Published on April 13th, 2020 | by The Town Crier0
Beacon Academy Council discuss climate change with Crowborough Town Council
On Thursday 6 February, the students of Beacon Academy Council visited Crowborough Town Council to express their views on climate change and local youth services.
Thanks to long-established links between Beacon Academy and Crowborough Town Council, the students now meet with their local counterparts annually, and enjoy the opportunity to have a voice in the planning of relevant local services and to raise the profile of the Academy Council within the student body.
Deputy Mayor of Crowborough, Cllr Martyn Garrett, Cllr Colin Stocks, Cllr Alison Arthur and Cllr Kay Moss welcomed the students to the Council Chamber to discuss subjects ranging from the reduction of plastic pollution in Crowborough to investment in small businesses in order to boost the local economy.
Following a nationwide consultation of all students aged 11 – 18 in 2019, led by UK Youth Parliament, climate change has been declared the biggest priority for young people across the UK. This was evident in the ideas generated by the students.
Beacon Academy students are keen for the Town Council to help to raise awareness locally of the action can be taken to counter the impact of climate change by making incremental lifestyle changes, such as choosing to eat less meat, avoiding single-use plastic, turning the thermostat down, walking or cycling more, and recognising that these changes can impact upon the environment. The students were encouraged to influence their friends and families to make these changes too.
The students requested that street litter bins could be replaced with three-way recycling bins. They suggested that local volunteer groups that already provide a valuable service to the town and its environment, such as dedicated litter-pickers, Brighter Crowborough, could be offered free publicity via the town council’s advertising boards and for the Town Council to consider creating a new award scheme to recognise contributions of this kind.
Further to this, the students suggested that street vendors at town events could be asked to use only eco-friendly alternatives to single-use cups and cutlery.
Year 9 representative and Student Trustee, Theo, said, “The student council trip to the Town Council is a great way to not only have an influence on what goes on at Beacon, but in our local communities. We got to discuss local parks, climate change, local businesses, and events in Crowborough. I loved the feedback, and I really got the sense that representatives had the chance to fully express all the feedback we had got from our year groups. Overall, I really enjoyed the trip.”
At Beacon Academy every student has the opportunity to be involved in student voice. The Academy Council is made up of two elected students per year group who take wider ideas and questions from tutor group and year group meetings forward to work collaboratively with each other and members of staff, producing actions to follow up if necessary. The Academy Council meet approximately once a term to discuss and debate issues and ideas raised by all year groups. The minutes or outcomes of these meetings are discussed at the highest level within the school, at Senior Leadership Team meetings and also with the Board of Trustees.