Its local government but not as we know it

As part of Local Democracy week 80 pupils from St Bedes School came to Winchester Guildhall to see what it was like to be Winchester City Council for a day.

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Neil Baxter, was there to talk about his role and to answer the many questions that the children had for him, including one about the quality of the Mayoral Chain of Office due to the fact 'it didn't sound like real gold'.

The children held a debate about the merits of school uniform using the 'question/debate/decision' system used in Council meetings. They elected their own Mayor who chaired the debate under the guidance of Cllr Baxter, and four main debaters took questions from the rest of the group in the Conference Chamber.

The children were given the chance to try on the Mayoral and councillor robes and hats and learn about the civic role of the Council in the community.

Chairman of the Governors, Dominic Hiscock who helped organise the event said, "It is great to get children in to not only see but take part in the Council process so they have more of an understanding of what we do.

"Local Democracy week is a chance to show the community that whether you are at school, at work, or at home local government is there to serve you".