UK Democracy Meetup

If you’re reading this after the Democracy Meetup, you can still contribute.  

Check Ins, updates and information entered on this document will be added into the fortnightly Democracy Bulletin newsletter which goes out to hundreds of subscribers across the democracy space, every two weeks.

Add your updates, plug your projects, share your hiring roles, events and more before October 18th 6pm and your update will make it into the weekly newsletter.

You can view previous newsletters, here.


The purpose of this event is for people and organisations working on improving UK democracy to quickly share their activities and news with the wider network. They are held fortnightly on Mondays.

They are designed to be asynchronous - i.e. you can participate whenever is convenient for you on the day - but there’s a 30 minute live session at 2pm for if it’s your first time, if you like seeing a few friendly faces, or just if it’s useful for you to have time scheduled in your calendar (use this link: democracymeetup.org.uk/calendar)

Updates submitted will be edited and sent out via the mailing list: democracymeetup.org.uk/discussion-list

Looking for a something a bit more chatty?

Here’s every democracy event we know about: addevent.com/calendar/zS334906

or tell us about yours: http://airtable.com/shrH0TnXWBRakSw87

How this works

  1. Scroll down to the check-ins section and pick an empty one for yourself.
    If there are none left, copy and paste one.
    Put your name, job title and organisation at the top.
  2. Write your check-in. Take your time, use lots of detail.
    We recommend you spend at least 15 minutes thinking and writing.
    The questions are just prompts, feel free to ignore them, change them, or write whatever you feel like… but don’t leave out the basics, different people come to this event each time and they don’t necessarily know or remember who you are or what you do!
  3. Read through everyone else’s check-ins, make comments, organise follow-up chats, etc.
    If it’s before 2pm, you might like to check back later in the day and see what’s changed.
  4. Tomorrow, the team will edit together everyone’s updates and send them out via the mailing list (subscribe!)

If it’s your first time, there is an induction session at 2pm (add to your calendar)

Zoom (optional):        https://zoom.us/j/96169991011?pwd=TktqZFgxb1RVSmN1bElZcjN1VFZBUT09

Password:                Democracy

14:00 - 14:20                Write your check-in below

14:20 - 14:30                Read everyone else’s check-ins and make comments

Answer comments on your check-in

Organise follow-up chats

14:30 - 14:40                Breakout Rooms, for those who want them

Check-ins

Alex King, Comms & Marketing Associate, Shared Future CIC

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

  • Would you like to sign up to receive the weekly digest of this meetup? Yes

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

  • Democracy Pioneers – A winner of a NESTA Democracy Pioneers award, this project is a collaboration between Glasgow City Council, Katy Rubin and us. The project aims to tackle the climate crisis through an intensive legislative theatre project led by young people coinciding with the Glasgow COP26 Climate Conference. The young Glaswegians began rehearsing in the summer, and have prepared a play centering on transport and accessibility. Their final performance is this Saturday, 23 October – if you happen to be in Glasgow please do come along!
  • Furness Climate Change Citizens’ Jury – we’re looking for 20 people based in Furness-in-Barrow in Cumbria to take part in our climate change citizens’ jury which will seek to answer the question, ‘What should happen in the Furness area to address the emergency of climate change?’ If you were one of several thousand people to receive a letter from us we’d love to hear from you! The deadline for registering interest is Monday, 25 October. We’d really appreciate any amplification anyone can provide!  
  • Southwark Climate Change Citizens’ Jury – we’re also looking for 25 people based in the London borough of Southwark to take part in our climate change citizens’ jury which will seek to answer the question, ‘What needs to change in Southwark to tackle the emergency of climate change fairly and effectively for people and nature?’ If you were one of several thousand people to receive a letter from us we’d love to hear from you! The deadline for registering interest is Wednesday, 27 October. Again we’d really appreciate it if anyone could share this!
  • The Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury, which we’re running for the Northern Housing Consortium, saw 30 social housing tenants from across the north of England to voice their views on making their homes greener, warmer and cheaper to heat through retrofit. The jury’s recommendations will be launched at the NHC’s 2021 Summit, which begins on Tuesday, 2 November. Book your space and see what tenants think about tackling the climate emergency!

