19th March 2024

Scouts set the agenda at a mock Malmesbury town council meeting. Debates on an outdoor skatepark and all-weather pitch took centre stage when Malmesbury Scouts had the chance to run a ‘mock’ council meeting.

With Malmesbury Mayor Cllr Gavin Grant as Chair and Mayoress Liz Cook acting as Town Clerk, the 1st King Athelstan troop took part in two ‘special’ town council meetings. They used them to debate topics of their choice.

Scouts Set the Agenda - Malmesbury scouts mock town council meeting
Scouts Set the Agenda – Malmesbury Mayor Gavin Grant with members of 1st Malmesbury Scouts (photo, Liz Cook)

Following the rules

The meetings at the town hall followed the town council rules of procedure. This involved proposing and seconding of the resolution. And then speakers in the debate having to stand when they spoke and addressing each other as ‘councillor’.

The first successful resolution asked Malmesbury town council to support an outdoor skatepark and bump track for bikes. The second asked for an all-weather pitch at Malmesbury School. Amendments could be, and were, made to the original resolutions.

Cllr Grant expressed how impressed he was by the quality of the debates that had confident expression of strong, well-thought out arguments. Both meetings also ran to time. I and my fellow town councillors can take a lot from these meetings,’ said Cllr Grant.

‘These are both live issues. It’s important that we, as Malmesbury town councillors, and those of us who are the local Wiltshire councillors, listen to what our young people are saying they want in our town. As Mayor and the local Wiltshire councillor, I have promised to report back to my respective councillor colleagues on both matters. And to keep our young people informed on the progress made on both issues.’

Other events

Cllr Grant also attended two other events with Malmesbury young people.

The first was with 1st Malmesbury Brownies. They quizzed him about one of his Mayoral charities, HEALS, as part of the programme for the Brownie Charity badge.

Cllr Grant said: ‘It was a pretty intense session with these bright young girls having lots of smart questions. They were taking careful notes of my answers on how HEALS helps local people who are struggling. And of the free activities we run for young people who do not get the same opportunities as others during school holidays. They also wanted to know what they could do to help HEALS.’

Finally, the Mayor and Mayoress joined twenty-four Malmesbury air cadets, their proud parents, squadron officers and supporters at the squadron’s annual awards dinner in the town hall. The packed room also heard from guest of honour Dr Roz Savage MBE. Roz is the only woman and one of only two people to row single-handedly across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Facing personal challenges

Speaking after she’d presented the awards, Dr Savage spoke about the huge personal challenges she’d faced on her historic journeys and the importance of not giving up when things go wrong. And the sense of real achievement in reaching goals that you didn’t think you could.

Cllr Grant said: ‘This was a brilliant evening. It was a real privilege to witness what these young people are achieving for themselves, their families, the squadron and in our community. 

‘Dr Savage’s talk was inspiring. It’s clear that it touched the hearts and struck a chord with many of the people in the room. She urged us all to challenge ourselves by saying you don’t know what you are can achieve until you challenge yourself and try. That is a great message for everyone.’

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