Students from local post-primary schools attended a special local democracy event organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on Tuesday, October 10 at Craigavon Civic Centre.
To mark Local Democracy Week students had the opportunity to find out how their Council works and ask local councillors their thoughts on some big issues.
Representatives from four local schools – Lismore Comprehensive School, Craigavon High School, Portadown College and St. Catherine’s College, Armagh – got to sit in the Council chamber as mock councillors. After learning the basics of how elections work and what the Council does, they posed their own questions to councillors.
Their questions included “What have you achieved as a local councillor that has improved the ABC area?” and “What are the big issues facing local councillors in 2023?”
They also quizzed their elected representatives on how to improve facilities for young people, and even grilled them on their thoughts on the Windsor Framework.
Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley commented: “I am delighted to see the return of this event, after taking a hiatus due to covid restrictions. The students who were present were thoroughly engaged and asked some excellent questions to the panel. I hope that they enjoyed the event, learned something new, and perhaps have even become inspired to get more involved with local politics.”
A student from Portadown College said: “It was interesting to see there was a member of the panel who was quite young, so seeing a younger person having their voice heard in politics was good.”
Another student from St Catherine’s College in Armagh added: “It was good to hear the specific issues that the public wouldn’t really know about and how passionate the councillors are about helping.”
The event took place as part of Local Democracy Week which is an annual event designed to foster the knowledge of local democracy and promote the idea of democratic participation at a local level. The Council is highlighting some of the key areas for residents, more information is available at https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/localdemocracyweek/
The event was part funded by The Executive Office District Council Good Relations Programme.