Primary schools visit to Winchester City Council debating chamber

Press Release: 15/06/2012

Primary Schools visit debating chamber

Who said the art of debating is dead? The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Frank Pearson, proved that it was still alive and well when hosting a visit from four primary schools near Winchester to the council’s debating chamber and the Mayor’s official residence, Abbey House.

Curdridge, Durley, Owslebury and Upham Primary school children visited Winchester City Council on Tuesday 12 June 2012 when Councillors and council officers debated issues ranging from where the young people can play to where the council will build homes, and consequently where they might live in the future. The session also gave them an introduction to local democracy and an early insight into advocacy and fairness.

Cllr Robert Humby, Winchester City Council’s local ward member for Owslebury, Curdridge, Durley and Upham Parishes, reveals how the idea for the debate came about:

It all started with a group of young children asking me questions about being their local ward councillor and what I do. They really enjoyed finding out more about how the council worked and how they could influence the way things were done, which lead me to ask if they would like to visit to see what happens at the council’s debating chambers. I was keen to involve young people in issues, such as planning, which may affect their future.”

Alison Woods, organiser of the debate and Winchester City Council’s Economy and Arts Manager, added:

As well as the children finding out about us and what we do, this event provided an opportunity for us to hear the views of young people on a range of issues. Primary school children wouldn’t normally contact their local council officer or councillor so this is a great way to kick-start their education in local politics.”