A TOWN mayor has been impressed with the debating skills and questions posed by enthusiastic youngsters from a number of youth groups in Malmesbury over the last few weeks. 

Malmesbury Scouts were invited to run two mock council meetings at Malmesbury Town Hall on the first week of March.

With town mayor Gavin Grant as chair, and mayoress Liz Cook acting as town clerk, the mini councillors articulated their viewpoints on two live issues - a proposal for an outdoor skatepark and plans for an all-weather pitch at Malmesbury School.

Cllr Grant said: "I was hugely impressed by the quality of both debates, with strong and well thought through arguments confidently made by these young people, on both sides of the argument. 

"It is important that councillors listen to what our young people are saying they want in our town. 

"As mayor and the local Wiltshire councillor, I have promised to report back to my respective councillor colleagues on both matters and to keep our young people informed on the progress being made on both issues.”

The mayor was also quizzed about one of his mayoral charities, HEALS, by a confident group of Malmesbury Brownies at St Mary's Hall on Tuesday, March 12. 

Cllr Grant said: “It was a pretty intense session with these bright young girls who had lots of smart questions. 

"They were taking careful notes of my answers on how HEALS helps local people who are struggling and of the free activities we run for young people who do not get the same opportunities as others during school holidays.”

A few days later, the mayor and mayoress attended the Malmesbury Air Cadets' annual awards dinner in the Town Hall on Friday, March 15.  

The packed room also heard from guest of honour Dr Roz Savage MBE. 

Cllr Grant said: “It was a real privilege to witness what these young people are achieving for themselves, their families, the squadron and in our community. 

“Dr Savage’s talk was inspiring.

"She urged us all to challenge ourselves by saying you do not know what you are can achieve until you challenge yourself and really try.

"That is a great message for everyone.”