Ripon youngsters showed that, although they may not be of age to vote in a referendum, they have their own ideas on how to create a better future for their City.
When 16 pupils from Greystone Primary school met up with members of the City Plan team, they were keen to voice their own vision as part of the draft consultation of Ripon City Plan.
Aged between 9-10 years old, the group role-played the part of city councillors with their own elected Mayor presiding and they came up with a list of improvements.
These included an improved swimming pool, good clothes and shoes shops that would avoid the need to travel to Harrogate and York, a bigger and better hospital, a train station, more libraries, bigger slides in the playgrounds and more toy shops.
The pupils were later invited by the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Adrian Morgan, to join him in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour for refreshments and further discussions about creating a plan for the City.
Bill Swan, School Governor at Greystone Primary School said: “It was a great opportunity for the children to build on their listening and discussion skills.
“It’s also good to familiarise themselves with how a City Council works and what goes into the making of a City Plan.
“They represent the future of Ripon and it’s important to listen to their ideas too, which can sometimes give us a fresh perspective.”
All households in Ripon will have received a copy of the draft Ripon City Plan summary and are being asked to comment on the proposals it sets out for the regeneration and revitalisation of the City.
Alan Weston, Ripon City Development Manager, added: “It’s been wonderful to meet these youngsters here in the Town Hall as it’s a clear reminder of the commitment we have to make the City a better place not only for them to grow up in, but as somewhere they will choose to stay in the future.
“The Ripon City Plan proposes an ongoing regeneration in the City which will take us up to the year 2030, by which time these children will be young adults in their 20s.
“It’s amazing that most of the improvements they want to see are, in fact, included in the draft Ripon City Plan.
“We now want to hear what their parents and other adult residents have to say about our proposals and they have until October 30 when the consultation period ends to let us know.”