Year 6 pupils at a Chichester primary school challenged the county council’s response on the impact of single use plastics and air pollution yesterday (Wednesday, May 15).
‘Passionate members’ of Jessie Younghusband School’s Eco Team were paid a visit by West Sussex county councillor Jeremy Hunt, after they had written to him asking for an ‘emergency climate alert’.
A spokesman for the school said: “The children, Theo A, Lucia, Isobel, Mia, Theo K, Alannah and Jasmine, first showed Mr Hunt some of the environmental areas at school and then asked him some questions. Mr Hunt was so impressed by the passion and views expressed by the children.
“They challenged Mr Hunt’s views and the council’s response on a variety of subjects including the impact of single use plastics and air pollution from vehicle exhaust fumes.”
Headteacher Mandy Sadler said it was ‘wonderful for the children’ to get involved in the debate.
She added: “We were delighted to welcome councillor Hunt into school to meet the children.
“Everyone agreed that this is a vitally important topic and one which needs to remain a priority to protect the environment for future generations.”
Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex county councillor for Chichester North, said it is important that children take a keen interest in the subject as ‘it is their generation’s future’.
He said: “I had five or six letters from pupils about declaring an emergency climate alert, and asking for my support. They were very well written letters and very thoughtful. They all contained something slightly different.
“I wrote back to them individually, visited the school and spent time talking to the children. They were all very enthusiastic, asking questions.
“I spoke to the children about solar farms, electric cars, plastic and recycling initiates. We have more than 80 schools with solar panels and Jessie Younghusband is one of those.
“It’s their future and them and their children who will be affected. They are trying to say that we need to do something about it. That is the message. They are taking it very seriously and I was very impressed.”