|On the 171 bus to Catford|
Our Head and Deputy Head Girl and Boy - Ava, Inara, Kadeem and Oghosa - were amongst children from five schools invited today to Lewisham Town Hall to hear what the Council does, to learn about the Young Mayor, and to meet and speak with Sir Steve Bullock, elected Mayor of Lewisham. The children were accompanied on the trip by Ms. Anushka Clarke and Mr. Robert Sheppard, one of our School Governors. We travelled by bus.
Soon after they arrived the children were shown the Ceremonial Maces of the former Boroughs of Deptford and Lewisham, which merged in 1965 to form the current Borough of Lewisham, and the Mace that is now used when Council Meetings are underway.
The children were then ushered into the Council Chamber where Council officers explained more about the Borough and its Councillors and how the Young Mayor (currently Kayla Sh'ay) was elected and what she does at the Council. The children were invited to discuss with each other what might be their priorities if they were to be chosen as Young Mayor.
On the St.Mary Magdalen table there was an interesting discussion, in which priorities were felt to be help for disabled children, tackling homelessness and encouraging more children to feel their views and opinions are important and worthy of being heard. Kadeem and Oghosa fed back the St.Mary Magdalen's ideas to the wider group (see photo left).
The highlight of trip however was a meeting with Sir Steve Bullock, who has been the elected Mayor of Lewisham since 2002. He welcomed the children into the Parlour (see right) and invited each to introduce themself and ask a question. During the hour that followed we heard from Sir. Steve about how he became Mayor, what his priorities are, how old he is(!) and what he expects to be doing in 5 years time (n.b. he will retire as Mayor next year)!
|Inara, Ava, Oghosa and Kadeem with Sir Steve and Ms Clarke|
Ava asked Sir Steve what is the most important thing he has done as Mayor: he explained that ensuring everyone had decent housing was his top priority.
Kadeem asked him how his work affects our lives: Sir Steve explained all the different services the Council provides and how Council decisions affect everyone in one way or another.
Oghosa asked the Major how does his job affect his personal life and his family commitments: Sir Steve explained that modern technology - smartphones and his iPad helped him work more efficiently and spend less time at the Town Hall! Oghosa also asked if he had met the Queen: he said he had, three times, the last when he was made a 'Sir' (A Knight of the Realm).
On the way home Inara said she'd really enjoyed the trip and feels she now understands a lot more about what the Mayor and Council do. Oghosa said he had a lot of respect for the Mayor given all his responsibilities. Ava felt it was a real privilege to meet the Mayor and to be invited into the Parlour to ask him some questions.
We are very grateful to Sir. Steve for the invitation to the Town Hall and for his spending so much time with us and the other children. The children undoubtledly now have a much better understanding of how the Council works and greater confidence about how they might, in a few years time, start to play their own role in the Young Mayor election and, who knows, one day put themselves forward for public office - perhaps even as Mayor of Lewisham!