DCSIMG

Democracy on the agenda for students

Students Molly Conway, 16, Rachael Stott, 16, Sarah Fillingham,15, Verity Shaw, 16, and Ritchie Budd, 16, in discussion during the democracy event at South Lakeland District Council.

Students Molly Conway, 16, Rachael Stott, 16, Sarah Fillingham,15, Verity Shaw, 16, and Ritchie Budd, 16, in discussion during the democracy event at South Lakeland District Council.

Groups of young people have been sharing their opinions on politics and politicians as part of a series of democracy events.

South Lakeland District Council is welcoming 84 National Citizen Service students into South Lakeland House to take part in democracy workshops during the summer.

Most recently, it was the turn of students from Queen Elizabeth School, in Kirkby Lonsdale, and Dallam School, in Milnthorpe.

Students and councillors said they had found the sessions interesting and informative.

Jack Smith, 16, said: “It’s been insightful to learn about how much the council does, we’ve seen all the different departments and without them there is stuff that just wouldn’t happen.”

Sarah Thompson, 16, said: “I didn’t realise just how many different departments there were, I had a bit of an idea but I have certainly learned a lot more.

“I think people think that the council doesn’t have much to do with their lives, but actually members of the public are able to get involved and have their say.

“I will definitely be voting when I am old enough.”

Ritchie Budd, 16, said: “I think that the local council is important because it affects every part of your life and everything you do.”

And Sarah Fillingham, 15, said: “I think it is important to remember the Suffragettes and that they put their lives on the line so that women could have the vote.

“If you don’t make the most of it then you are disrespecting their memory.”

At the end of the visits the young people have taken part in discussions with councillors about the importance of being involved in the democratic process and how politics and local government affects their lives.

Two of South Lakeland District Councils youngest councillors met with the students to hear their views on the political process.

Coun Ben Berry said: “Meeting with these fellow young people has been great fun.

“Often they came in with a preconceived negative expectation of politics and politicians, but I really believe we disarmed that and built up a healthy inquisitiveness for looking past the headlines and how anyone can get involved and make a difference.”

At the end of the events the young people have taken part in a discussion with councillors about the importance of being involved in the democratic process and how politics and local government affect their lives.

 

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