The University of Chester’s Sustainability department hosted four of the county’s political representatives for an environmental debate in November.
Una Meehan, co-creator of the Good for Nothing campaign and Chair of the debate, said: “Events like this are a great opportunity for young people to get their voices heard by politicians.”
The event, which was organised in partnership with Cheshire Wildlife Trust, took place in the university’s Best Building and gave those between the ages of 16-25 years the chance to question local political representatives about pressing climate issues.
The panel consisted of representatives from Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties including Councillor Matt Bryan; Samantha George (who was the then Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Chester); former MP for Eddisbury, Antoinette Sandbach; and Councillor Paul Bowers. The panel was also joined by environmental journalist and author Lucy McRobert.
James Melling, an organiser from Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: “This debate has really been brought to life through the live audience questions and it’s been so nice to hear their views amongst all of the politics. It’s seemed to have sparked a number of conversations and I hope that will continue in the months to come as we continue with our Wilder Futures campaign.”
The event was primarily focused on youth engagement and encouraging young people to be active within environmental and political movements.
Environmental journalist and author of 365 Days Wild, Lucy McRobert, said: “You already have a way to make politicians hear you and that’s through voting. If you are at the age where you can do, please do.”
“This is your responsibility and your future we are talking about. Your generation is defined by self-direction and you have to act on that,” she added.
Tamara Hunt, Sustainability Officer at the University of Chester, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a great turnout of young people on a Friday evening posing some challenging questions to the panel. We hope that the event inspires people, of all ages, to take action, no matter how small to improve our local environment.”
For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust, or to become a member, visit the website at: https://www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/