As part of Parliament Week (16-22 November) pupils from 11 Bournemouth schools joined Bournemouth’s two MPs, Councillors, the Mayor, an MEP and a Lord to debate a local and national subject.
The debate took place in the Council Chamber at Bournemouth Town Hall on Friday 20 November giving 66 Bournemouth students the chance to connect with democracy.
Deputy Leader, Councillor Nicola Greene, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “This event was a great opportunity for young people to get involved and gain a better understanding of the political process in an appealing and interactive way, giving them the chance to debate and put forward their arguments on current local and national issues.”
Julie Girling MEP for South West England and Gibraltar said; “So often we hear that younger generations are failing to engage in politics. Across the South West and as highlighted by the Parliament Week in Bournemouth, this is simply not the case. Following last year’s event, I was delighted to once again meet students from the Bournemouth area who are actively looking to engage in and learn about politics. These are the decision makers of the future and we should applaud the student’s participation in discussion and healthy debate.”
Tom Lloyd-Mead a student from Bournemouth School for Boys said “It was a fantastic opportunity for young people to take part and debate in an official chamber, as well as communicating with government MPs and challenging them.”
Mr Bonds, Head of History/Politics at Bournemouth School for Boys said “The new format really gave a voice to all of the young people involved, resulting in a vibrant debate which covered all sides of the political spectrum. As staff we were proud to see our students speak out in the main Town Hall debating chamber, and feel that this was an invaluable experience in giving them the skills needed to tackle interviews and public speaking, as well as an increased knowledge of the local and national political scene.”
Samantha Acton owner of Domestic Angles, the events principal sponsor, commented “The afternoon was all about the students and giving them the chance to voice their views and think about how to prepare an argument, with guidance from political leaders. As the afternoon warmed up you could see the students become more engaged and involved with the debates. After each debate, students had the chance to vote on the topics and to speak with the MPs, MEP, Lord and Councillors afterwards”.