This first leapt onto my radar by means of an e-mail from an officer of the council. I was delighted!
Local Democracy Week for those of you who may not know is a once a year affair when young people get the chance to ask questions of councillors face to face. The contact varies in different areas. Sometimes a political speed dating style is employed and in other cases a more traditional questions and answers style meeting in a school hall or classroom is the norm.
I do not have a preference myself. If the young people wish to talk to me over a farm gate I would have no problem with that so I signed up for the event straight away.
Schools have been contacted to see how much interest there might be and I waited … but I am glad that I did not hold my breath because there was none apparently. The following is directly from the e-mail that I received today:
Unfortunately, after contacting the local schools individually and the Warwickshire County Council schools liaison officer; none of our local schools indicated that they wanted to join in this year.
I am surprised that there are no schools or colleges within the borough that wish to take part in Local Democracy Week. I was looking forward to both answering questions directly put by students and to hearing their views on local issues, especially surrounding the democratic process. The young can be a very well informed and aware group to listen to. Ignore them at your peril for they are to tomorrow what we are to today.
Could it be that colleges in particular did want to but did not fancy the political balance with me being there? It is possible. There have been British National Party supporting students who have been given a terrible time in Nuneaton in the past. One lady in particular springs to mind if anyone is considering challenging me in court to back that statement up. Torrid!
I am pleased to be able to say that after telephoning I have been assured that borough and County councils are doing their best to raise the profile of this event for next year.
I of course have already volunteered and
thoroughly look forward to it!