Pupils from West Hatch High School were invited to the civic offices in Epping to meet their local Councillors and learn about democracy in the Epping Forest district.
Ian Willett, Epping Forest District Council’s Assistant to the Chief Executive, explained the role and purpose that both Councillors and the Council play in affecting the lives of local people.
A question and answer session followed with Councillor Diana Collins. Leader of Council, Councillor Anne Grigg, Chairman of Council, Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens, Vice Chairman of Council, Councillor Brian Rolfe, Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder and Chigwell Village Ward Councillors John Knapman and Lesley Wagland.
The 19 pupils asked questions on recycling, traffic, sports facilities, the role of the Youth Council and what councillors do when not on council duty. They were then shown around the civic offices and taken up the tower, with the tour ending with refreshments in the members room.
Council officers have been invited to attend the school Council’s next meeting at a later date to promote local democracy.
Ian Willett, Epping Forest District Council’s Assistant to the Chief Executive and Returning Officer for the Epping Forest District said: “We invite pupils from local schools to come in and learn about local democracy as young people are often unaware of the role that Councillors and the Council itself plays in the their lives. We aim to show them how they can engage in the political process and encourage them to take an active role in both school elections and the Epping Forest Youth Council.”
Chairman of Council, Councillor Anne Grigg commented: “The Council is under a legal duty to actively promote democracy in the district and in this it is particularly important to work with schools like West Hatch. I hope that the Council will be able to participate in similar events of this kind in the future.”