Democracy in Southwark
Your council, your call
The democratic landscape in Southwark has changed, thanks to the work of the Democracy Commission and your input. The commission was set up in July 2010 to improve both the level and quality of 'people power' in the borough by making council meetings more open and effective. Its stated aim was to bring the council closer to its residents, making it more accountable to them and more connected with their concerns.
That's why council assembly no longer happens at the Town Hall but is held at a variety of community-based locations. Recent venues have included The Harris Academy at Peckham, Southwark College (Bermondsey Campus), and The Charter School in Dulwich.
The next Council Assembly is on Wednesday 27 November 2013 and will include a themed debate on "Local Business and Enterprise" (including high streets and town centres). It will be preceded by an hour-long informal session from 6pm and the main business meeting from 7pm.
As a local authority, we're committed to creating 'a fairer future for all'. You can help to make this vision a reality by continuing to play your part in decision-making at council meetings.
Changes to council assembly and community council meetings
Phase one of the Democracy Commission, from summer 2010 to spring 2011, looked at ways in which council assembly could be improved, based on your feedback and suggestions. We're now working on implementing its recommendations.
As a result, changes to council assembly are:
- Enabling residents to inform council plans at an early stage
- Giving residents a chance to have their say
- Providing alternative venues for assemblies
- Being more flexible in their timing
- Changing the rules around petitions
The second phase of the Democracy Commission focused on the role and function of community councils - identifying how they can be improved as well as ways to make savings. Its findings were ratified at council assembly on 29 February 2012 and we're now working on implementing those. As a result the number of community councils has been reduced from eight to five:
- Bermondsey and Rotherhithe
- Peckham/Nunhead/Peckham Rye