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National Democracy Week highlights importance of participation in South Holland

South Holland District Council has been showing its support for the inaugural National Democracy week (2-8 July), with a series of events, initiatives and exhibitions to celebrate the progress of democracy and champion future democratic participation.

This year carries special significance as it also recognises the historic Centenary year of Suffrage, the 100th year of the first women getting the right to vote.

On Tuesday, the council's Democratic Services team took a stall at Spalding Market. They spent the day meeting with residents of the district, discussing what they felt democracy meant to them and sharing information on how you can attend council meetings, get registered to vote and generally get involved with helping shape the future of South Holland.

At Ayscoughfee Hall Museum and Gardens, a new exhibition was launched displaying the lives and environments of the women of the suffragette movement. The exhibition takes place in a room with the exact dimensions of a women's prison cell from the period, 10ft x 6ft, and contains leaflets and flyers from the period from both sides of the movement, as well as jewellery worn by suffragettes and accounts from those involved. The exhibition is free to attend and is running until July 22.

One of the key aims of South Holland District Council during National Democracy Week is to encourage voting registration among previously underrepresented demographics, such as young people. In the coming weeks and months they will be working with young people to encourage as many as possible to join the electoral register, which you can do from the age of 16 ready to start voting at 18.

Councillor Malcolm Chandler, Deputy Leader of South Holland District Council, said: "National Democracy Week is a fantastic new initiative and it is great to see South Holland District Council taking a major part in helping share the powerful and positive messages attached to it.

"Democracy and all that is attached to it is so imperative to our way of life in this country and it is so important that the right to vote is exercised. Just one vote can make all the difference, and that is why encouraging participation and engagement is such a key objective for myself, other councillors and council staff.

"My eleven years as a councillor have always been every bit as rewarding and enriching as I had hoped, and we want as many of our residents involved as possible, across all ages and demographics. So whether you'd be voting for the first time or the twentieth time, please make sure you are signed up, ask any questions you may have, and play your part in the future of South Holland."

To read more about elections and democracy in South Holland visit www.sholland.gov.uk/CouncilElections. It only takes 5 minutes to register to vote online, and you can find out more at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.