MP visits East Whitby School

Robert Goodwill holding a debate at East Whitby School
Robert Goodwill holding a debate at East Whitby School
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BUDDING politicians seem to be getting younger these days and at East Whitby school there is no exception.

Robert Goodwill, Scarborough & Whitby MP, got the vote of year 5 and 6 children when he dropped by to talk about the workings of the Houses of Parliament.

Robert Goodwill, MP, said: “It’s trying to get young people interested in the democratic process as early as possible.

“For primary school children I thought they were particularly switched on to a lot of issues. For example, affordable housing and public housing were issues they raised. Would it be better to have a really clean toilet for 20p or a free one that was messy?”

They were also particularly fascinated to learn about the red lines on the floor of the House of Commons, separating the government and opposition Front Benches, which are exactly two sword lengths plus one foot apart.

Members of Parliament are not allowed to cross over these red lines, stopping them in earlier times from attacking the other side with their swords.

Town facilities were then debated, particularly the location of play parks, and one of the children queried why seagulls were so unpopular in Whitby, which upset her.

At the end, Robert Goodwill asked if anyone would consider standing for Parliament in the future and was delighted to find at least one pupil who was very interested in doing so.

The MP was impressed with the students’ interest in politics, saying: “When I was their age there was news on both stations, but it’s very easy these days with computers and hundreds of channels that one could completely avoid any of the democratic life of the country which previous generations would automatically come across.

“So I was very impressed by their breadth of subject, I think I probably got the same questions from them as I would a group of adults.”