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Getting young people involved in local democracy

Last Modified March 15, 2017

Nearly a hundred pupils from 10 schools across Hertsmere attended the council's tenth Annual Youth Conference in Borehamwood this week (Tuesday 14 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, took part in an interactive quiz and play called 'Who's right for the job?' performed by Arc Theatre, which explored citizenship and involvement in democracy.

During the afternoon, participants debated the age of criminal responsibility, which is currently 10-years-old, and whether or not it should be changed to 16. The young people then had an opportunity to vote on whether to change the age during a mock referendum.

Councillor Brenda Batten, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Health, commented: "This was another highly successful Youth Conference and it was great to see so many young people engaged in local democracy.

“The Youth Conference aims to show how the democratic decision-making process works, the role the council plays and how young people can contribute to improving their local community.

"I was really impressed by the young people's thoughtful and comprehensive debates, they were enthused, engaged and involved throughout the whole day. I think we have some budding politicians!"

The schools that were represented were:

  • Bushey Meads School in Bushey
  • Bushey Heath Primary School in Bushey
  • Dame Alice Owen's School in Potters Bar
  • Cranbourne Primary School in Potters Bar
  • Yavneh College in Borehamwood
  • Kenilworth Primary School in Borehamwood
  • Parkside Community Primary School in Borehamwood
  • Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood
  • Monksmead School in Borehamwood
  • St Giles' C of E Primary School in South Mymms.

One 12-year-old student from Dame Alice Owen's School, said they enjoyed the interactive play the most: "It was fun and taught me important lessons about teamwork and cooperating peacefully," and a 10-year-old student from Cranbourne Primary School added: "I enjoyed the big debate because it was nice to hear people's opinion and what they think."
"Today was really fun and I learnt lots. I was very interested in all of it and enjoyed every second of the day," adds an 11-year-old Kenilworth Primary School student.

Posted on Wednesday 15th March 2017

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