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LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEK: UNIQUE 'PUPIL POWER' SCRUTINY PANEL

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Sixty pupils from Malet Lambert and David Lister schools will take on the ...
Sixty pupils from Malet Lambert and David Lister schools will take on the

challenge of running a scrutineers panel in the Guildhall on Wednesday 15

October 2003, as part of Local Democracy Week.

This unique event is the first of its kind and is the result of the pupils

from the schools contacting deputy prime minister and Hull East MP, John

Prescott, voicing their views about the future of East Park.

So impressed were Hull councillors by the pupils' initiative, that they

have organised a full programme of events on Wednesday which will include 15

of the pupils taking the role of a scrutiny panel including a designated

chair, and hearing evidence from local ward councillors.

Chris Craven, East Park project manager, will guide the pupils through the

£7.2m East Park transformation including the stunning new £483,000 pavilion

located at the historic heart of the park. The pupils will be able view

plans of the 430 sq.m. building incorporating cafe, community rooms and

public facilities, a brand new 6,000 sq m £300,000 children's play and

discovery area and a £360,000 water-based play area nearby.

A splinter group will take the role of press packers and will report on the

day--s event, having already received advice on 'How to be a Council

Reporter' from the Hull Daily Mail's Angus Young.

This is one of many events planned as part of Kingston upon Hull City

Council's Local Democracy Week aimed at listening to 'Tomorrow's Voters

Today', and will teach young people about the importance of local democracy

and the valued and vital role they play in the democratic process.

TIMETABLE AND FORMAT FOR SCRUTINY EVENT

Wednesday 15 October 2003

Room C1, Ground Floor, The Guildhall, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull

9.15 Pre-briefing for witnesses with Councillor Mary Glew and

East Park project manager Chris Craven.

9.45 Pupils arrive at the Guildhall

10.00 Cllr Glew to give short introduction to the day, Chris

Craven to provide a brief recap on plans for the park.

10.10 - 11.30 Scrutiny panel of 15 pupils (one taking the role of

chair) takes evidence from the local ward councillors and Mr Chris Craven,

East Park project manager. A number of pupils will work as press packers,

reporting on the day--s event, having already received some reporting tips from

Angus Young, Hull City Council reporter on the Hull Daily Mail. 14 questions

and any supplementary questions will be asked. (Schools will have agreed the

questions earlier.)

Members that have taken part and given evidence do not have to remain for the

rest of the session. The session will illustrate the formalities of a scrutiny panel,

such as the role of chair, panel, mangers, etc.

11.30 - 11.45 Break for refreshments etc

11.45 - 12.30 Pupils reconvene in 15 groups of four. Each group has

one member of the panel and three pupils.

Each group will concentrate on the one question that was asked by their panel

member. They will consider:-

- How effectively was the question asked?

- Did it provide the response/information that was needed?

- Could the question have been asked in a different way?

- Could supplementary or additional questions have been asked?

- Was the question answered effectively?

- Could it have been answered in a different way?

Each group will have a pro-forma on which to record their comments. After

considering these points each group will produce a conclusion that is based

on the evidence that they have heard and a recommendation.

12.30 - 1.15 Pupils will break for lunch.

1.15 Pupil panel will reconvene to consider and agree the

conclusions and recommendations.

During the lunch break scrutiny officers will collect the conclusions and

recommendations and have them typed so that they can be presented to the

panel when it reconvenes. The panel will discuss the recommendations and

agree which conclusions and recommendations are to be included in the

report.

Scrutiny officers will prepare a report that includes the panel's findings

and submit this to both schools for their approval. The report will then be

submitted to the council's cabinet committee by a number of pupils from the

panel (the date to be agreed with both schools and cabinet).

In the normal course of events, the council's overview and scrutiny

commission ask for a report on what action the cabinet has taken to

implement the scrutiny panel's recommendations. This is usually 6 months

after the report is submitted to cabinet. The panel may wish to reconvene in

six months' time to receive this feedback from the cabinet.

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