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

  • Achieve as many sign-ups as possible for the Southwark and Furness-in-Barrow climate change citizens’ juries!
  • Get as many people along to our show in Glasgow.

Organise a meeting with me about:

  • Citizens’ assemblies/juries, climate change, participatory budgeting. Research and processes - all enquiries welcome!

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

  • More facilitators to enable us to run more processes.

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

  • I’d suggest taking a look at the Democracy Pioneers show this Saturday!

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

  • We’d recommend taking a look at the Global Assembly – the world's first global citizens' assembly. The assembly launched 5 October to coincide with COP26 and will provide a practical way for people from across the world to contribute to the climate conference. Anyone in the world can participate if they take part in what’s called a community assembly. It looks like this has buy-in from some pretty senior political figures within the UK and Scottish governments, which is encouraging. Hopefully it becomes embedded as a permanent feature of global climate governance.

Jon Morter, “annoying little wazzock” - Piers Morgan, @TheProgAlliance

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

  • The Progressive Alliance on FB, IG, and TW

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

  • With the sad news about Sir David occurring just down the road, it’s a case of a subdued messaging and appropriateness

Organise a meeting with me about:

  • Amplifying your good work in pushing for a change

Jessie Joe Jacobs Democracy Network UK Coordinator

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

  • The Democracy Network is a new JRRT funded initiative to bring together people and projects from across the UK who are passionate about democracy and giving people more power over the things that happen to and around them.
  • The aim is to strengthen the collective power, influence and voice of those that care about democracy and people's voices; to encourage collaboration, and ultimately work towards a society where power is more equally shared.

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

Organise a meeting with me about:

  • I am in the early stages of setting up the UK Democracy Network and I'd like to arrange a meeting to find out more about democracy projects and what you may be up to

  • The aim is to strengthen the collective power, influence and voice of those that care about democracy and people's voices; to encourage collaboration, and ultimately work towards a society where power is more equally shared.

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

  • Democratise to Decarbonise
  • People’s Powerhouse Event
  • Electoral Reform Head of Comms job

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

  • Met up with Simon who runs Neighbourhood Democracy Movement whose aim is creating a movement for citizens, neighbourhoods and their allies to create real democracy in every community and a real shift of power to local people.

https://dememove.org/

Jon Narcross, Communications Officer, Electoral Reform Society

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

  • Would you like to sign up to receive the weekly digest of this meetup? Yes / No

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

  • Currently - big focus on the Elections Bill - resisting attacks on voter rights, imposing FPTP on Mayoral and PCC elections.
  • Working with Politics for the Many to build support for electoral reform in the trade union movement (Unite conference taking place now)
  • ERS council elections are currently ongoing - please make sure to vote if you’re a member!

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

  • Comms planning for the next couple of months
  • Elections Bill comms

Organise a meeting with me about:

  • Democracy comms/messaging
  • Anything and everything ERS

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

  • Comms - we’re currently a one person comms team (for the next couple of months)

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

James Moulding, Centre for Democracy

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

  • Would you like to sign up to receive the weekly digest of this meetup? I author the newsletter

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

  • Democracy Bulletin newsletter
  • UK Democracy Meetup
  • Sector event calendar
  • Sector organisation map
  • Sector-wide job and grants database
  • View all of this at our website

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

  • Pulling together our next bulletin
  • Working with George Bolton on a democracy academia network

Organise a meeting with me about:

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

Liz Crosbie, Reboot Gb

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

  • Yes

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

  • Reboot Gb is a political intervention in the run up to the next General election to change the narrative around co-operation and progressive forces working together to support democratic and political renewal.

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

  • Finalising communications on the Democratic Hubs web content and Toolkit,
  • Working on targeting the ideal seats for maximum intervention at the next General Election,
  • Working on another Alternative Voice podcast.

Organise a meeting with me about:

  • Sharing data on voting history and targeting for the next General Election.

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

  • Website management or membership engagement.

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

  • Lots of you.

