Stockport school children to take part in debate to address climate action ideas

The debates will take place on 14 March for Primary School children and on 21 March for Secondary and Colleges

Young people in Stockport have been invited to take part in debates at the Council Chambers to address the important issue of climate change and vote on climate action ideas.

After a successful launch last year, the event has grown to include 45 schools and more than 850 pupils from schools and colleges across Stockport.

Organised by Stockport Council’s Climate Action Now (CAN) team, young people will take part in a debate in the Council Chamber on Tuesday 14 March (primary schools) and Tuesday 21 March (high schools and colleges), with some of the ideas being selected after a vote, to present to Members at a Full Council meeting. The winning idea will then be developed with support from the CAN team. The debate will be chaired by members of the Stockport Youth Council.

Prior to the event, pupils have benefitted from Climate Assemblies which focussed on Climate Action and Democracy in Action lessons to prepare them for the debate and to learn more about the devastating impact of climate change.

The ideas that will be debated are:

• Create more spaces for wildlife: birdfeeders, hedgehog boxes, wildflowers, no mow areas and trees - Composite action, lead school Cale Green Primary School
• Run a campaign in Stockport schools and local areas to raise awareness of Climate Change and the Stockport CAN project. - St Winifred's Primary, Heatons South
• Increase the amount of solar energy generated in Stockport - Composite action, lead school Brookside Primary School, High Lane
• Community gardens where people can plant and pick fruit and veg, reducing the carbon footprint of food - St Paul's Primary School, Brinnington
• Make sustainable forms of travel more accessible to everyone by providing different transport options e.g. bike rental – Composite action, lead school Cheadle College

In 2022, the winning idea came from pupils at Reddish Vale High School. Their idea was for eco-friendly, biodegradable and reuseable period products to be more affordable and accessible in schools.

The project also supports the recently launched Stockport Spring Clean campaign, educating and encouraging residents and businesses to make changes to improve their environment, as well as highlighting some of the work the Council undertakes every day to deal with the impact of environmental pollution.
Cllr Mark Roberts, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment at Stockport Council, said: "After the success of last year’s debate, I’m really excited to hear from our young people and look forward to hearing some thought-provoking ideas that they want the Council to act on.

"It’s so important that school children and college pupils are a part of what we do, that as a council we listen to them, and they feel supported to tackle the serious issue of climate change. It is, after all, they who will have to live with the consequences of climate change the longest in our society. I’m expecting to see some future leaders in the chamber debates that the whole of Stockport can be proud of.

“We can all make a difference by making some small changes, and our recently launched Stockport Spring Clean campaign along with the wider council approach to tackling climate change will hopefully inspire more people and businesses to join us in taking action to look after our environment both now and for future generations.”

The outcome of the debates and full list of young people’s ideas will be presented to all Councillors at a Full Council meeting on 13 July 2023.