Citizenship groups from Ilkley Grammar School have been enjoying visits down to Ilkley Town Hall to experience political life.
The visit is part of the study of local government in citizenship and the experience is important for the Year 7 students to understand the process of local government. Alongside the tour of the council chambers, students were encouraged to debate the pros and cons of the Grand Depart and Tour de France and one lucky student on each visit was nominated to be chairman.
Year 7 pupil Felicity Rhodes said: “The visit to the Town Hall was educational and interesting. It was good to see what the room looked like, with the grand furniture and other things.”
Fellow pupil Alex Squires added: “Our trip to the Town Hall inspired us to get involved in what happens during the Tour de France. I liked the fact that we were able to see what a real meeting in the chambers with the chairman looked like.”
And Danny Leach said: “I really enjoyed my visit to the Town Hall, especially as I was the chair of the meeting. It was a great experience to lead the meeting, and not forgetting my chance to wear the chain!”
Councillor Mike Gibbons, chairman of Ilkley Parish Council, was delighted to see the students.
He said: “I was pleased to welcome the students from Ilkley Grammar School and was extremely impressed with their behaviour and the intelligence of their questions. It was fun to elect a temporary chair for a mock debate on the Grand Depart.
“I think the students also had fun and I look forward to welcoming the school for future visits.”
Citizenship teacher Graeme Stonehouse organised the visits and said: “It is a chance for the students to experience the workings of local government and to ask questions of the parish councillors and to take part in a debate.
“Also, a big focus of the parish council at the moment, as I understand it, is looking at the Bradford Local Plan and getting community views on it, including the views of our younger people.
“I wonder if it has inspired any of our Year 7s to be our next generation of politicians!”