‘Working in democracy’ theme for local Parliament Week

12 November 2015

A week dedicated to promoting democracy begins on Monday (16 Nov 2015).

‘Parliament Week’ is a national programme of events and activities that connects people with Parliament and democracy in the UK.  Organisations across the UK run events and activities throughout Parliament Week which explore what parliamentary democracy means to them and their community.  Parliament Week is coordinated by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords.

Local MP, Andrew Jones, has compiled a panel to talk to sixth forms in local schools about careers and opportunities in politics.  The panel comprises:

  • Richard Cooper  –  Council Leader since 2014, a district Councillor since 1999 and a County Councillor since 2013 and former Communications Manager for a healthcare charity.
  • Sam Gibbs    – a political Campaign Manager since 2014 and, at 26 years old, the youngest Councillor in Richmondshire.
  • Zoe Metcalfe  –  parliamentary candidate for Doncaster Central at the 2015 General Election and Ripon Councillor.
  • Rebecca Burnett  –  the youngest Cabinet Member ever on Harrogate Council and Councillor for the Rossett ward.
  • Matt Joy  –  Caseworker for Andrew Jones MP and the youngest Knaresborough Town Councillor ever at the age of 25.

The event will take a ‘question time’ format with a student from the school acting as a David Dimbleby-style chair.

Mr Jones commented:

There are many careers available working in and around our democracy.  As well as elected office there are other opportunities which might not immediately be obvious.  MPs employ staff to handle diaries and casework and companies employ public affairs teams to manage their relationships with all levels of government.

Having a panel with a mix of people starting their time in elected office, working for an MP and with many years under their belt gives students the opportunity to find out first-hand more about working in democracy.

Mr Jones has written personally to local headteachers making them aware of the opportunity for their students.

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