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Promoting Local Democracy - Best Practice

Duty to promote democracy

The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act received Royal Assent in November 2009. The Act is designed to strengthen local democracy by passing more power and responsibility to local authorities, communities and citizens, taking proposals forward from the White Paper Communities in control: real people, real power.

The Act includes the introduction of a duty on local authorities to promote democratic understanding and participation.


The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act.

The government had originally been working towards commencement of the new duty from 1 April 2010, this has now been delayed. Despite this, it is important to note that there is no obligation or need to delay any planned activity.

Impact Assessment of Duty to Promote Democracy, Communities and Local Government.


View a whole range of resources to aid the implementation of the Act.


Promoting democracy is a subset of the wider empowerment agenda. Learn more about empowerment:

  • National Empowerment Partnership

  • Regional Empowerment Partnership

  • IDeA's Community Empowerment

To comment on this section, or to send examples of best practice, please email Helen Looker.