Power to the pupils as kids learn about democracy

Hollie Bulloch and Charlie Davies from Thurnham Glasson School with the Mace in the Mayor's Parlour.
Hollie Bulloch and Charlie Davies from Thurnham Glasson School with the Mace in the Mayor's Parlour.

Pupils from five local primary schools were introduced to the dilemma faced by councils up and down the country: which services to prioritise with a limited budget.

Children from Bowerham, Lancaster Road, Morecambe Bay, Thurnham Glasson, and Trumacar Primary Schools took part in the Pupil Power Event at Lancaster Town Hall during Local Democracy Week.

Working in groups alongside city councillors and officers, the children were given £14m to spend – but with the services on offer adding up to £18m, they had to carefully prioritise.

The aim of the event was to enable the children to get to know which services the council provide and the tough decisions that need to be made when there’s not enough money to fund them all.

This was followed by a guided tour of the town hall.

Led by the Mayor’s Beadle, the pupils visited the Mayor’s Parlour, where they not only viewed all the civic regalia and mayor’s chain, but also were able to pass around the Olympic Torch and the Mace.

The old prison cells were accessed from the dock of the old Court Rooms where the convicted of old were ‘sent down’ to the cells. In the council chamber the deputy mayor, Coun Helen Helme, answered many questions from the children about the mayor’s role, the council and the town hall.