Last week Politics students put Cotswolds MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown on the spot by holding an exclusive ‘Question Time’ with him to raise their concerns about local and national issues.
Students challenged the MP on many topics including local transport, tackling drugs, support for disadvantaged families and potholes!
It wasn’t too long though before students raised the ‘Brexit’ question, forming an interesting debate in which student Theo questioned parliamentary conduct and what was being done to keep the parliamentary discussions in check. Meanwhile, Olivia raised another hot topic, the voting system, and asked why the UK does not adopt proportional representation in favour of the current ‘first past the post’ system,– saying ‘wouldn’t that be fairer?’
Two students raised local issues that affected them: Joe, from South Cerney wanted to know about what was going to be done about repairing the endless potholes on our roads, whilst Indie was keen to address the issue of transport subsidies for young people in education.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown commended students for their stimulating questions: “They’re always a bright group and I always love coming to Cirencester. It’s always very interesting to talk to students because they’re lively and absolutely direct to the point and if you don’t answer the question properly they’ll come back at you with another one.”
Students Joe and Dylan said: “It’s nice to realise he’s just a normal person and can be approached like anyone else,” adding “it was also good to talk about the relationship between the electorate and those that represent them – which is key in our course. Finding out about local issues and learning where you can go to have your say was really useful.”
Politics lecturer Nicola Eagleton said: “Over the last 18 months students have been given the opportunity to meet MPs from all political backgrounds to ask questions in small group settings. This includes David Drew MP (Stroud), Robert Buckland (Swindon North) and Justin Tomlinson (Swindon South); all of which have been fascinating for our students, and really brought Politics to life for them.”
Politics and Public Service students are given the opportunity to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament each year, which is made possible with the continued support of MP Sir Geoffrey.
Note to Editors: The ‘Raise the Rate’ Campaign (Pictured) was initiated by a group of sixth formers at Brokenhurst Sixth Form College to Raise the Rate of funding of sixth form providers in line with that of schools and universities. A petition has been set up to ask the Government to make two commitments in the 2019 spending review. First, to raise the national funding rate for 16 to 18 year old students to at least £4,760 per year (from the current level of £4,000 per year for 16 and 17 year olds, and £3,300 for 18 year olds). And second, to raise the rate in line with inflation each year. If you would like to sign the petition click on the following link https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/230140