James Robertson, Campaigns Director, Sortition Foundation

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects/ What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

We have two main areas of activity, campaigns and sortition services (recruiting people to take part in citizens assemblies)

Campaigns:

  • Running a campaign for a “House of Citizens” in Scotland. A second chamber run as a permanent second chamber in Holyrood see more deets here
  • Just finished last week running a series of focus groups looking at different ways of framing democratic reform - very interesting!
  • Kicking off a campaign for a citizens assembly on the future of Hungary
  • Bringing together a coalition of different groups (Make Votes Matter, Compass, ERS and Unlock Democracy) to run a series of events and supporter mobilisations around COP26 to push the narrative that climate change is, in part, a product of our outdated political system  

Sortition Services:

  • Currently recruiting for climate assemblies in Herefordshire, Bridgend, Southwark and Barrow
  • Planning a deliberative process in Redbridge
  • Recruiting for two municipal water infrastructure events two in Australia
  • The UCL Democracy in UK after Brexit process is currently in progress which we recruited for recently
  • Supporting the Global Climate Assembly which is feeding into the COP26 in Glasgow

Organise a meeting with me about:

  • Movement framing and/ or strategy. Collaboration for radical change

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

  • OMG I would love some press/ comms capacity

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

  • Yes! What are you doing on November 6th? We’re putting together a team and we need your help. Despite the grand promises at election time, successive UK governments have ignored decades of public pressure to act to avert climate breakdown. That’s why we are attending the Global Day of Action for Climate on 6th November in Glasgow and London, to help build support for a simple message - we have to democratise to decarbonise. We need your help in flyering the demonstration to demand a binding Citizens’ Assembly* to bring together people from all walks of life to redesign British democracy from the bottom up so we’re never ignored again. We’re then all going to join the march with supporters from our groups under our beautiful  “democratise to decarbonise” banner. Oh and did I mention that if you join the Glasgow block you also get into a party with food and drink that night for free! Contact me if you’re willing and able to join, also let me know if you’d like to invite your supporters/ networks to take part

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

Your name, job title, organisation

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

  • email
  • twitter.com/handle
  • Would you like to sign up to receive the weekly digest of this meetup? Yes / No

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

Organise a meeting with me about:

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

Your name, job title, organisation

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

  • email
  • twitter.com/handle
  • Would you like to sign up to receive the weekly digest of this meetup? Yes / No

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

Organise a meeting with me about:

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

Your name, job title, organisation

Contact details (remember this document is open to anyone with the link)

  • email
  • twitter.com/handle
  • Would you like to sign up to receive the weekly digest of this meetup? Yes / No

What are your organisations’ programmes / projects?

What will you try to achieve this fortnight?

Organise a meeting with me about:

If you had an extra employee, what would you get them to do?

What have you seen or done that everyone should be aware of? e.g. research, events, jobs, grants…

Tell us about a democracy initiative that you respect

Breakout Rooms

Feel free to make suggestions for topics for (voicechat) discussion, and we’ll set these up as breakout rooms at 14:30

Upcoming Parliamentary Activity

via https://clearthelobby.co.uk/newsletter

Upcoming Elections

via https://whocanivotefor.co.uk


This is an open editing space for the fortnightly Centre for Democracy newsletter

Read the bulletin on Medium

UK Democracy Bulletin

Wednesday 20th October 2021


Fortnightly news, jobs, grants and gossip from the democracy sector, brought to you by James Moulding and Molly Hudson of The Centre for Democracy. This week we were joined by guest editor Jessie Joe Jacobs, Coordinator of the UK Democracy Network. Read by 280+ democracy organisations. We read everyone’s newsletters & research so you don’t have to. If you want us to cover yours, let us know: [email protected]


Highlights

  • Sir David Amess MP’s murder shocks Westminster
  • Democratise to Decarbonise new joint campaign gears up for COP26
  • Online Safety Bill gathers pace, Frances Haugen to speak before MPs on 25th October
  • Kemi Badenoch new minister responsible for the Elections Bill

In case you missed it…

You can read this Democracy Bulletin email on Medium.

Get involved…

Democracy Sector

Sir David Amess MP

Westminster is in a state of shock at the murder of sitting MP David Amess, just 5 years on from the death of Jo Cox. On Monday, Parliamentarians of all hues paid tribute to the memory of the veteran Southend MP. The Queen has now granted Southend on Sea city status in his honour, in recognition of David’s tireless campaign to boost the then-town’s status. Democracy organisations and political parties have ceased campaigning for the time being out of respect.

