Friday, 1 April 2011

A morning at Launceston College

This morning I submitted myself to the grilling of 100 Launceston College Year 12 Citizenship students alongside Launceston Town Mayor Paul O'Brien.

The aim of the exercise was to explain what the different tiers of elected representatives do, how we got to where we are today and how we interact with each other and with MPs.

Among the questions I got were ones on tuition fees (I think the Government is wrong), the AV referendum (I'm in favour because it gives more power to voters) and whether I feel frustrated or enthusiastic in my role (both - sometimes I win, sometimes not).

I think it's important for younger people to have the chance to question local politicians (and would-be politicians) from all shades of option. Presenting information and views will, hopefully, help to get more people engaged and taking part and forming views of their own.

One of the issues that Paul pointed out was that many councils - both the Town and Cornwall Council included - are dominated by retired white men. We do slightly better on Cornwall Council, but there is still a strong bias against younger people in particular and I'm keen to make sure that we have a much more representative set of elections next time.

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