5/2/07 – Pupils explore chamber of secrets
Printed in the Swindon Advertiser 5th Feb 2007.
NYTHE Primary School’s student councillors met their town counterparts at the civic offices on Friday.
The 10 school representatives joined a debate in the council chamber with Swindon Mayor Mike Bawden.
Covingham and Nythe councillor Glenn Smith organised the trip after visiting the children at their school to talk about democracy.
The children – from years one through to six – plied Coun Bawden with questions about the council and being mayor.
There was also enthusiastic support when the suggestions of extending school holidays and handing out chocolate during maths class were put to a vote.
Coun Bawden told the group that the council worked in a similar way to their own.
At Nythe, representatives from each year group join the council, while each Swindon ward sends councillors to represent them in the borough.
Asked what the best thing about being mayor was, Coun Bawden said it was meeting different people.
Coun Bawden said: “I wouldn’t say there was anything I don’t like about being the mayor.”
He said the only special skill required was being able to keep the council chamber under control during what could be heated debates.
“Some meetings get pretty hot, ” Coun Bawden said.
“I have to make sure people follow the rules.”
Asked for tips about winning elections, Coun Bawden said honesty was the key.
“I was first elected in 1967 so I seem to be able to win elections,” he said.
“The most important thing is to tell the truth.The other is to make sure you look after the people who elected you.”
Other questions included whether the mayor had a swimming pool, a special house or plasma TV.
Coun Bawden said he got none of those perks.