More in Common publish report on UK public attitudes to democracy and politics

The new report, Democratic Repair: What Britons expect from their democracy, is based on polling and focus groups based on their 7 segments. The research found that most take pride in Britain’s democratic system and felt that the democratic system is not in crisis, though the research highlighted signs of potential disrepair and decay. View More in Common’s paper and their recommendations here.

Police Bill Alliance update

The Police Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Lords, and is scheduled for Committee on 20th, 25th, and 27th October. From 10-17 October 2021, Amnesty UK, Liberty, Stonewall, Freedom from Torture, the British Institute for Human Rights, Equally Ours, The End Violence Against Women Coalition, the Quakers and The Humanists held a Week of Action for Human Rights in the UK. If you have any questions regarding the Police Bill Alliance or would like to join Liberty’s Police Bill Alliance email updates, please email Kathleen Christie.

Democracy Pioneers legislative theatre performance this Saturday in Glasgow

A winner of the Nesta Democracy Pioneers award, a new legislative theatre project by Katy Rubin, Glasgow City Council and Shared Future CIC, has brought young Glaswegians together throughout the summer to explore and develop a play around transport and accessibility. Their final performance is this Saturday, October 23rd!

Shared Future CIC are on the lookout for Citizens’ Jury participants

Alex King at Shared Future CIC is looking for people based in Furness-in-Barrow in Cumbria and Southwark in London, to join Climate Change Citizens’ Juries in their area. The deadlines are on the 25th and 27th October respectively. Meanwhile, the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury is due to launch their recommendations on Tuesday 2nd November at the Northern Housing Consortium’s 2021 Summit.

Electoral Reform Society working with Politics for the Many to build support within trade unions for PR

After last month’s Labour Party Conference vote, organisations pushing for electoral reform have re-focused on the trade unions as the last major obstacle to securing the Labour Party’s commitment to PR. Electoral Reform Society council elections are also currently ongoing. If you’re a member - or know anyone who is - make sure to vote!

Josiah Mortimer starts their first week as City Hall Editor of MyLondon this week

Stepping down as Head of Comms at the Electoral Reform Society, Josiah is keen to hit the ground running in their new role. Please drop them an email or tweet to discuss any London democracy issues, campaigns, research and story tips.

‘Jessie meets’ - the new Democracy Network Coordinator has been meeting & greeting democracy projects and attending events across the UK and democracy sector. Here is a summary of some of those meetings:

Hannah Stevens at Elect Her - Formerly known as The Parliament Project, Elect Her is active across England, Scotland & Wales and is a non-partisan organisation working to motivate, support and equip women in all their diversity to stand for political office in Britain. Nearly 5000 women have attended their workshops to date and are soon to be beginning a major project in Wales funded by the Welsh government.

Simon Duffy at Citizen Network is a global cooperative working for equality and justice around the world. It exists to celebrate human diversity and stand up for human equality, encouraging people to work together as citizens,rejecting division and creating more inclusive communities that will welcome people with all their differences. Based in South Yorkshire but with global aims, they run other networks and projects such as the UBI lab, Neighbourhood Democracy Movement and Citizen Fest. See more here.

Hattie Andrews at The Politics Project. They specialise in supporting young people and politicians to have powerful conversations that build understanding, trust and relationships and lead to real change in communities. They run Democracy Classroom which hosts an online hub which brings together a large collection of political literacy, democracy and electoral engagement resources.

Democratise to DeCarbonise - Planning for COP26. James Robertson (Sortition Foundation) Tom Brake (Unlock Democracy) Frances Foley (Compass) Phil Connor, Willie Sullivan (Electoral Reform Society), Klina Jordan (Make Votes Matter) have come together to develop a joint campaign to be launched at COP26 around making democratisation a key ask of the climate movement and those that support it. Democratise to Decarbonise states that despite grand promises at election time, successive UK governments have ignored decades of public pressure to act to avert climate breakdown. To decarbonise we have to democratise and their key demands are a binding Citizens’ Assembly. To find out more contact James at Sortition Foundation.

