Thursday, November 10, 2016
Children enjoy taking part in Local Democracy Week
Local school children enjoyed taking part in mock meetings of the Council to learn more about how West Lancashire Borough Council operates.
Local Democracy Week is an annual event to help young people learn more about their local council and the important role it plays.
The Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Liz Savage, welcomed groups of young people to the Council Chamber for a day which included debates and mock voting exercises.
Pupils from Cobbs Brow and Wrightington Mossy Lea Primary Schools came in the morning and children from St Bede’s Catholic High School, school council, took part in a mock meeting of the Council in the afternoon. Each school appointed a “chief officer” to help run the meeting alongside the mayor. The remaining children acted as councillors.
The theme of both sessions was ‘Respect’. In the morning the pupils put forward their views on encouraging respect for our surroundings on where dogs are allowed to freely be. In the afternoon the high school pupils considered the theme of respect of Council-owned tenanted property and the principles to be included in the tenants' agreement. Following the debate the pupils cast their votes at the ‘polling station’ specially set up for them. The idea is to give the children a taste of debating and decision-making processes.
Councillor Savage said: “Holding a mock debate is a lively and interesting way for local children to learn about local government and understand how councils work. I was impressed by the pupils enthusiasm in the debate and the voting exercise that followed. I hope the event really sparked an interest for the pupils and that it will encourage them from an early age to take an interest in their local council and some of the decision-making processes that are used.”