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Challenging debate in the council chamber

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There was lots of lively discussion in the council chamber this month when the annual primary school debates returned to Dudley Council House.

Schoolchildren from more than 20 borough schools debated a range of hot topics in the council house. Each motion lasted 30 minutes with students from each school presenting their case for and against, with all debates chaired by a local councillor.

Councillor Sue Ridney and pupils from Ashwood Park Primary

The motions proposed include a ban on mobile phones for primary school aged children; that all primary school children should receive free school meal; that shops should stop selling drinks in plastic bottles and that parents should ask their children’s permission before posting photographs of them on social media.

The year 5 and 6 children prepared their arguments with their teachers at school and come to the Dudley Council House to present their case in the council chamber on Friday 25 January and Friday 1 February.

Councillor Sue Ridney, cabinet member for children and young people said:

I was lucky enough to chair the debate between Jessons Primary and Lutley Primary who were debating the topic of whether products containing palm oil should be banned from sale in the UK. I could see that they’d done a lot of research and were really enthusiastic about their topics.
These debates, which are now in their 21st year, are a fantastic way for children to learn how to research and present an argument, building their confidence and having fun as they do so. I’d like to thank the organisers, the teachers and school staff and most of all, the pupils who all did such an amazing job.”

Primary schools taking part included Milking Bank, Church of Ascension, Dudley Wood, Roberts, Ham Dingle, Pedmore CE, Dingle Community, Bramford, Lapal, Newfield Park, Dawley Brook, St Mary’s CE, Peters Hill, Greenfield, St Mark’s CE, Maidensbridge, St James’ CE, St Joseph’s RC, Ashwood Park, Brook, Queen Victoria, Christ Church, Lutley, Jessons CE.

The debates were chaired by the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Alan Taylor, the deputy Mayor Councillor Hilary Bills and a host of councillors including Councillor Alan Lees, Councillor Peter Miller, Councillor Colin Elcock, Councillor Nicolas Barlow, Councillor Tim Crumpton, Councillor Sue Ridney, cabinet member for children and young people and Councillor David Stanley.

Photo caption: Councillor Sue Ridney, cabinet member for children’s services and pupils from Ashwood Park Primary

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