Shrewsbury’s Mayor Councillor Tony Durnell has come up with a novel way to get teenagers interested in local politics.
He is inviting seven secondary schools in the town to appoint mini mayors to spend a day with him and his wife, Mayoress Tricia, experiencing exactly what mayoral duties entail.
It was recently the turn of mini mayors from The Grange School, Harlescott, Elliot Blakemore and Laura Higgins, to link up with the Mayor and Mayoress. Duties for the day included paying a visit to award-winning caravan dealership Salop Leisure at Emstrey, where marketing manager Scott Higgins took them on a tour of the successful business.
Afterwards, both mini mayors were taken home in the mayor’s car and they must now write a report about their experiences for the school newsletter.
“What we want to do is to give these mini mayors an outlook of what goes on behind the scenes of different places,“ said Cllr Durnell. “Some people may drive past Salop Leisure and see the dragon sculpture at the entrance and not realise what’s inside the impressive building.
“Elliot and Laura couldn’t stop talking about the different caravans they had seen and the restaurant at Salop Leisure.”
Cllr Durnell also takes part in Shrewsbury Schools’ Democracy Week in October by speaking to year nine pupils about his role as a local councillor.
“So many young people are switched off to politics and I think it’s important that they understand what local politics and democracy are about,” he said. “National politics is far removed from what we do, yet local councillors get blamed for what is happening 200 miles away in the Houses of Parliament.
He revealed that Shrewsbury Town Council will be holding a ‘Pop, Pizza and Options’ Day later this year to give young people an opportunity to express what they would like from the town in the next 10 to 15 years.
“We want these young people to return to Shrewsbury after they have been to college or university,” he explained. “We want Shrewsbury to be the destination that people want to visit.”
For more information, please contact Mr Tony Bywater, Salop Leisure chairman, on 01743 282400.
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