I often tell people, when I’m talking about I’m a Councillor, that it’s definitely a two way thing. It’s not just about young people learning more about local democracy (as if they are empty vessels that just need filling up by clever grown-up). It’s also about local democracy (in the form of councillors) learning more about young people.
Councillors learn more about what life is like for young people, the problems they face, the stuff they are into and what they want. Time and again our feedback from councillors tells us this, and the councillors, bless ’em, get really into it.
But this week councillors have been mentioning another way IAC teaches them things. A couple of quotes from councillors:-
"Its a learning exercise for me as its the first
time I’ve been on the net, and I’ve identified a thirst for this function. I
intend to take it forward in our local IT class."
"Hi all, this is probably very sad to
all of you who msn every day but I’ve never done this chat thing before and I’m
really impressed with how quick and easy it is."
IAC, it reaches the parts other engagement programmes can’t!
In fact a group of councillors got to discussing how Live Chat might be a good way of running council discussions, and think of all the money they’d save! Maybe out of the savings they could pay us a small commission for giving them the idea…
And from the student point of view, today we’ve had a whole range:-
"it is nice to speak to real councillors"
"this is a great website"
"This is a rubbish website"
"so what do I have to do to win the vouchers?"
"do u think i have any chanse of being a councillor?"
"Bah no such thing in such a lightly policed state"