• Sidmouth students ask some thorny questions

    9th February 2012 | News | Claire
  • Along with around a dozen other councillors we were given three minutes at each table, where sixth form students asked us about a range of issues that were important to them.

    Several questions were a common theme, such as the cost of public transport – an understandable annoyance, as it adds to the costs of continuing in education, lowering the voting age to 16, (which I wholeheartedly support) and why should they vote for me.

    Other questions that came up included how should we deal with anti-social behaviour, and what did I think about the riots last year. 

    I was also asked about fish quotas and what I thought about throwing dead fish back into the sea.  An appalling situation, which I don’t think even Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has managed to sort out yet, despite visiting the European Parliament.

    Some of the students wanted to know when EDDC was going to recycle cardboard – a common question among adults also!  And some expressed concern about the number of empty houses in the country and taking care of the environment.

    I really enjoyed it and frequently had to curb the impulse to urge them all to go off and start their own campaigns!

    At the end of the event each group of students voted for their favourite councillor. 

    This prize went to joint winners – Conservative, Cllr Graham Brown (Feniton) and LibDem Cllr Martin Gammell (Whimple).

    Talking to the students – many obviously concerned about injustice and wanting to change things – inspired me and I have now contacted a teacher at Kings School to ask whether I could come in and work with students on a campaign of their choice.

    Photo courtesy of Debbie Meakin, East Devon District Council:  Being asked questions by the students