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Linton Village College students experience that Commons feeling

From left: Arran Reedman, Lucy Frazer MP and Sam Matthews at the House of Commons ANL-151116-114247001
From left: Arran Reedman, Lucy Frazer MP and Sam Matthews at the House of Commons ANL-151116-114247001

Two Linton Village College students earned praise after taking part in a Parliamentary Debating Competition at the House of Commons.

Sam Matthews, 14, and Arran Reedman, 16, were selected after competing in a preliminary debate at Linton.

With them were students from Bottisham Village College, Impington Village College, Soham Village College, Ely College and King’s Ely.

The debate took place in the Lloyd George Room (Committee Room 15), with Sam and Arran speaking against the motion ‘This house would decriminalise drugs’.

Their trip was organised by Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, who praised the high standard of debate, saying the speeches were better than those of some of her colleagues in Parliament.

She awarded the first prize to Bottisham Village College but gave a special mention to Sam for his confident public speaking and intelligent use of questions.

Afterwards, she took the students for a private tour of the Commons and showed them how MPs cast their vote.

Sam said: “It was a great experience which gave me a better idea of how the country is governed.

“A lot of young people are not interested in politics but seeing where the decisions which affect our lives are taken was really good.

“It also gave me more confidence in my debating skills.”

Arran added: “It was fascinating to go inside the Commons chamber and see what I have only seen on TV. “It was much smaller than I expected and there was a real sense of history and tradition.

“The debate was nerve-wracking but it was an enjoyable experience to debate inside the Commons with the eyes of great statesmen looking down on us.”

Tony Kelly, from Linton Village College, said: “Arran and Sam did themselves proud. They researched their arguments well and were confident in putting them across in front of their peers.

“The debate showed that young people do care and feel passionately about issues that concern them.

“It was a real highlight to be allowed into the Commons chamber where so many historic debates have been held, from the abolition of slavery to Britain’s entry into the European Union.

“Congratulations to the winning team from Bottisham Village College and to all the students who took part, and thank you to Lucy Frazer MP for hosting and adjudicating the debate.

“We look forward to taking part again next year.”

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