The Online Safety Bill's Impact on Elections and Democracy: Jessie attended a panel discussion and Q&A about the impact of the Online Safety Bill on UK democracy co-hosted by Centre for Democracy and Fair Vote UK. The draft Online Safety Bill outlines a new, systemic approach to tackling online harms including a "duty of care" for digital platforms to protect their users from harmful content. It would also grant Ofcom new oversight and fining capabilities so that it can act as the digital regulator.

This discussion looked at what could change under the Bill, how it currently may not go far enough and what to do to ensure it has the best possible impact on political discourse and debate in the digital arena.

Panelists included: Kyle Taylor, Director of Fair Vote UK, Ellen Judson, Senior Researcher at Demos and Maeve Walsh, Associate, Carnegie UK Trust

Naomi Smith: Best for Britain, Best for Britain was founded in 2017 as a crisis response to Britain's departure from the EU. They re-launched under CEO Naomi Smith in April 2021. They believe that democracy can only be improved if public trust in politics and political processes is restored and that a more decentralised approach to decision making would put power back into the hands of local communities and help to re-enfranchise the disenfranchised. They are supporting and leading on various democracy initiatives with a view to see a healthier democracy in the UK.

Big update from Sortition Foundation: second chamber in Scotland, citizens assembly on democracy and more

James Robertson, Campaigns Director at Sortition Foundation, is currently in the midst of a campaign pushing for a “House of Citizens” as a second chamber in Scotland, first envisioned by the 2019 Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland. Sortition are also working to convene a new major coalition of groups, including Make Votes Matter, Compass, ERS and Unlock Democracy, running a series of events and supporter mobilisations at COP26, testing the waters for a new potential cross-sectoral campaign for a CA on democracy in the UK. But that’s not all, they’re also running a series of focus groups looking at different ways of framing democratic reform, and supporting the UCL Democracy in the UK after Brexit process. Many fingers, in many pies.

London Assembly member expected to pass a motion in favor of residence-based voting rights

Whilst it’s unclear who on the assembly will pass the motion, Mayor Sadiq Khan has approved of RBVR in the past.

Liz Crosbie highlights lack of democracy sector readiness for a potential snap General Election in 2022

This week’s Democracy Check-In session centred on how ready the UK democracy space is for a potential election in 2022. What are the steps we need to take right now to begin? How is your organisation campaigning affected by the Elections Bill? Shaun Roberts of Unlock Democracy, Liz Crosbie of RebootGB and Jon Morter of the Progressive Alliance, suggested an immediate summit. Other interesting aspects of discussion centred on how do we prevent the tactical vote “mess” that occurred in GE 2019.

I Have A Voice and Votes for Schools team up for the kids

In the run up to COP26, Votes for Schools are working partner organisations including UNICEF UK to explore with children climate change and its effect on their rights. There will be a free package of resources to facilitate a debate at Primary, Secondary and 16+, and the chance for children and young people to vote and comment on the question. Find out more here.

Don’t miss: UK Democracy Fund Conference

Bringing together researchers, campaigners, policy makers and practitioners, UK Democracy Fund looks to assess the potential impact of the Elections Bill, the stalling of the Every Vote Matters agenda, and how we might build solutions to under-representation. Register for the conference here.

Champions of free expression celebrated at Index on Censorship awards

The winners of Index on Censorship's 2021 Freedom of Expression awards have been announced at a ceremony in London. The Freedom of Expression Awards, which were first held in 2000, celebrate individuals or groups who have had a significant impact fighting censorship anywhere in the world. Winners join Index's Awards Fellowship programme and receive dedicated training and support. This year's awards are particularly significant, coming as the organisation celebrates its 50th birthday. Find out who won here.

Elections Bill

MP Kemi Badenoch is now likely to be the relevant minister for the Elections Bill

Recently the grapevine informed us that Chloe Smith’s replacement was to be Chris Pincher. Alas, the grapevine AKA Fair Vote’s Election Bill Office Hours session, now considers Kemi Badenoch the likely successor to carry forth the Elections Bill. If you’d like to join the weekly Election Bill Office Hours Zoom sessions, pop email Matt an email.

Labour not tabling Electoral Commission amendments

The amendments to increase fining power or allow for criminal prosecutions are not being tabled by the Labour Party, though they continue to push all voter ID amendments.

