Councillors get Question Time grilling

By on 26/01/2010 in News

*****Media opportunity - 28th January 2010*****

Ref no SN-696 Issued  January 26th 2010
Date: 28th January 2010

Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Location: Primrose Hill Community School, Tees Grove, Kings Norton, B38 9DH

Details: Councillors in Birmingham are to get a Question Time-style grilling on issues such as the sale of Cadbury, the recession and neighbourhood regeneration - from primary school pupils.

Pupils aged between nine and 11 will put their questions to the panel of local politicians as part of a drive to engage young people in politics in the run-up to the General Election and tackle voter apathy.

The Question Time session follows the launch of a “Batman and Robin” style pairing of city pupils with Councillors who they will shadow for 48 hours in a bid to better understand their job.

Pupils in the audience have been urged to ask as many questions as possible about issues affecting their lives during the debate.

Topics looked at by Year Five and Year Six youngsters from Primrose Hill Community School in preparation for the event include the sale of Cadbury to Kraft, urban renewal and the recession.

Nick Anderson, from Birmingham City Council's Participation and Engagement Unit, said: “Primary school children are notorious for saying it like it is so we expect them to pull no punches when it comes to this public grilling.

“It will be set up just like the real Question Time programme with a panel made up of city Councillors.

“Young people often have more to say than we think so this will be an opportunity for them to ask our civic leaders the questions they feel are important.”

Councillors taking part are Cllr Sue Anderson (Lib Dem Sheldon), Cllr Randal Brew (Con Northfield), Shafique Shah (Lab Bordesley Green) and Karen Hamilton (Lib Dem Perry Barr).

A member of the UK Youth Parliament will chair the proceedings and the audience will also include secondary school-age youngsters involved in the Local Councillor Shadowing Programme.

Notes to Editors

• The Question Time event is one of several taking place at city schools as part of a wider drive to engage young people in politics in the run-up to the General Election.

• The Local Councillor Shadowing Programme involves 13 young people pairing up with nine city Councillors. Other activities aimed at promoting youth engagement in politics include getting youngsters to sit in on a Full Council Meeting. City Councillors also recently gave their answers to three questions posed to them asking why they became a Councillor, why they believe it is an important job and what skills they believe are needed for the job (http://birminghamnewsroom.com/?p=6274).
ENDS
Further information from Shahid Naqvi 0121 303 3635.

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