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Move over Paxman there are some new kids on the block

October 27, 2006 6:00 PM
Question Time at the Civic Offices

Question Time at the Civic Offices

Today the borough's young people got the chance to quiz civic leaders on how they were running the borough and what they were doing to do the improve services for the future. They asked some good questions and may some very good points.

It was Eastleigh's fifth annual youth conference, held at the Civic Offices and for the first time, organised by young people themselves. The day-long conference was designed by Eastleigh Borough Youth Council for people between the ages of 11 and 19 and was funded by the Eastleigh Strategic Partnership and supported by the Borough Council and Hampshire County Youth Service.

The conference was attended by local councillors, local MPs Chris Huhne and Sandra Gidley, plus representatives from the Youth Service, Hampshire Constabulary and Connexions. In a move to the future electronic voting was used during question time something that even the council and parliament does not do yet. There were also workshops discussions on various topics including discussions about the new Swan Centre development, youth exchanges and young people's involvement in politics.

It was all the more interesting because also in attendance were a group of Polish young people on a youth exchange organised by the Youth Service. The Interpreters were available to help explain to them what issues were being discussed and to enable them to take part in the question time session.

Commentating on the event Eastleigh's Cabinet member for Social Policy, Cllr Anne Winstanley, said:-

"The conference provides an ideal opportunity for young people to come along with their ideas about facilities and services for the future. The delegates took their opportunity to speak and to raise questions with Councillors, MPs and representatives of other leading organisations. Their comments and ideas will provide very useful feedback for the Eastleigh Strategic Partnership."

And local councillor David Goodall added :-

"Young people in Eastleigh have done a great job in organising this event and they really asked some good questions and put their elders on the spot on subjects like free bus passes for the old but not the young and taxes for sixteen year olds but not votes."

The event really highlighted that today's young people will make good leaders themselves in the future.