Last week young people from Camborne held a conference on youth democracy which gave them the opportunity to put their questions to their community leaders.

The Question Time panel included two Cornwall Council cabinet members, Councillor Sally Hawken, the portfolio holder for children and wellbeing, and Councillor Sue James, the portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, as well as Joseph Harrison from the Fairtrade Foundation, Councillor Val Dalley, the mayor of Camborne, Councillor Judy Davidson MBE of Redruth Town Council and Cornwall Council’s service director Kieran Topping.

The debate was chaired by Richard Williams, retired former lawyer at Cornwall Council, and the youngsters asked questions such as 'What would happen if there wasn’t a council’ and their views on why the voting age should be lowered to 16 years, which was the favoured result of the debate.

Two key members of Redruth Youth Council spoke about how they had set up their organisation and explained why they found it helpful to be in charge of their own decisions regarding young people in the parish.

A guest speaker from the Fairtrade Foundation spoke about ethical purchasing and the day finished with a behind the scenes tour of Cornwall Council’s emergency management bunker and a tour of the New County Hall building in Truro.

Alan Butterfield, chairman of Camborne Regeneration Forum, said: “We hold a conference annually as we firmly believe that the youth of our town deserve to know about the work of the forum and each year we try and pick a topic that will inspire them.”

Councillor Hawken, added: “I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to take part in the Youth Conference event and was very impressed with the young people who took part. They asked us some very interesting questions about topics which directly impact them and I hope this event encourages them to continue to take an interest in youth democracy.”

The conference, which was organised by Camborne Regeneration Forum and Cornwall Council’s community link officer Charlotte Caldwell, was attended by all of the primary schools in Camborne as well as the Camborne Science and International Academy.

The youth conference is an annual event, to find out more contact Charlotte Caldwell via