Local Democracy Week

Local Democracy Week

Local Democracy Week (LDW) is an annual event whose purpose is to foster a greater knowledge of local democracy and to promote the idea of democratic participation at a local level. Since 2004, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council have hosted a variety of events aimed at students from schools and colleges across the borough to further this purpose. LDW takes place each year around mid-October.

The BIG Youth Debate

This free event for all young people between the ages of 13 and 19 who live or go to school / college in the borough took place on Tuesday 15th October 2019 in the New Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reigate and was attended by 25 students who debated three topics with members of the Young Leaders and Surrey Young Mayor on the panel. The event was organised by the Reigate & Banstead Young Leaders.

The topics debated on the night were:

  • Should university be free?
  • Should manufacturers be banned from using plastic packaging?
  • Is social media harmful to users?

The Mayor and local councillors observed the debate and after the debate the young people had refreshments with the Mayor in his parlour and the opportunity to speak to their local councillors.

Voting System Demonstrations

Two free events for Politics students from Reigate College took place in the morning and afternoon of Thursday 11th October 2018 at the Town Hall, Reigate. The students learnt about different voting systems and conducted simulated elections of their own, staffing a polling station and casting and counting the votes.

Question Time with Nicholas Owen

On Tuesday 27th November 2018 we held a Question Time event at Reigate Town Hall for students from local secondary schools: Reigate School, St. Bede’s, The Beacon School and Merstham Park School. Our Question Time panel was made up of Cllr. Anna Tarrant, Cllr. Simon Parnall, Woody Woodall (Co-founder of George and the Giant Pledge) and Matthew Weech (Chair of the Reigate and Banstead Young Leaders) and was hosted by the newsreader and journalist Nicholas Owen.

The questions from the students were excellent and the panel were well-researched. The students were invited to the Mayor’s Parlour for refreshments after the event to meet the Mayor and panellists. Several of the students took the opportunity to ask the panellists additional questions!

Well done to all who took part. Many thanks to our panellists and to our chair, Nicholas Owen who kept the debate running smoothly and engaged the students by prompting them to ask additional questions to the panel and questioning them about their own opinions and experiences.

Getting Involved

We're always looking to support and encourage local democracy throughout the year, so if you have any questions or would like to get involved, please feel free to contact us at Democratic Services: democratic@reigate-banstead.gov.uk