An MS has praised the “thoughtful” approach of pupils at a North Wales high school as they debated the 20mph speed limit.
Llyr Gruffydd, who represents the region in the Senedd, said he was “incredibly impressed” with the students’ contributions to a discussion he chaired on the policy at Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph.
The school Council, which is made up of representatives from each year group, took a vote at the end of the debate which saw them split 50/50 on the issue.
They also debated the issue of single use plastics and voted decisively to support the law banning them which has recently been passed by the Senedd.
Llyr Gruffydd MS, of Plaid Cymru, said: “I have to say that I’m incredibly impressed with the thoughtful way the pupils at Ysgol Glan Clwyd approached the debate on the 20mph speed limit.
“The issue has understandably aroused passions across Wales, and its very important in a democratic society that we have these kinds of debates where people are free to express their opinions.
“The pupils showed a great deal of maturity, and lots of well-considered points were made both for and against the 20mph speed limit. They would not have been out of place in the Senedd chamber.
“I also had an opportunity to tell the pupils about my role as a Member of the Senedd, and answer the questions they had about it.
“Fostering this kind of positive engagement from young people with the Senedd is vital for the future of our democracy in Wales.
“I would like to thank the pupils and the staff at Ysgol Glan Clwyd for their warm and generous welcome.”
Ysgol Glan Clwyd Head Boy Gwion Williams said: “We’re very grateful to Llyr Gruffydd for coming to visit us at Ysgol Glan Clwyd.
“It’s important for pupils to meet the people who are pushing for political change in our area and put a face to the name. It’s something that humanises politics.
“The debate went well and it was nice to see that engagement from my fellow pupils. It’s important to hold events such as this because it increases engagement with politics from young people.
“It also makes you think more critically about the decisions by politicians that impact our day to day lives.
“Personally I would vote in favour of the 20mph legislation. Though it does create some issues in the short term, it’s worth it in the long term because it will lead to fewer people being killed on our roads.”
Gwion also explained how the school Council works. He said: “The school Council is led by Head Pupils and we work hand in hand with the Head Teacher and her deputies.
“Last year we banned single use plastics in the school canteen. So now there aren’t any products in the canteen that contain single use plastics.
“The school handed out multiple use plastic bottles to pupils so that we wouldn’t have to buy any from the canteen. We have also brought the use of plastic cutlery to an end.
“The Council is important because it gives pupils a voice. We’re the ones who attend the school so it’s important that we are able to influence how it is run and that we see changes that make our day to day lives better.”