Mayor hosts debate on democracy with local school

Last Updated:

Last Updated: 03 Dec 2019 11:16am

As the country prepares to go to the polls, pupils from Valley Invicta Primary School at Kings Hill were debating democracy, at the invitation of The Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, at the Borough Council’s offices in Kings Hill on Wednesday 27 November.

A total of 21 year 5 pupils from the school met with the Mayor, Cllr Jill Anderson, to take part in a debate in the Council Chamber on the following subjects:

  • Is Democracy always a good thing?
  • Should children be allowed to vote?

The Mayor hosted the lively debate and spoke to the children of her time in Local Government and as Mayor, followed by a visit to the Mayor’s Parlour, where she hosts events and meetings throughout her year in office.

Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Jill Anderson says: “It has become a highlight of my time in office to host these school debates and listen to the views of our young people from across the borough. I have thoroughly enjoyed each visit and hope that the children have gained an insight into some of the work that is carried out here. The pupils from Valley Invicta Primary School at Kings Hill seemed to enjoy their visit immensely.”

After hearing all the views on each subject, the children then voted on the key questions they had debated.  The children came to the conclusion overall that democracy is a good thing, although some had reservations which led to a lively debate. The results were as follows:

  • Is Democracy always a good thing? Yes: 13                  No: 5               Maybe: 3

Key points raised included: -   Democracy can help express feelings and emotions on what is going on in the world, in a fair way.  The children who decided democracy is not always a good thing felt that some people may vote selfishly and for the wrong reasons and that not all politicians do the good things they promise.

Opinion was with the majority being in favour of children having the vote, with the votes cast as follows:

  • Should children be allowed to vote? Yes: 13                        No: 2               Maybe: 6

Some said ‘yes’ because:

  • The opinions of children matter
  • Everyone should be treated equally no matter how old or young you are
  • It is their right and it is not fair that only adults can vote
  • Children should be able to express their ideas on what happens in the future More follows…  While others thought ‘no’ because:
  • Children do not have enough life experience
  • Children could vote for silly things (ie banning schools/work)
  • Children do not really understand what is going on in the world
  • If they didn’t like the outcome of the vote they could get violent

Claire Parsons, teacher from Valley Invicta Primary School at Kings Hill said: “We have had a really enjoyable and informative visit with the Mayor today, and we would like to thank her for inviting us along. The children were thrilled to have the chance to take part in a debate in the Council Chamber and loved the mini tour and hearing about the experiences of the Mayor in her time in office.”