Green Councillor voted ‘Best Panellist’ at Question Time event

Cllr Jonathan Essex was voted best panellist at the Borough’s annual secondary school Question Time debate. Jonathan got over 40% of the vote, more than twice as many votes as the next most popular candidate.

80 young people from six local schools put their questions to a panel of local Councillors and others.  The event, which was chaired by BBC News Presenter Nicholas Owen, saw panellists being quizzed by the students, aged 13 to 15.

The students asked questions about a wide range of subjects including whether the voting age should be lowered to 16, what impact the recent health changes will have, and whether or not there should be a second runway at Gatwick.

The students then took part in a mock election to choose their favourite panellist. A polling station was set up, using real polling booths and ballot boxes, the students cast their votes, and the results were as follows:

  • Jonathan Essex – Green Councillor for Redhill East – 32 votes
  • Dr Patrick Kerr – Reigate GP – 15 votes
  • Deanne Blaylock – Editor, Surrey Mirror – 13 votes
  • Bob Pickles – Director at Canon UK & Ireland – 8 votes
  • Nicholas Harrison – Residents Association Councillor for Tattenhams – 6 votes
  • Michael Vivona – Conservative Cllr for Tadworth & Walton – 5 votes

Jonathan Essex said,”It was a pleasure to take part in this event and debate the issues raised by local students.  The breadth of questions shows how engaged young people are in important issues.

“I was delighted to be voted the best panellist – it’s great to know young people understand and support green perspectives.”

Cllr Essex was presented with a bottle of champagne as prize (which he has duly recorded in his register of interests!)

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