Schools can see how Boston Council really works during Local Democracy Week

Boston Borough Council has organised a series of Local Democracy Week events
Boston Borough Council has organised a series of Local Democracy Week events

Schools only have a couple of days left to register for a series of events organised by Boston Borough Council to mark National Local Democracy Week.

The series of events include debates, the chance to take part in mock scrutiny committees, an Ask The Cabinet session, the chance to see how the CCTV system works, and an open day at the Guildhall designed to show how the Council works.

In a joint statement, council leader Cllr Michael Cooper and chief executive Phil Drury explain why the council is so keen to give young people the chance to see how the council operates.

The Boston events, which take place in the week starting Monday October 15, are part of a series of similar schemes operated across Europe during the week.

"The Council is keen to promote local democracy within Boston and the surrounding areas and this year has arranged a number of events across the week, to encourage young people to engage in the democratic process and provide a greater understanding of how this affects the lives of everyone," they said.

"The Council’s Democratic Services team has been working hard to organise events for the week and would welcome any ideas you may have to help promote democracy in the future. We both look forward to meeting you all in October at our events."

The opening event on October 15 is a debate on Women's Right to Vote, which is particularly relevant as this year is the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which gave some women the right to vote for the first time. Boston's Guildhall will be transformed into a replica of the house of commons.

When the Speaker of the House adjourns the debate, all those in attendance, both on the floor and those who have witnessed the debate from the 'back benches' will proceed to place their vote at the polling station and an official election count will take place and the result.

On Tuesday, October 16, at 10am, there is to be a mock scrutiny meeting where students will make recommendations on two reports - one a suggestion that the May Fair should be moved and another recommending new penalties for litterbugs aged under 18. Full meeting protocols will apply and the students will gain an insight into how the committee system and decision-making process works within the council.

Ask The Cabinet takes place on Wednesday, October 17, where students will attend the scheduled Cabinet meeting at 10am and afterwards will be invited by the Leader of the Council to ask their questions of the Cabinet members with a formula similar to Question Time, with questions taken by the show of a hand.

Thursday, October 18, will see students visit the council's CCTV suite; see the civic regalia and meet the deputy mayor for refreshments and then join in and ask questions in a presentation about anti-social behaviour. There are two sessions taking place and teachers are asked to identify 10am or 2pm as their preference.

And completing the week on the Friday there will be an open house day when the Guildhall will be open from 10am until 2pm to allow students to come along and see how the council works.

There will be snap-shots of many of the council's services; councillors will be in attendance along with the MP Matt Warman to answer questions and meet the students and there are a number of quizzes across the service areas with prizes donated by the council's Corporate Management Team, who will also be attending.

One of the quizzes is a recycling challenge and the schools need to register their teams in advance by emailing Karen.rist@boston.gov.uk Officers at the Guildhall will also be conducting tours which will include a visit to the original cells and the first council chamber for Boston.

With the exception of the Friday event, none of the others are open to the public. Please note that the Guildhall is also open to the public on the Friday.

For all enquiries or details of how to register please call Karen Rist on 01205 314226 or email Karen.rist@boston.gov.uk

The deadline for registration is Wednesday.