New approach to encourage more Worthing people to have their say

Released: Thursday, 20 July 2023

Young people and less-heard voices in the community will be encouraged to speak up on local issues through modernisation of the way Worthing Borough Council works.

We believe that some of the more formal elements of the Council can deter some people from attending meetings, taking part in events or engaging with local democracy at all.

To try to make meetings more inclusive, the Mayor of Worthing will chair meetings of the Full Council and carry out other public appointments wearing the mayoral chain and badge of office rather than the traditional robes.

Councillors will also no longer wear ceremonial robes at the annual council meeting or the Remembrance Day commemoration. The mayoral badges and chains of office will continue to be used.

We will also review the way we recognise those who make a contribution to the borough. We will appoint no further Honorary Aldermen or Alderwomen of Worthing beyond those who are already eligible to become one.

Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen are former councillors who have been recognised by the Council for their service as members. They do not carry out Council duties or have a vote but are invited to take part in civic ceremonies.

Moving forward, we will be seeking to recognise a wide range of people who make outstanding contributions to our communities.

The decision was agreed at a meeting of the Full Council.

Last year we launched The Big Listen, a new approach to the way we work with the community on the issues that locals care most about.

Cllr Carl Walker, the Deputy Leader of the Council, said:

“As a Council for the community, we're determined to ensure that everyone's voice is heard in Worthing.

“If we want to give young people in Worthing a real say in how our town takes shape, then they need to be able to see the Council as a welcoming, relatable space.

“Research and experience suggests that many young people see politicians as being out of touch, and that this means they are less willing to get involved in local democracy.

“It's absolutely vital that we remove such barriers, so that we can fully understand and represent the thoughts and feelings of all of those who would otherwise stay silent.”

Photo: Worthing Town Hall

Worthing Town Hall (on a sunny day)

(PR23-099)

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Page last updated: 20 February 2024

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