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Tomorrow's voters grill Councillors

16th October 2007

Over 200 local school pupils enjoyed a citizenship lesson with a difference on Monday 15 October, as they took part in a special forum at Three Rivers District Council to mark national Local Democracy Week.

Year 7 pupils from St Joan of Arc School in Rickmansworth had the chance to chat with Councillors Ann Shaw, David Sansom and Len Tippen, who participated in a lively Councillors' Question Time session. Members of Council staff from the Leisure, Recycling and Community Safety teams finished off the morning with fun quizzes and presentations about how their work affects the local community.

Jade, 11-years-old, said:

"It was really good to find out more about what the Council does in the area and also to hear about how much recycling has been improved, that is really important."

Events of this kind have been held at Three Rivers District Council for three years running and have proved to be a great success.

Leader of Three Rivers District Council and Youth Champion, Councillor Ann Shaw, said:

"We are delighted to welcome more young people to the Council and help support St Joan of Arc School's Citizenship curriculum. These young people are tomorrow's voters and future leaders of the community, it is so important that they have the opportunity to find out more about local decision making and see why it is essential to vote and have a say."

The aim of the popular national week is to engage young people in local democracy and Monday's session was designed to support the work Year 7 are currently undertaking as part of their Citizenship curriculum at school.

Chief Executive of the District Council, Dr Steven Halls, said:

"It's vital that young people start learning about democracy and citizenship at a young age and we hope that by providing events like these we can support what they learn at school by giving them some hands-on experience of local democracy."

Local Democracy Week (15-19 October) sees hundreds of events organised across the country every year, to encourage young people to get interested and involved in local decision making. For more information on the national Local Democracy Week campaign visit www.localdemocracy.org.uk