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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Local Democracy Week 2018

West Lancashire schoolchildren enjoyed taking part in mock meetings of the Council to learn more about how the 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 Noel Delaney, welcomed groups of young people to the Council Chamber for a day which included debates and mock voting exercises.

Pupils from St Anne's Catholic Primary School came in the morning and children from St Bede's Catholic Hugh School attended 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", and the young participants were asked to consider the question, 'Should the students be allowed a greater say in the running of their school?'

Council staff organised workshops for the young students to take part in. During these they considered a number of statements and had to decide whether they agreed or disagreed with them.

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 Delaney said: “Holding a mock debate is an excellent way for young people 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 Local Democracy Week will encourage the children to take an interest from an early age in their local council and some of the decision-making processes that are used.”

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