Young North Walsham minds air their concerns with mayor and MP

Litter picking, derelict buildings, car parking and pedestrian crossings were among the burning issues a group of bright young minds from North Walsham brought to the fore during a meeting with community leaders.

Students from North Walsham Junior and Millfield Primary School joined North Norfolk MP and mayor Vivienne Uprichard in the town council chambers yesterday to discuss their homegrown concerns, and raise ideas about how to solve them.

But the articulate youngsters did not keep the conversation on a local level as they also raised national topics, including the state of the Eurozone and the Olympics.

Both Mr Lamb and Mrs Uprichard said they were extremely impressed by the pupils' conversation and their inquiring questions.

Mr Lamb said: 'We had an hour together and they were brilliant. There were loads and loads of questions and they were not shy in coming forward, they asked about everything under the sun.

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'They were concerned about litter in the town and were coming up with ideas about how you can get it cleared up. They suggested there should be more competition for Sainsbury's and people raised concerns about derelict sites; on the Norwich Road the former HP factory and the empty Focus store on the Cromer Road and that whole vacant industrial area.

'I thought what was telling was they had pride for their town and wanted to find ways of improving the look of it.'

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The youngsters, members of both school's student councils, also talked about their desire to see a safe route for them to get to the town's skate park, the need for a zebra crossing on Norwich Road near the Victory swimming pool and raised the possibility of pedestrianisation in the town centre.

The get-together was organised by Mr Lamb and Mrs Uprichard and was also aimed at giving them a taste of life as a town councillor, which some of the students showed an aptitude for.

Mrs Uprichard added: 'I think a couple of them could well become involved in 10 years time. There were a couple, the boys in particular, who'd got plenty to say and weren't shy about saying it.'

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