Carnforth Scouts enjoy evening helping out town council

1st Carnforth Scouts had an interesting evening learning how a town council is run.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 12:30 pm
Carnforth Scouts hard at work as a council.
Carnforth Scouts hard at work as a council.

The experiment was designed to introduce young people to local democracy and to encourage their interest, and influence, in what happens in their local community.

The Scouts, who range in age from 10 to 14 years old, were set the task of producing a budget that takes account not only of the town council’s normal expenditure and fixed costs, such as the town’s community amenities, but that also balances these with income projections and plans for new projects such as the Platinum Jubilee Street Festival in June 2022.

The first item of the night was to elect the new town mayor. There were five nominations, and each were given an opportunity to say why they wanted to be the mayor. After a close vote Jake Lawton was duly elected and immediately took control of the chair's gavel...and the meeting!

Jake Lawton was elected as mayor.

The group then split into three teams and were soon fully engaged in debate about what was essential, desirable, or just not needed for our town and its residents. They also considered where savings and efficiencies could be made, and income generated.

There was much discussion on just how much positive influence they, as elected councillors, could have on shaping the local community.

After about 45 minutes of intense debate town mayor Jake called for order and each group were given the opportunity to feedback on their decisions and to explain how they had managed to balance the budget - they even set out their plans for what they would do in the next few years!

They all recognised how difficult it can be to deliver services within a limited budget but all of them fully justified their decisions even when challenged by the residents (being 'former' councillors in attendance.)

Carnforth Scouts hard at work as a council.

In the remaining 15 minutes all the Scouts were given an opportunity to have their say on what they would like to see improved or developed in their town, and provided some fantastic ideas for the town council to consider.

Bob Bailey, clerk and proper officer of Carnforth Town Council, said: "Every one of the Scouts was a shining example of our local youth and how invested they are in what happens in their community - if they are the councillors of the future, it looks very bright indeed!

"Carnforth Town Council is delighted to have planned and hosted this event and to have given the Scouts an opportunity to achieve an element of their Chief Scout Gold Award and to see democracy in action.

"Thank you to them and their Scout leaders for sharing this with us and for engaging so wholeheartedly!"