Pupils from seven local primary schools were introduced to the dilemma faced by councils up and down the country – which services to prioritise with a limited budget.
Children from Years five and six at Bolton-le-Sands, Carnforth Christ Church, Cockerham Parochial, Ryelands, Wilson’s Endowed Over Kellet, Scotforth St Paul’s and Trumacar primary schools took part in the Pupil Power Event at Lancaster Town Hall. Working in groups alongside city councillors and officers, the children were given £14m to spend – but with the services on offer adding up to £18, they had to prioritise. The aim of the event was to enable the children to get to know which services the council provides and the decisions that need to be made when there is not enough money to fund them all.
This was followed by a guided tour of the town hall led by the Mayor’s Beadle. The pupils visited the Mayor’s Parlour where they not only viewed all the civic regalia and mayor’s chain, but were also able to pass around the Olympic Torch and the Mace.
The old prison cells were accessed from the dock of the old Court Rooms where the convicted of old were ‘sent down’ to the cells.
Lancaster Mayor, Coun Robert Redfern, answered questions from the children about the role.