“At first the kids thought democracy was going to be dead boring, but as soon as we started your programme they absolutely loved it.”
Polly Hastings, Youth Issues Support Worker,
Dumfries and Galloway Council
WHAT DO COUNCILLORS HAVE TO DO?
Councillors are asked to write 200 words for their manifesto and to commit 30 minutes a day to answer questions and join in with live chats. However, the most successful candidates in 2009 were those who went the extra mile to visit schools and be online at the same time as students. A broad political mix is useful to provide more debate and choice, but party politics are rarely an issue during the event. The most valuable atribute a councillor can bring to the event is openness and a willingness to engage with young people.
HOW LONG WILL THE EVENT TAKE A DAY?
We expect the event to take about 2hrs a day of your time during those two weeks (weekdays only), but the time is fairly flexible.
About half the time is answering questions submitted to the website by the pupils, which you can answer whenever you want. So you could easily manage to answer the questions submitted on days when you have available time.
The other half of the time is in online live chats. These will be booked by a teacher, for a specific time (i.e. when their lesson is) but of course councillors have work commitments so it isn’t expected that you’ll be able to attend every live chat.
WILL WE RECEIVE ANY MATERIALS?
Councillors will receive a ‘Councillor Pack’ containing Councillor Briefing Notes, copies of the 5 information sheets and quiz which have been sent to the teachers, and a poster for advertising the event.
All you need to participate in the event is a PC with a web browser and an internet connection.
WHAT DOES THE EVENT CONSIST OF?
- There are Q&A pages where youngsters will ask you questions throughout the event.
- Live online chat rooms will be used where young people can talk in ‘real time’ and ask you questions.
- Youngsters also get the chance to vote for their favourite councillor – will this be you?!
- 13th Sept – Site goes live for Councillors and Teachers
- 4th Oct – Site goes live for Young People
- 11th Oct – First Eviction (until the 15th October there will be daily evictions, depending on the number of competing councillors in your council).
- 15th Oct – Winner announced – end of the event!
IS ANY SUPPORT AVAILABLE BEFORE AND DURING THE EVENT?
If you can’t find what you are look for, and need any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the I’m a Councillor team.