Youngsters takeover council and emergency services

Kidderminster Shuttle: Takeover: Ian Miller and Craig Bateman. Takeover: Ian Miller and Craig Bateman.

YOUNGSTERS got to grips with some of the issues facing local council, police and fire services as they stepped into the shoes of decision makers and officers as part of a takeover day.

The national Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day took place on Friday, November 22, and saw children between the ages of five to 17 shadow adults for the day.

At Wyre Forest District Council, King Charles I Sixth Form student Craig Bateman took on the role of chief executive, joining Ian Miller in Local Enterprise Partnership Board and Worcestershire Chief Executive Panel meetings at Wychavon District Council’s headquarters in Pershore.

Craig, 16, also Wyre Forest’s representative on the Worcestershire Youth Cabinet, said: “It was a fantastic initiative to get involved with and I would like to be able to help my community in the future through local Government.

“I got a better understanding of how much of an important part our chief executives make working with district council leaders. It changed my perception of district councils - people think there is the people and the council but really it is both working together.

“The experience also helped develop my skills in decision making.”

Meanwhile 10 year eight students from Baxter College joined staff at Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service. They developed a community safety plan related to arson prevention during the day and pitched ideas to senior managers.

Chief fire officer Mark Yates said: “As a service we were delighted to have the students with us and found all of their suggestions very useful and very positive.”

He said one of the ideas - a team of “fire buddies” accessing areas of Kidderminster’s Rifle Range on mountain bikes to spread fire safety messages - could be incorporated.

School children helped West Mercia Police “arrest an offender” in a mock exercise, were taken through the custody process and also planned policing for a “proposed public demonstration”.

Photo captions: 48firetakeover: Fire safety: Mark Yates, back, centre, with Baxter College pupils and officers from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.



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