The Hucknall Sixth Form Centre (HSFC) was delighted to welcome our MP, Mark Spencer, with his colleague, local councillor Phil Rostance to come and speak to our Year 12 students for an enrichment session.

Mr Spencer started by speaking about his journey into politics and made sure that students felt that they were able to ask him questions and that they would have a say in how the session ran.

After speaking for a short while on how he became an MP and why he chose the Conservative party, and also about issues that he felt were currently in the news locally, Mr Spencer opened the floor to questions from students.

The opening question, was a topical query about the two options that the UK Parliament are currently debating regarding the issue of Brexit and the question of the hard/soft Irish border which Mr Spencer addressed by confirming that he felt that a hard border in Ireland wasn’t really being considered. The Brexit question was debated and students were able to hear about the MP’s perspective on trade alliances with Europe in the same way that other countries currently access.

Other subject and questions which were raised by the students, ranged from Local housing and the inherent issues with infrastructure; the local issue of the success of the pedestrianisation of Hucknall High Street and enhancing and encouraging new communities within the local area.

One of our students spoke about how to encourage young people into politics, and Mr Spencer responded by advising students that politicians are more likely to focus on people who vote, so policies will be much more tailored to the needs of people who actively engage, which some of the students found interesting. Another well-thought out question was asked regarding whether or not it was worth voting in a safe seat, which led to a discussion about the merits of the First past the Post system, over Proportional Representation.

HSFC students were also interested in the topic of lowering the age of voting (the consensus was, in fact, that 18 is a good age) and the reduction of tuition fees.

It was a good session, and a great opportunity for our students to have a forum with an MP, and to ask any question that they wanted to engage in discussion about.

We were all delighted to host Mr Spencer, and look forward to future visits.