By Neha Soni
Young people from Heston West Big Local and Hounslow Youth Council attended a Political Summer School. The event was hosted by Seema Malhotra MP, Heston West Big Local and Hounslow Youth Council and kindly supported by New Bharat and Universal Fortune Limited.
The project aimed to introduce young people to local and national politics. On the 26th July 2018, participants learnt about the wards and constituencies in Hounslow. This was followed with a Q&A session with 3 councillors; Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, Counillor Rajinder Bath and Councillor Tom Bruce. We learnt about the issues they deal with, their views on Brexit and the their roles as councillors. The participants were split into groups of 6 and each group formed their own political party and started creating their manifestos. Each group researched their potential policy topics and then ended the day with a delicious lunch!
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. The groups had to choose 6 topics they wanted to focus on in their manifestos. The six parties are: Speak Out, Social Liberalist Party, The Crossroads Democratic Party, The Peoples Party, The International Centralist Party and Equitas (Latin for equality). After presenting, the groups learnt about parliamentary style debating and how laws are made.
After an intense debate, everyone headed downstairs for lunch. The chocolate chips cookies proved a popular choice amongst participants!
Once everyone had eaten, we headed back upstairs for a Q&A with the Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston, Seema Malhotra. Participants found out more about Seema's views on Brexit, the busy life of an MP and how they can get their MP to represent their voice in Parliament. As the day came to an end, a Political Summer School General Election was held. Congratulations to Equitas, who won with a majority vote. Information on each group’s manifestos can be found below*
All participants were presented with a certificate, to honor their completion of the Political Summer School. All participants agreed that their knowledge of local and national politics had improved. I hope the participants use the Political Summer School to ensure their voice is heard locally and nationally!
Special thanks to New Bharat for allowing the attendees to travel to parliament via coach and to Universal Fortune Limited for making this project possible.