Councillors and young people have come together for the annual ‘Let’s Talk’ event organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
It took place on Friday October 14 in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre. The engaging event, facilitated by BBC’s Mark Carruthers and Peter Osborne from Rubicon, is held every year as part of the Council’s Good Relations Programme. It provides pupils from local secondary schools with an opportunity to become more aware of their local elected representatives and question them on issues that are important to them.
Causeway Coast and Glens Mayor, Alderman Maura Hickey, said: “‘Let’s Talk’ offers an interactive space for politicians and young people to come together in a way that encourages debate. Young participants can put their Councillors on the spot, while Councillors benefit from meeting the voters of the future and by hearing their views and concerns.”
The event was well received by those who took part. Matthew McLaughlin, a pupil at North Coast Integrated College, said: “It was an incredibly enlightening and thought provoking day, and an informal and unexpectedly enjoyable debate.”
Mark Carruthers, who has been facilitating the event since it started, said: “Year after year it’s great to see young people engaging with their public representatives so enthusiastically. Politicians the world over are well-practised at dodging awkward questions from journalists – but it’s impossible to avoid answering questions from young people who are, of course, the voters of tomorrow. It’s always a very positive engagement and I think everyone leaves with new perspectives and opinions.” This year, Council also chose the Let’s Talk event to launch a new DVD resource for schools, which has been created and funded by the Good Relations Programme. The DVD, entitled “HIDE or Seek?” complements a printed resource which was provided to schools last year. For more on this story, log onto www.colerainetimes.co.uk