BREXIT, lowering the voting age to sixteen and making Brent an accessible borough for all were just some of the issues put to a panel of local community figures at a special 'Question Time' event to mark Local Democracy Week, 9-15 October.
Inspired by the popular BBC1 political television programme, the Brent Question Time event returned to Brent Civic Centre for another year as part of a week of events aimed at getting residents more involved in local democracy - informed the site brent.gov.uk.
Wembley-born author, broadcaster and television producer Yasmin Hai and Harlesden-born social media star Dean Simon, aka Rants n Bants, joined actor, producer and presenter Paulette Harris-German and local politicians Cllr Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council and Cllr John Warren, Leader of the Brent Conservatives, to answer audience questions on a range of issues.
Dr Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) returned to 'emulate David Dimbleby' as chair of the panel and as with the popular BBC1 show, audience members asked the questions and were then given the opportunity to comment on the issues raised.
The Question Time event lived up to its billing as the highlight of a series of events organised by Brent Council to mark European Local Democracy Week, which also included opportunities to discuss issues with council Scrutiny Committee Chairs over a coffee, a debate among young people and a Be a Councillor session for anyone considering standing for election in 2018 for a political party or as an independent candidate.
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council, said:
"I was thrilled to see Question Time so well attended, particularly by young Brent residents who demonstrated how incredibly well-informed they are on political issues.
"Listening to their questions and comments, it was clear to me that they are very aware that it's all of our responsibility to know about local and national issues and when things aren't right, to do something about it; whether that's by voting, signing a petition, campaigning on an issue, standing for election or by holding elected figures to account.
"I am sure I speak on behalf of all of the panel when I say that it was a privilege to take part and I hope that along with the other events in the week, Brent residents of all ages and backgrounds are inspired to engage more in our democracy."
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