Great Waste school visit

Forty local schoolchildren met the Mayor of Winchester last week as part of a visit to learn about recycling and waste.

Children from All Saint’s Church of England Primary School, Highcliffe, Weeke Primary School and Wickham Primary School visited Winchester City Council on Wednesday 8 July 2015.
Following a tour of the Guildhall the Mayor, Cllr Angela Clear, presided over a debate in the King Alfred Conference Chamber on issues ranging from why we need to recycle to how we can reduce the amount of waste we produce and who should take responsibility for reducing waste.

The session also gave the children an introduction to local democracy and an insight into how council debates are held and decisions are made. Following the debate the children joined Cllr Clear for lunch in Abbey House where they took part in an exciting ‘Sort your Recycling’ game.

The Mayor said:

I was impressed by the quality of the contributions made by our young ‘councillors’ and am certain that there were some budding politicians in their midst. I hope that maybe this taste of public life will encourage them to represent their communities in years to come.

The visit developed from an initial concept suggested by Cllr Rob Humby, who said of the children:

It takes a lot to stand up in the Conference Chamber and speak in front of all these people, and the young people taking part in today’s debate have not only risen to the challenge but given us food for thought in the process. We have recorded all their suggestions, and will definitely be considering them as part of our wider efforts to minimise waste in the Winchester District.

Susie Phillips of Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC), working in partnership with Winchester City Council, said:

Each household produces over a tonne of waste each year and this figure is increasing. It is everybody's responsibility to prevent waste by reducing what we buy, repairing and reusing what we have and recycling what we can use again. The school groups today demonstrated that this is an important topic that affects us today and those in the future

Cllr Frank Pearson, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health and Wellbeing, said of the debate:

This opportunity has given the children a chance to see how topics are debated and fair decisions can be made. It’s a great way to initiate an interest in local politics plus question why it is so important for us to consider what we can do to reduce the amount of waste that is produced.