Bath MP Wera Hobhouse visited young politicos at Beechen Cliff School last week to discuss the biggest issues facing young people today.
The school hosted Ms. Hobhouse for lunch with sixth formers who study politics followed by a Q&A session with a larger group of students. Wera asked students about their motivations for studying politics and their plans for the future. The motivations ranged from wanting to argue with their parents, to learning more about decision making and anger over political events of the past few years.
After lunch, more students joined for a Q&A with Wera fielding questions on electoral reform, lowering the voting age, the minimum wage, Bath’s clean air zone, the housing crisis and nuclear power.
Wera also spoke about local politics and reflected on her time as a councillor in Rochdale. She went on to encourage young people to get more involved with local politics. At the local level, they can affect people’s lives directly by addressing immediate and important issues such as fixing potholes, installing bus stops and collecting household recycling.
Discussing the media, students said they do not feel represented and discussed how bad news sells and how this impacts the political narrative. Others questioned why 16-year olds couldn’t vote when political decisions such as Brexit impact their futures.
Reflecting on the visit, Ms. Hobhouse commented:
“I was delighted to have lunch with some of the sixth form students and to chat about the biggest issues that young people face today. We had very fruitful discussions and I hope I can come back for a debate in the future.
“Brexit, climate change, affordable housing and air pollution are all issues that impact the future of young people. Politics needs more young people and I hope some of the students will consider both local and national politics as a career choice in future.”
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