Learning the Lessons of Big Conversation

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), March 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Learning the Lessons of Big Conversation


Byline: By Simon Armstrong

Tyneside teenagers have been chatting about their future with the Government's enforcer as part of Tony Blair's `Big Conversation' roadshow.

Around 40 youngsters from All Saints College in West Denton, Newcastle, met Chief Whip and Durham North West MP, Hilary Armstrong, to thrash out their views on the future of key areas affecting them.

Education, facilities for youngsters and the environment were all under the spotlight as the sixth form pupils grilled their guest.

The MP's visit was part of the government's Big Conversation exercise which aims to help voters feel more included in the political process before the next general election.

As Chief Whip her role is to make sure rebel Labour MP's back Government legislation.

Pupil Stacy Thornton was pleased she and her friends had been given the chance to speak to the politician about their concerns.

The 18-year-old said: "She listened to our views which was good but the most important thing is whether anything comes of it and we don't know whether it will."

Teacher Anthony Stobart was also enthusiastic about Hilary Armstrong's visit and said the youngsters, aged from 11-17, had been looking forward to the exercise. …

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