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Thursday, October 26, 2017

School pupils take part in Local Democracy Week event

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 Neil Furey, welcomed groups of young people to the Council Chamber for a day which included debates and mock voting exercises. 

Pupils from Crow Orchard Primary School came in the morning and children from Our Lady Queen of Peace Engineering College 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 "Citizen participation, consultation and commitment for a thriving local democracy".  

In the morning the pupils took part in a lively session of discussion and interactive activities around the theme of "Refuse and Recycling Services in West Lancashire".   In the afternoon the high school pupils considered the question: "Is Green Belt release justified in order to deliver housing and business space?"  

Following the debates, the pupils cast their votes at a ‘polling station’ specially set up for them. The idea is to give the children a taste of debating and decision-making processes.

Councillor Furey 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.”

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