East Suffolk pupils have united to debate intergenerational political equality at the first-ever simulation of East Suffolk Council.

This 'Model District Council' event, where 52 pupils from seven different schools came together, was developed and oversaw by East Suffolk Council chair, Cllr Dr Anthony Speca.

Pupils from Benjamin Britten Academy, Bungay High School, Castle EAST School, East Coast College, Pakefield High School, The Ashley School and Thomas Mills High School, were assigned a ward and political party, reflecting the structure of the actual council.

Supported by the Democratic Services and Communities teams, a debate revolved around how to ensure the youth voice is properly represented in East Suffolk.

East Anglian Daily Times: 52 students took part in the simulation52 students took part in the simulation (Image: East Suffolk Council)

The 'Full Council' meeting involved students from the Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent (GLI) group proposing a substantive motion.

It culminated in the 'councillors' approving a motion to establish a permanent East Suffolk Youth Council.

Cllr Dr Speca said: "As chair of Council, and as an educator, I believe it’s vital to engage youth in politics.

"The better future that we’re trying to help shape here at East Suffolk Council belongs especially to the youth of our district.

"It’s only fair that we listen to them, and our democracy will be stronger for it.

"I was tremendously impressed by how quickly the students grasped council procedures, and how they worked together despite disagreements to pass their unanimous motion.

“It’s now up to us to respond to the call for a permanent East Suffolk Youth Council, and I for one am keen to get to work on it.”

Within the Model District Council event, students further benefited from guest speakers, including head of advocacy and communications for the British Youth Council, Rhammel Afflick BEM.

Public speaking tips were provided by Beth Derks, founder of the ‘Future Leaders’ programme at the University of East Anglia.

Students also had the chance for an open Q&A session with group leaders Cllrs Topping and Byatt.