Student Voice group find out more about workings of their local district council

A group of students from Saffron Walden County High School found out more about the workings of local government during an educational visit to Uttlesford District Council, last week.

The pupils, who are all part of the school's Student Voice, were given presentations by a cross-party group of district councillors explaining their roles and responsibilities.

This was followed by an informative Q&A session which opened up some thought-provoking conversations, and then small-group discussions which gave the students the opportunity to speak to and ask questions of individual councillors.

Speaking about the event, Year 10 pupil Patricia said: "It was a really inspiring trip, and it made me realise how many careers there are and how much impact we can have on the future."

Oliver, also Year 10, added: "I really enjoyed the visit to the council offices. It was reassuring and refreshing to hear how interested the councillors were on our opinions and ideas. I had a great conversation with the leader of the council who was telling me all about how she got into politics and how being a woman in politics comes with many challenges."

Cllr Maggie Sutton, the council's portfolio holder for communities and youth, organised the event. Cllr Sutton said: "We were delighted to be able to host the Student Voice group and to talk about how the council works. It was fantastic to see these young people positively talking and thinking about local issues. We hope to be able to do similar events with other schools in the district in the near future.

"It is important that we get more young people engaged in local democracy - they have a high stake in the future of the area, and it's right they have the opportunity to have their say and be part of the decision-making processes."

The council is keen to engage with young people in the district, particularly on issues such as planning and the environment. Any young people who are interested in these areas of work or getting involved in the Uttlesford Youth Council, should contact John Starr, Community Development Officer, at jstarr@uttlesford.gov.uk or 07973 409566.

6 December 2022