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A lesson in democracy

Last Modified April 04, 2019
Nearly a hundred pupils from 11 schools across Hertsmere attended the council's 12th Annual Youth Conference in Borehamwood last week (Wednesday 27 March), and had a unique and highly creative opportunity to find out more about local democracy.

The pupils, all aged between 10 and 12-years-old, watched an interactive play performed by the Arc Theatre, which aimed to teach the young people about decision-making and democracy. There was also an interactive session called 'What does it cost to run Hertsmere?', which explored the financial considerations and budgeting decisions local councils have to make.

During the afternoon, the young people were involved in the interactive play and then had an opportunity to vote in a mock-election.

Mayor of Hertsmere, Cllr Brenda Batten, commented: "This was another highly successful Youth Conference and it was great to see so many young people engaged in local democracy. During the day we spoke about the democratic system, how to make a choice and why it's so important to vote. All the young people have been really engaged, excited and interested.

"It's so important for young people to learn about the world in which we live in and the decisions they will have to make in the future. These are our future voters, tax payers and decision makers, so it's vital for them to understand their environment and what is going on in their community - it's never too young to learn.

"I have been blown away by the young people who have attended today. They've been extremely engaged and focussed contributing interesting and different ways of thinking, they've worked well in groups, so I
couldn't have been more impressed."

The schools that were represented were:

Bushey Manor Junior School in Bushey
Bushey Meads School in Bushey
Cranbourne Primary School in Potters Bar
Cowley Hill Primary School in Borehamwood
Hartsbourne Primary School in Bushey
Kenilworth Primary School in Borehamwood
Parkside Primary School in Borehamwood
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Bushey
St Giles' C of E Primary School in South Mymms
St Teresa's Catholic Primary School in Borehamwood
Woodlands Primary School in Borehamwood

An 11-year-old from Cowley Hill School said: "I think it's important for people to register and vote because everyone should influence the future and have a say." A fellow 10-year-old pupil said: "It was an amazing event and I am extremely glad I had this opportunity." A 12-year-old from Bushey Meads School said they most enjoyed 'splitting up into different colour groups and discussing about improvements the council could make'. Another
12-year-old from Bushey said: "I most enjoyed experiencing how voting works, actually using a booth and putting my vote in a ballot box." An 11-year-old from St Theresa's School said they enjoyed 'the part where we talked about saving most and earning money.'

You can hear what the young people had to say about the day by watching our short YouTube film - https://youtu.be/KcPBiJHYdRA
Posted on Thursday 4th April 2019

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