Democracy Forum | Newsletter
The panel consisted of Preet Gill, Labour MP for Edgbaston, Anthea McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, Councillor Roger Harmer for the Liberal Democrats, and Jaspreet Singh, President of the Students’ Union at Birmingham City University. The panel was chaired by BBC WM presenter, Pete Morgan.
A variety of local schools took part, with questions covering a diverse range of topics, including the Birmingham bin strikes, the state of the National Health Service and the implications of Brexit. There was a particularly dramatic exchange between the Labour and Conservative representatives concerning their position on tuition fees! We were incredibly proud of our own Beth Nott, pictured below, who won second prize for her question on whether Parliament can be described as representative. This too sparked heated debate on whether there are sufficient numbers of women and minority groups in the House of Commons.
Overall, the experience highlighted the fact that local participation is integral to a healthy democracy, especially within constituencies and Birmingham City Council. We would also like to see more Citizenship education in schools in order to engage young people in political debate. As a group, we look forward to attending next year’s Democracy Forum!