Last week I had some fantastic meetings with young people in the constituency; I always enjoy visiting schools and youth groups to talk about what an MP does and who I am but this week they were particularly rewarding experiences.
First I was invited to Christ Church Primary School to help announce the results from the school elections. The six boys and six girls elected as school councillors will serve for the next year, working together for better school community. School councils are a really great way to teach children about the role they can play in democracy and a practical way to explore the issues of pledges, accountability and representation. A great many children stood for election and well done to every single one of them, I know they all put a lot of effort into it, and congratulations to the new school council.
I also visited the 5th Lancaster Girl Guides and had a lot of fun. The girls are working on a project about democracy and some will be visiting me in Westminster later this month where I hope to be able to show them around Parliament – although that does rely on me knowing the way around!
At the meeting in Bowerham I answered questions in a Q&A style. I’m aware politics can seem complicated sometimes – even to us adults – but the girls really got stuck in and had a good understanding. If you’re wondering what 10-year-old girls care about I can tell you, they are angry that there are food banks, they want to know why we aren’t doing more about refugees and they are really interested in how women came to win the vote led by the suffragettes.
I have also been in Brighton at the annual Labour Party Conference and I’m pleased to report the mood is one of optimism. I have spoken at meetings on the economy, women’s equality, LGBT rights and some international issues.