02-Dec-2015

‘Sweets should be free’ was the conclusion of pupils from Godmanchester Primary School, when they held a debate at Huntingdonshire District Council this week.

The pupils were invited to the council’s headquarters to learn more about what their local council does and how the democratic process works.

Executive Leader, Cllr Jason Ablewhite and Chairman, Cllr Peter Bucknell welcomed the year six children (10/11 year olds) to the Civic Suite at Pathfinder House. They explained to them the important roles that the executive leader and chairman play, along with other members of the council, in any decisions made by the council.

The children were able to elect a ‘chairman’ (Bobby) and ‘madam vice-chairman’ (Amber) to lead two debates, and the first question up for debate was: “Should sweets be free?”. The room was divided into two and they were asked to put forward their argument, for and against. The second question for debate was: “Should mobile phones be allowed in school?”. After some very strong opinions were voiced, the children were asked to vote.

Cllr Jason Ablewhite said: "This was a great opportunity to encourage community cohesion. By bringing the community in we were able to highlight the services that the council offers and provide the children with an experience to show how democracy works. They took part in two debates where they were able to voice their opinions and then vote. It was no surprise however that the final votes agreed that sweets should be free and mobile phones should be allowed in school."

Cllr Peter Bucknell said: "I was very impressed by how well the children got involved in a good strong debate. I hope that they were able to see how decisions are made by the council, and that a democracy means that everyone has a voice."

The visit was concluded with a brief tour of Pathfinder House.