Make Votes Matter have prepared a submission to PACAC about the new FPTP section of the bill

You can view the submission here.

MLMS Young Leader Maddy Dhesi organises open letter for Welsh MSs and MPs against voter ID

If you’d like to assist Maddy in gathering signatures, please consult this spreadsheet.

Lara Parizotto at the Young Europeans Network talks Elections Bill on the Spoonful of News podcast

Listen to the full episode here.

Tom Brake clarifies the significance of Holyrood and the Senedd refusing legislative consent

The UK Parliament must ask the Scottish Parliament for consent if it is passing a Bill that affects Scotland. This is included in the Scotland Act 2016. However, the UK Supreme Court decided in 2017 that the Scottish Parliament does not have a “legally enforceable veto”. This means that if the Scottish Parliament votes against a legislative consent motion, it can still become the law”.

Online Safety Bill

Carnegie Trust Online Safety Bill Update

Carnegie argue that the draft OSB provides too many powers to the Secretary of State over too many things. Last month’s reshuffle cleared out all of the previous tech, digital and data ministers at all levels, meaning that all those who had a hand in writing the current version of the OSB have now moved on. The Bill’s Joint Committee has been hearing evidence over the last few weeks and is picking up pace, Carnegie published their own submission here. You can view a more full account of committee submissions here. End Violence Against Women and Girls, supported by Glitch and others, have published a series of recommendations for the Online Safety Bill to better address the experience of online violence, image-based sexual abuse and other harms.

MPs vow to “radically toughen up” online safety bill in reaction to Sir David Amess’ death

Mark Francois, the MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, who lost a close friend and mentor in Sir David Amess, has called for radically toughening up the new draft bill, remarking in their tribute: “I suggest that if we want to ensure that our colleague didn’t die in vain, we collectively all of us pick up the baton, regardless of our party and take the forthcoming online harms bill and toughen it up markedly.”

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will speak before MPs on 25th October

All eyes will be on the Joint Committee on the draft Online Safety Bill next Monday as Haugen gives evidence to MPs on Facebook’s failure to act on the evidence of harm on its platform.

Lord Vaizey and William Hague share thoughts on the Online Safety Bill

Ed Vaizey has provided a comprehensive interview to TechCrunch, covering his candidacy for the Ofcom Chair vacancy and his thoughts on the OSB, meanwhile William Hague has written why social media algorithms are harmful to democracy.

Integrity & Transparency

New Information Commissioner expresses support for FOI charges

John Edwards, the current New Zealand Privacy Commission is due to take over the UK’s Information Commissioner on the 31st October. At a recent meeting of the DCMS Committee, Mr Edwards, unprompted, suggested he thought it was legitimate to charge some FOI requesters, seemingly unaware that the ICO had always opposed the introduction of charges.

Centre for Governance and Scrutiny announces Annual Scrutiny Conference

The conference will be held at the King’s Fund venue near Oxford Street in London, and is the first physical outing for CfGS since the beginning of the pandemic. The event will take place on December 1st, 10am - 4pm. Find out more about the conference and book your place here.

Featured Upcoming Events

The Centre for Democracy maintains a full database of events from across the democracy sector.

View the database here - Have we missed something? Add it here!

Active Job Listings across the Democracy Sector

View the full database of upcoming job listings here - have we missed any? Add them via this form.

Apply ASAP

Jobs with upcoming deadlines

Unsalaried job listings

We’ve been experimenting with the format of this email and the accompanying meetup, if you have any feedback we’d be glad to hear it.

If you can’t make our weekly meetup, you can always drop in to the meetup document of the current fortnight and add to it by going to democracymeetup.org.uk.

Thanks to everyone who joined us this week for Democracy Check-Ins. This week we were joined by Alex King - Shared Future CIC, Jon Morter - Progressive Alliance, Jessie Joe Jacobs - Democracy Network Coordinator, Jon Narcross - Electoral Reform Society, Liz Crosbie - Reboot GB, James Robertson - Sortition Foundation, Shaun Roberts - Unlock Democracy and Josiah Mortimer - MyLondon. Thanks again to the Election Bill Slack and Office Hours digests for keeping us up to date on all things Election Bill.

See you next time, add to your calendar

James, Molly, and The Centre for Democracy team