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Schools flock to the Guildhall for Local Democracy Week

09 October 2018

Pupils from schools across Derry and Strabane gathered at the Guildhall yesterday to find out more about the workings of local government as part of Local Democracy Week.

235 young people from eleven local primary schools had the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, and ask him a few questions about his civic role.

Welcoming them to the Guildhall, Mayor Boyle said he hoped the visit would inspire a new generation of political leaders. “I was so impressed by the enthusiasm of the schools today and the interest they took in their surroundings and in the workings of local government. I feel it’s important to engage young people at an early age and make them aware that they have a role in the decision making for their City and District through processes like Community Planning. Or even roles on their own school Councils can get them actively involved in working for positive change and taking responsibility. I look forward to welcoming children of all ages to the Guildhall over the next few days, and I want to thank all the schools who have signed up to participate.”

During the day the pupils had the opportunity to spend time with the Mayor, take part in a debate, try their hand at voting and went on a tour of the Guildhall. They also took part in two competitions, drawing an official portrait of the Mayor, and revealing the three things they would do if they were Mayor for the Day.

Local Democracy Week is a European wide campaign that aims to raise awareness among young people about how local councils operate. It offers the opportunity for them to meet their local councillors and chat to them about the issues that matter to young people in their area. It also informs them about opportunities open to young people regarding decision-making and highlights the importance of their involvement in local democracy.

The free programme of events will run throughout the week from October 8-12.

Ends