25th Feb, 2020

Students across the Malvern Hills become councillors for the day

Craig Gibbons 20th Oct, 2017

YOUNG people across the Malvern Hills became councillors for the day as they put forward their vision for the district during this year’s Local Democracy Day.

Malvern Hills District Council organised the event which took place at The Chantry High School last Wednesday as a way of promoting the importance of democracy.

Pupils from all five of the district’s high schools took part in a range of challenges which saw them come face-to-face with some of the difficult decisions councillors have to make on a daily basis.

One of the tasks saw pupils asked to create their own political party and come up with a manifesto to win power. Proposals ranged from reducing litter and supporting the NHS to the

Proposals ranged from reducing litter and supporting the NHS to the legalisation of marijuana.

They were then challenged to balance the council’s budget through a combination of spending cuts, efficiency savings and income generation. Another group was asked to design their own community.

A panel of councillors and officers then had the unenviable job of choosing the winners.

Hanley Castle High School and Tenbury High Ormiston Academy shared top spot in the design a community challenge, having impressed judges with their vision for the district.

The Chase School won the build a political party challenge and it was announced one of their manifesto proposals – to send young people into residential homes to help alleviate loneliness and break down the barriers between the generations – will be taken forward as part of the council’s Five Year Plan. The Chantry School was highly commended for its radical manifesto and both have been asked to present their policies to

The Chantry School was highly commended for its radical manifesto and both have been asked to present their policies to councillors at a meeting of the Full Council in November.

District councillors were also given a grilling as part of a political speed dating task, with the winner decided by a secret ballot amongst the students. West Ward councillor Natalie Mcvey, the newest member of Malvern Hills District Council having only been elected in May this year, was voted the winner.

Coun David Chambers, leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We were impressed with the standard of the proposals and forward thinking from all the young people that took part in the day.

“It’s so important we raise awareness of the importance of local democracy amongst young people and there were definitely a few potential politicians amongst the groups that I hope we will see in the Council Chamber at some point in the future.”

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