Moretonhampstead Parish Council Chair Cllr Catherine Fileman-Wright and Clerk Sam Parkin visited Moreton Primary School last week to explain what the council does in the parish.
Easdon, Mardon and Beckaford classes listened to Catherine talk about council’s work including looking after the play park, biodiversity projects, restoring the churchyard paths, and organising community events such as the King’s Coronation celebrations and the Christmas lights switch on. The children were very excited to learn that the Clerk has Father Christmas’s phone number!
Catherine explained that there are 12 councillors who meet monthly, and together they make decisions for the benefit of the community. Sam told the children about her role which includes everything from looking after the council’s money to being a project manager.
The children did a quick quiz on how many swings in play park (a very loud 4!); when the council started (answers ranged from 1800’s to 1984); how many allotment plots and public seats are there (variety of guesses). There were lots of thoughtful answers from the children on why people would want to be a parish councillor.
When asked about the council’s work, many of the children told us they were worried about litter and dog fouling, they wanted the council to look after the environment, and to stop cars going too fast. The children had some great questions. Catherine was asked if she liked Christmas to which she replied yes! Both Catherine and Sam were asked how long they had been on the council (two and four years). Catherine was asked what her favourite part of being a councillor was, she explained that it was meeting members of the community and trying to help. The last question was to ask Catherine what she was wearing around her neck. She was wearing the Chain of Office and she told the children that it had a picture of the Cross Tree, Alms House and St Andrew’s church on it, and the names of the previous Chairs.
Thank you so much to Moreton’s clerk Sam Parkin for sharing this article with us. This is a fantastic way to raise the council’s profile, engage with the community and educate young people about the important work of local councils! I’m sure many of them will now feel empowered to reach out to the council to let them know what matters to them in the community in the future.
Sam has very kindly shared the presentation that they used in case any other councils would like to use it as a basis for their own school visit – Primary School Presentation.
NALC also has some resources and guidance on engaging with young people.
We love to hear from all our members what you have been up to, so please do take time to tell us what you’ve been doing and what you’re proud of!