Every vote counts!

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Every vote counts!

05 January 2015

Cllr Birch with students
To highlight Democracy Week last week, Bracknell & Wokingham College welcomed Bracknell Forest Councillor Dale Birch, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing and the Council’s Deputy Leader, to their Church Road Centre for a question and answer session.

Some 34 students attended the session in which Councillor Birch presented information about local and national government. The presentation was aimed at informing the students about how the government works, where the local council fits in to the bigger picture and helping the students to understand the importance of voting.

David Constable, Sociology Lecturer, arranged the event and said:

“We wanted to give the students the opportunity to find out more about politics; to help them realise how it affects their everyday lives now and how it will do in the future.”

Stirring interest in the students, Councillor Birch was pleased with the questions that arose from them and said:

“I wanted to get some key messages across. First of all the perception of local councils; I wanted to clarify the role of the local council, mainly around what they do and don’t do. And I hope I got the message across that voting is important and that every vote counts.

“The amount of younger voters drops every year and I want to encourage these students to make their voices heard and to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote so they can take part and help to shape their own future.”

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) student Esteban Solis, joined the session to find out more about what the local council does:

“I found what Councillor Birch had to say really interesting, especially about everything that the council does for local schools.”

Government & Politics A Level student Priya Farmah didn’t know much about Bracknell’s local council before she attended the session and wanted to find out more: 

‘It was great to see Councillor Birch’s views and opinions on local matters, how he deals with things and how he got into politics. I thought it was a really informative session.’

Scott Butler, Uniformed Public Services student, went along to the Q and A session on a recommendation from his tutor. Prior to this event Scott had had no interest in politics:

‘This has made me look differently at politics. I’ve always been under the impression that politicians deliver lies and false hopes, but Councillor Birch has made me realise the difficulties and the constraints in running a council; and what it is that they actually have to do and contend with. I also now understand the importance of my vote and will definitely make sure I get myself registered.’

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