School Council Visit to Merton Civic Centre

On Wednesday 11th October the School Councillors went to Merton Civic Centre as part of Local Democracy Week 2017. We were escorted to the Council Chamber where we were split into two groups. Each group spent 45 minutes with the Mayor in the Mayor's Parlour and 45 minutes on a guided tour of the building with Mike Mills, the Facilities Manager.
Mike told us about the history of the London Borough of Merton and he showed us lots of boards on the walls with the names of famous people (like Andy Murray, who is an honorary member of Merton) and the names of people who had been Mayors of Merton. Mike also took us to the rooftop which is on the 15th floor. From there we could see all the way to Croydon, Canary Wharf and the City of London.
In the Mayor's Parlour we got to have a chat with Madam Mayor Marsie Skeete and ask her lots of questions. She very kindly gave us juice and some delicious treats and we were lucky enough to also get a special badge and her autograph! We all returned to school having learnt a lot. We would like to thank Madam Mayor and Mike for taking time to talk to us about life in the council. We would also like to thank Mrs Poole, who works at the council and is also a Governor at our school, for coming to meet us too. We had a great afternoon!
Marvellous Merton Council Facts:
1. The London Borough of Merton was formed when the Borough of Mitcham, the Borough of Wimbledon and Merton and Morden District joined together.
2. The Civic Centre is built on the old site of a supermarket and Lord Nelson once lived near there.
3. When there is a meeting in the Council Chamber members of the public are allowed to sit at the back and watch. Councillors discuss matters such as planning (building meetings) and licensing (shops/traders). When each councillor speaks they appear on a large screen with their name written at the bottom.
4. There is a traffic light system which monitors how long you talk for. You are allowed 4 minutes. Green means you have 4 minutes, orange means you have approximately 1 minutes left and red means stop talking.
5. Each councillor has 3 buttons in front of them which they use to vote. The green button means a 'Yes' vote, the red button means a 'No' vote and the orange button means you abstain from voting.
By Shannon, Year 3

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council chamber
meeting the Mayor
On the roof of the civic centre
School council visit
The Mayor showing us pictures of previous mayors of Merton