Council chairman discusses democracy at Suffolk secondary school

Mid Suffolk District Council chairman Derrick Haley (left) with teacher Paul Heffer (right) at Thurs

Mid Suffolk District Council chairman Derrick Haley (left) with teacher Paul Heffer (right) at Thurston Community College Picture: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Students at a secondary school near Bury St Edmunds enjoyed a talk from the chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council to mark National Democracy Week.

Derrick Haley visited Thurston Community College to discuss the importance of democracy with pupils from years 7, 8 and 9.

National Democracy Week runs until Sunday, July 8, marking the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act – which gave women the same voting rights as men on July 2, 1928.

Mr Haley said: “At all levels, from parish councils right up the national government, politics depends on the participation of everyone.

“For many of the students I spoke to, the next general election will be one of their first opportunities to vote, and their enthusiasm to take part is a reminder of just how important the franchise is and just how far reaching the reforms of 90 and 100 years ago have been.”

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Paul Heffer, PSHCE Coordinator at Thurston Community College, said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome Councillor Hayley into Thurston Community College this morning.

“Our Year 7, 8 and 9 students listened with great interest to all that Mr Hayley had to share with them about the importance of ‘democracy’.

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“His talk prompted the students to think about and ask searching questions throughout the session.

“Mr Hayley urged the students to reflect upon the importance of ‘listening to others’. He also reminded them that they should value the opportunity of being part of a democratic society – for instance, the freedom to be able to vote in elections and so to have the chance to participate in the democratic process.”

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