Reaseheath students and staff have been speaking about the things that matter to them during the run-up to the general election on Thursday 12th December.
Candidates from all five major parties: Edward Timpson (Conservative), Terry Savage (Labour), Antoinette Sandbach (Liberal Democrats), Te Ata Browne (Green Party) and Andrea Allen (UKIP) attended a hustings held at college.
The event was open to all students of voting age and we actively encouraged as many as possible to be involved with preselected and live questioning. Preventing and mitigating climate change and other environmental issues were high on the agenda, along with fears that the UK’s high animal welfare standards will may not be upheld following Brexit.
Our students were also concerned about how far they could trust politicians to deliver their promises and questioned how the National Health Service could be improved. Staff concerns focused on the effect of the current 33% decrease in Further Education funding and how this leaves colleges unable to invest and grow.
Quality and Standards Coach Emily Jewell, who organised the hustings, said: “Encouraging young people to take an active role in the political debate is extremely important to us. It is vital that the young people of today listen to the different policies and get involved in shaping their own future. Our event demonstrated to political leaders that the younger generation want to see change in the way they respond to their concerns.”
Earlier this month Environmental Conservation students attended a Wild Question Time hosted by Cheshire Wildlife Trust at the University of Chester. The event offered a chance for 16-25 year olds to pose questions about their environmental concerns to parliamentary candidates and councillors. Panellists were Antoinette Sandbach (Lib Dem); Paul Bowers (Green Party); Samantha George (Conservative); Matt Bryan (Labour) and wildlife journalist Lucy McRobert.
The event was part of The Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Futures campaign which hopes to create stronger environmental legislation to help restore Cheshire’s natural environment. The debate covered issues such as climate change, the threats that new building developments pose to vulnerable species such as bats and water voles and how to get the government to listen to young peoples’ environmental concerns.
Student Clair Cartwright said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to have a say in our future and to hear how the politicians respond. I now appreciate the importance of science led debate because that is the best way to get the government to listen to young people.”