Little Parndon students learn valuable lesson on democracy

Burnt Mill Academy / Thu 16th Oct 2014 at 10:13am

YOUNG Essex pupils made special presentations today (Wednesday 15 October) to a panel of Essex County Councillors about the best way to spend £250 at their schools.

The challenge was part of Local Democracy Week (Monday 13 October to Sunday 19 October) to help young people understand and learn more about the importance of democracy and how local government works.

The pupils, from 15 Essex primary schools, came up with a range of ideas for the money, from vegetable gardens to a trampoline. The winning school was Grove Wood Primary School, Rayleigh, which was presented with a cheque for £250 this afternoon for its plan to create a music centre from recycled materials.

Highly commended was Springfield Primary School, Chelmsford, for its scheme for a calming fish tank and Northwick Park Primary School, Canvey Island, for a plan to buy night-vision cameras to study animals.

Essex County Council Vice- Chairman, Councillor John Aldridge, who chaired the event, said: “All the students came up with some really good and innovative ideas for us to consider which made it very difficult to decide the winning school.

“I hope they all found the exercise useful – young people of Essex are our future so it is important we, as Councillors, take the time to talk to them to hear their views and aspirations and that they understand how we work.”

The pupils also took part in a networking lunch, including ‘human bingo’ designed to encourage the children to discuss their issues and concerns with officers and Members.

The schools in attendance were: Henham and Ugley Primary School, Henham; Janet Duke Primary School, Laindon; Maldon Primary School; St Pius X Catholic Primary School, Chelmsford; Highwoods Community Primary School, Colchester; Terling Primary School; Grove Wood Primary School, Rayleigh; Great Bradfords Junior School, Braintree; Springfield Primary School, Chelmsford; Little Parndon Primary School, Harlow; Northwick Park Primary School, Canvey Island; Shelley Primary School; Leigh Beck Junior School, Canvey Island; Highwood Primary School, Chelmsford; and Theydon Bois Primary School.

A Local Democracy Week event is being held for secondary schools in the Council Chamber tomorrow (Thursday 16 October). Activities will include a budget setting activity where young people will work in teams to prepare Essex County Council’s budget and Question Time where they will have the chance to ask a panel of Members questions about democracy and local government.


Media Contact: For enquiries about this press release, please contact Sharon Asplin on 03330 136166 or [email protected]

Notes to Editors:
Pictures of pupils from each school involved in today’s challenge are available upon request.

Members attending Wednesday 15 October

Cllr John Aldridge (Con) to chair – Chairman of the Council, Member for Broomfield and Writtle

Cllr Dick Madden (Con) – Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Member for Chelmsford Central

Roger Hirst (Con) – Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning, Member for Brentwood Hutton

Ian Grundy (Con) – Chairman of People and Families Policy and Scrutiny Committee, Member for Stock

Kevin Bentley (Con) – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure, Member for Stanway and Pyefleet

Andy Wood (Con) – Member of People and Families Policy and Scrutiny Committee, Member for Clacton North

Sue Lissimore (Con) – Member of Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Member for Drury

Ann Naylor (Con) – Member of Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Member for Brentwood Rural

Jude Deakin (Lib Dem) – Member of the Corporate Parenting Panel, Member of Youth Strategy Group – Chelmsford, Member for Chelmsford West

David Kendall (Lib Dem) – Member of Place Services and Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, Member for Brentwood South

Keith Bobbin (Lab) – Member of Youth Strategy Group – Basildon, Member for Pitsea

Andrew Erskine (UKIP) – Member Essex Fire Authority, Member of Place Services and Economic Growth Committee, Member for Tendring Rural East

Julie Young (Lab) – Leader of the Labour Group, Member for Wivenhoe St Andrew

Secondary Schools due to attend the event on Thursday 16 October

Mark Hall Academy, Harlow
Beauchamps High School, Wickford
Cornelius Vermuyden School, Canvey Island
Thurstable School, Tiptree
Honywood Community Science School, Coggeshall
Ormiston Rivers Academy, Burnham-on-Crouch
Anglo European School, Ingatestone
Castledon School, Wickford
St Martin’s School, Hutton
Great Baddow High School
The FitzWimarc School, Rayleigh

For Essex County Council media enquiries:
Press office: 01245 432100, [email protected]
Out of hours urgent enquiries: 07717 867525
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