Lessons in local government for school pupils
Wed, April 12, 2017
Since taking up the role of Mayor I was committed to engaging with as many people as possible.
One group I was especially keen to meet with was some of our school children, and so I decided to extend an invitation to local primary schools, asking them to visit the Mayor’s Parlour and Council chamber.
Over the course of three days, around 80 primary schools visited our Council offices in Cloonavin and I enjoyed the initiative immensely.
The highlight for me was seeing the young people take their seats in the Council chamber where we enjoyed a mock debate.
At times the arguments got quite spirited, and I’m sure I met some budding Councillors of the future.
Issues of democracy and citizenship overlap into the field of education, and we know that many of our primary schools have their own School Councils. The pupils and teachers were both delighted to get some insight into the workings of local government.
I would like to thank all those schools who took part in the visits, and I hope future Mayors will continue with this initiative.
Earlier this week, I had an early start for a morning radio programme interview at the site of the Dunluce Centre in Portrush.
There’s a lot of interest in the resort at the minute, as the countdown continues to the 2019 Open Golf Championship. Plans for the Dunluce Centre will bring world class indoor play facilities to the region. While our weather is usually splendid, an indoor offering is essential for those rare rainy days!
You may know that April is Autism Awareness month. As Mayor, my chosen charities are the NI Children’s Hospice and Adam’s Camp NI, which is a camp held in Corrymeela providing an intensive therapy programme for children living with autism and their families.
In order to raise money for these causes, I am holding a number of fundraising events aimed at Council staff. Thanks to all those who have supported these efforts so far and I hope you all enjoyed the sausage baps and pancakes. Tomorrow morning it’s the turn of staff in Sheskburn in Ballycastle and then next Thursday (April 27th) we’ll be setting up our stall in Riada House in Ballymoney.
Easter is fast approaching but I still have a packed calendar of events and engagements to attend.
Tomorrow while in Ballycastle I’m looking forward to visiting Ursa Minor for the official launch of the cafe and workshop as an Économusée. As a region we are certainly leading the way in this regard, bringing together culture, craft and tourism.
On Saturday, Ballymoney will host its inaugural Spring Fair which promises to be a day filled with family fun and a great start to the Easter break. I’m looking forward to visiting the town myself, to enjoy some of the day’s many attractions.
The Mayor pictured during one of the school visits to the Council offices at Cloonavin.