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School children in Merton quizzed councillors, took part in tours and listened to guest speakers as part of the annual Local Democracy Week from October 10-16.

Merton's Youth Parliament got stuck into a Speed Networking event with Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis and councillors from all parties answering questions on local services and democracy.

Siobhain McDonagh MP for Mitcham and Morden met with primary schools in her constituency to educate children on the roles of elected councillors, local services and democracy. As part of this, children from a number of primary schools were taken on a tour of the Houses of Parliament.  

Local pupils also visited Merton Civic Centre, home of Merton Council, where they were taken on a tour of the building and met with Mayor of Merton, Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender in her parlour (see picture).  

Aragon Primary School in Morden hosted the Annual General Meeting for Merton's Children's Council to close the week of events. Many councillors took time from their busy schedules to visit schools in their wards to meet young people during their school day and speak to members of school councils.

An annual event, Local Democracy Week aims to promote and foster democratic participation at a local level and encourage young people to get involved and make a difference in their communities and beyond.

Cabinet member for Children's Services, Councillor Maxi Martin said: "It's great to see so many young people in Merton who are looking to get involved and make a difference. I visited six schools in Merton this week and had the chance to hear from young people who are already engaged in democracy within their schools. We are always looking to hear from people of all ages about how we can improve our services and make sure we know what our residents want."

October 17, 2011