Pupils from more than 20 Rushcliffe schools probe councillors on local issues

The politicians and voters of tomorrow have taken the chance to probe councillors and officers as part of a Pupil Parliament at Rushcliffe Borough Council.

The Rushcliffe Learning Alliance event saw children from over 20 primary schools across the borough meet Deputy Leader Cllr Debbie Mason and planning officers to ask tough questions on issues that matter to them in the council chamber at Rushcliffe Arena on February 9.

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Green space, housing development, traffic, how the budget is spent and where on facilities in parks and playgrounds were among the issues they asked as teachers and teaching assistants accompanied the seven to 11-year-olds to ask the questions.

Cllr Mason said: “This was a wonderful exercise to educate local children on the background of how a council makes its decisions.

“They were very enthusiastic and I hope it was an enjoyable learning experience for them. It’s very important we listen to them and understand their needs and expectations.

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“Understanding how we arrive where we are as a councillor through the election process, how the council is run and how they can affect the decisions they can make when they reach voting age is critical for every generation.

“We want them to know how have their voice can be heard on local matters and decisions that will shape their lives.”

Mr Dan Rhodes, Headteacher at Bunny Primary School co-ordinated the visit on behalf of the schools in conjunction with the Rushcliffe Learning Alliance.

He said: “The children had a really enjoyable afternoon asking some searching questions. They were honest and to the point and it is little wonder some politicians find the questions from those of a younger age among the most challenging to answer.

“It was an excellent trip to the Council and one we hope to repeat in future for more pupils to learn from.”