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Local Democracy Explained

Members of the public are being invited to take a crash course in local democracy.

Local Democracy Week, which began on Monday, is being marked by a series of meetings and seminars to inform people how local co-ordination works in their areas.

Area Co-ordination is in place to carry out four main functions: to ensure money is spent wisely, to help various services to work together efficiently, to be more responsive to local needs by helping residents to band together to help themselves and to make it easier for people to contact city council departments.

Coventry is divided into six areas, each with its own local area co-ordination office with full time support staff. Throughout this week forum meetings are being held in each area, headed by the four local area co-ordinating officers, so the public can learn more about its local democracy.

Councillor Phil Townshend said:

"We recognise the importance of local democracy. Area co-ordination represents our commitment to increase democracy at many levels. It is important that people participate. They should get out of their armchairs and into the debating chamber.

"This commitment at local ward level underlines our intention to provide honest, accountable and transparent local government in Coventry."

To help explain the democratic process Val Clowes, the city council's Principal Elections Officer, was at Hillfields Area Co-ordination Office in Primrose Hill Street on Tuesday. She was answering questions on completing the electoral registration form, what to do after moving house, postal or proxy voting, changes in the law and any other electoral matters.

Details of other meetings through the week can be obtained from local area co-ordination offices.

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CWN / Coventry City Council / Area Coordination / 14 Sep 00
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