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10.08.18

Six new local government citizens’ jury pilots headline Whitehall’s Civil Society Strategy

UK citizens will soon be able to have a say in local government decisions as the government launches its ‘Innovation in Democracy’ pilot scheme as part of its new Civil Society Strategy.

Users of the pilot in six regions across the country will soon be able to “take a more direct role” in decisions that impact their local area, ministers say. This could include decision-making via an online poll or an app.

The announcement comes after the government released its Civil Society Strategy yesterday. Amongst the plans are £20m from inactive charitable trusts to support community organisations over the next two years.

The government will also establish an independent organisation that will distribute £90m from dormant bank accounts to get disadvantaged young people into employment. The bank accounts will also source £55m to tackle ‘financial exclusion’ and the problem of access to affordable credit.

Tracey Crouch, minister for sport and civil society, unveiled the new vision as the first civil strategy in 15 years. The government hopes it will complement plans to grow Britain’s economy and boost productivity by building a more connected society.

Crouch said civil society is the “bedrock” of communities, adding that the strategy “builds on the spirit of common good” to create a country that works for everyone.

“Through collaboration, we will unlock the huge potential of this incredible sector, help it grow, support the next generation and create a fairer society,” she explained.

Digital, culture, media, and sport secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Our plans stand side-by-side with the Industrial Strategy, supporting its drive to grow the economy, while creating an environment where people and communities are at the heart of decision-making.

“These ambitious plans will harness the expertise of volunteers, charities and business to help people take a more active part in their local areas.”

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Image credit: skynesher

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