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The Corporation

Posted: 27/03/14

Students debate with high-profile figures

The voice of young people was heard at a debate set to the theme of ‘respect’ yesterday at West Nottinghamshire College (26 March).

(l - r) Konrad Schaefer, Neil Williams, Tony Egginton, Kate Allsop and Mick Barton

Up to fifty students from across the college campuses joined together at a ‘Question Time’ style debate to get their views heard by a panel including Mansfield’s Mayor Tony Egginton, portfolio holder for public protection Councillor Mick Barton and portfolio holder for economic regeneration Councillor Kate Allsop.

Also on the panel was the college’s chaplain Konrad Schaefer and Senior Inspector Neil Williams – neighbourhood inspector for Mansfield South.

The debate, which was organised by the Student’s Union, was chaired by the college’s deputy principal Andrew Martin.

Students were able to voice their opinions and raise their questions to the panel on a number of issues affecting them as young people. Discussions took place on respect within the local community, employment, crime and religion.

Before the debate, students were able to visit a number of stalls in the college’s covered courtyard and talk to stall holders about their services and how they can benefit from them in the local community.

Stall holders included Nottinghamshire County Council’s Road Safety Team, Mansfield Partnership Against Crime (MPAC), Mansfield District Council’s neighbourhood wardens and the college’s volunteering society.

Students’ Union President Marie Oakton said: “Today’s debate was a fantastic opportunity for our students to get their voice heard and ask people who work at a senior level for our communities what their opinions were on topical matters.

“Students welcomed this forum to get answers to questions that affect them as residents and as young people in the Mansfield and Ashfield communities.  It was a worthwhile event and I’m certain we’ll be looking to host something similar again in the near future.”