Aylesbury schoolchildren help decide how £17,500 is spent

Pupils at Stoke Mandeville Combined School cast their votes in Choose 4 Greater Aylesbury
Pupils at Stoke Mandeville Combined School cast their votes in Choose 4 Greater Aylesbury

Four Aylesbury schools are having their say in how £17,500 is split between eight community projects in the area.

The money comes from Bucks County Council’s Greater Aylesbury Local Area Forum budget, with voters ranking their favourites among projects that support activities for young people, the disabled and reducing social isolation and homelessness.

Last week Year 6 pupils at Stoke Mandeville Combined School studied the projects following a presentation by council officials and then cast their votes.

Teacher Cathy Smith said the lesson had given pupils a valuable insight into their community.

She said: “What a great opportunity to trust them with the responsibility of a little influence in their community.

“Appreciating the needs in the community helps them to value what they have.”

William Harding School students have been taking home polling slips and this week every pupil at The Mandeville School will have the chance to choose their preferences.

Bearbrook Combined School senior pupils will be learning about the projects and voting and students at Aylesbury College will also get to have their say.

Councillor Brian Roberts, who chairs the forum, said: “I love the way this project is reaching all ages.

“Not only have adults had a say in how local budgets are spent, but we’re also introducing young people to an important aspect of local democracy and making it accessible to them.”

All projects will get some money and the number of votes each receives will determine how much.

Voters’ top three choices will each get £4,000, the fourth and fifth choice will receive £2,000 each and the remaining three will share £1,500.

Ballot boxes can been found in shops, the library, pubs, community centres and surgeries until polling closes on October 31.

You can also read about the projects and vote online on the Choose 4 Greater Aylesbury website.

The results will be announced in December.