Sidbury pupils take on EDDC role

PRIMARY pupils from East Devon gave district councillors food for thought when they took part in the national 11 Million Takeover Day on Friday.

PRIMARY pupils from East Devon gave district councillors food for thought when they took part in the national 11 Million Takeover Day on Friday.

Sidbury Primary children were among 45 10 and 11-year-olds invited to East Devon District Council's chamber to say how they would run things if they were in charge.

They learnt about food safety, taking part in a mock-up of an unsuitable kitchen, complete with dead mouse and sink of dirty dishwater

They also took part in a special council meeting, debating how a piece of land should be allocated for use by local residents.

Dressed in their roles as 'councillors' they discussed whether it should be used as an allotment, dog walking area or children's play area.

EDDC chairman, Council Graham Liverton, led the debate, 'minuted' by a democratic services officer.

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Finance officers explained council tax payments, the services it provides and where savings might be made.

Armed with this information, pupils decided what services EDDC should spend its money on next year, and how much they would increase council tax by.

They also visited the Knapp nature reserve, which comes under the council's countryside service, giving ideas of what they would like to see there.

Mr Liverton said: "I was very impressed with the debating skills, and the enthusiasm and interest with which the children entered into all the tasks that were set for them.

"They showed an amazing level of maturity and I'm sure councillors and officers learnt as much from them as they learnt about the work that we do.

"These young people are the voters, and potential councillors, of tomorrow so it is important they understand the world of local government and the impact it has on people's lives.

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