and conventions, it’s about how to do democracy differently, it’s
about giving us the tools to create a better democracy for everyone.