Following on from the success of last year’s political summer school, young people aged 13-17 from Hounslow attended the second summer school on Thursday the 25th and Friday the 26th of July. The event was hosted by Seema Malhotra MP and Heston West Big Local, kindly supported by New Bharat.
The projects primary aim is to introduce young people to local and national politics. The first day was held in Hounslow, with a specific focus on local politics. The young people learnt about the wards and constituencies in Hounslow. This was followed with a Q&A session with Councillor Shantanu Rajawat and former Councillor and Deputy Mayor Mukesh Malhotra.
The summer school learnt about the issues that Councillors deal with, their experience working in the Whips’ office and how they became councillors. The participants were split into groups of 6 and each group formed their own political party and started creating their manifestos. Using computers, they researched existing manifestos and trends in Hounslow informing their own policy ideas for change.
The next day, the participants met early to catch a coach to Parliament. Once they arrived, we headed up to the Grand Committee Room in Westminster Hall. The group continued to work on their manifestos before presenting. Using the policy toolkit, as well as their own ideas for change, the groups focused on topics for their party.
After presenting, the groups learnt about debating in a session led by Heston West Big Local volunteer Layba. After the debate session, the summer school held a speedy general election, won by the Your Say party.
The group had lunch before heading to the Houses of Parliament for a tour provided by Seema Malhotra and her office.
After the tour, all participants were presented with a certificate, to honour their completion of the 2019 Political Summer School. Most participants agreed their knowledge of local and national politics improved.
Special thanks to New Bharat for allowing the attendees to travel to parliament via coach and to Satwinder Sehmi for providing certificates for the children.