eParticipation practitioners in Scotland, and local democracy in the UK

  • This community is to bring people together who are interested in eParticipation and eDemocracy in Scotland. Objectives: sharing, improving and extending current initiatives, bringing people together to start new initiatives and supporting each other throughout. This community is facilitated by the International Teledemocracy Centre – itc.napier.ac.uk – and I’m one of the facilitators, along with Ella Taylor-Smith.
    Sign in is required – if you’re interested contact me direct, or apply via the site.
  • Some stats on local represenation in the UK.

    As is increasingly recognised, UK local government already operates on a scale that would prompt most democratic countries to put inverted commas around ‘local’. Our 468 principal local authorities for the 60 million of us equate to an average population of 128,000, or one councillor for every 2,730 residents.

    The 60 million French get over half a million councillors in their 36,700 communes alone – one for every 120 of them. The Swedes get one per 200, the Germans one per 420, the Spanish and Italians one per 600, and again these ratios are for only the most local tier in 2- or 3-tier local government systems.

A question to explore is how this impacts on actual practice in e-democracy and e-participation – not much need for an e- if you’re likely to meet your mayor or councillor in your pub or shop?

About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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