Today is the start of Local Democracy Week and I started it off by going to speak to the girls at King Edward’s High School in Edgbaston Park Road, about my life as a Councillor, the electoral system and what the Council does.
The lesson lasted 40 minutes. I spoke for 20 and then threw it open to questions. There were lots of interesting questions including how is the Lord Mayor chosen, what does my job as Health and Adults Scrutiny Chairman entail, and the financial implications of being a Councillor.
At the end of the class I asked if any of the year group fancied being Councillors themselves and two immediately shot their hands up. Perhaps they’ll be sitting on the Council benches before too long. My own son (Cllr Robert Alden) went to the King Edward’s School for Boys next door to KEHS, and less than 5 years after leaving school was an elected Councillor on Birmingham City Council. Now you can stand for election at 18 (he had to wait till 21) so the girls I spoke to today could be there even sooner!