Young people grill councillors

More than 70 young people took part in a Question Time with a twist where they grilled councillors from each political party.

A group aged from nine to 19 years old from organisations including Croxteth Gems, Woolton Youth Club and Central Youth Club gathered at Liverpool Town Hall last week.

The event was organised by Councillor Lynnie Hinnigan, Mayoral Lead for Youth and Citizen Engagement and the young people were welcomed by Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, and was compered by Joe Slater, a young person from the city.

Gail Goodwin from the council’s targeted services for young people worked with Cllr Hinnigan on the event and it was supported by the Liverpool young inspectors led by Julie Murphy.

The panel at the Question Time

Councillors Sharon Connor, Steve Radford, Tom Crone and Mirna Juarez made up the panel and answered questions ranging from shortening school hours, the future of youth clubs, work experience, lowering the voting age and what Brexit will mean for employment prospects.

The councillors didn’t tell the young people which political party they were representing and the young people based their votes on who they thought represented their views and who related to them the best on the night, with Cllr Connor receiving most votes.

Cllr Hinnigan said: “The young people who came from across our city, were articulate, informed and immensely passionate. We all had a grilling on a range of issues and it gave so many young people a platform and voice.

“In my experience our young people have so much to contribute and we must harness this. We need more events like this which provide our young people with a voice and provides meaningful engagement.

“On the basis of the event the future of our city is in safe hands, with many future active citizens, ready to step up and make a difference to their communities.”