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Opinion: A young person in Ealing writes about what it was like to attend People’s Question Time in Ealing

As a student studying A level politics, Emily Bunder was interested to see for herself what People’s Question Time would be like when the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the London Assembly came to the Victoria Hall at Ealing’s Town Hall. 

“Last Thursday (2 March 2023) Victoria Hall, part of Ealing Town Hall, hosted Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and members of the London Assembly in a People’s Question Time (PQT).

“A full hall with hundreds of people both supporting and challenging the Labour Mayor came to hear him and his colleagues. They were seeking to hear how the Mayor and the Assembly members would answer questions on a variety of subjects about London. The PQT was hosted by chair of the London Assembly and our member for Ealing and Hillingdon, Dr Onkar Sahota.

“I attended the PQT as an Ealing Young Champion, part of the Young Ealing Foundation, which represents the youth voice in our borough. I wanted to understand what the Mayor of London was doing to help young people here and across our nation’s capital.

“Questions were split into six categories: transport, crime and community safety, air quality and the environment, housing, London’s economic recovery and other, with 18 minutes devoted to the topic and around 3-4 questions asked per topic.

“The atmosphere of the PQT itself was one unlike any other I had ever attended. As a young person, who only began getting involved with politics a year and a half ago, I have attended protests and talks by politicians as well as supporting social action work. The PQT allowed me to understand more about other London issues and hear and grasp public opinion on these matters directly in Victoria Hall.

“The night was dominated by questions about the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in each category, so I was very thankful to get my question in and ask the Mayor what he was doing to ensure young people in London had access to safe youth clubs.

When Emily asked her question to the Mayor of London

“I highlighted to him that in Ealing, we only has three youth clubs.  One of which was at risk of being shut down before young people lobbied Ealing Council for its survival.

The Mayor of London response to the question

“As a youth organisation, the Young Ealing Foundation are passionate to help young people and strive for positive development. It was great to hear from the Mayor about what he is doing for the youth of London and additionally from Assembly members Siân Berry and Umesh Desai speak on what they are doing for young people. Berry’s reports on spaces for young people show a real care for us and I hope that more can continue to be done in Ealing and across London to improve our quality of life.

“It would be great to see a young people’s question time with the Mayor being hled in the future. Or even for us in the borough an Ealing Council young people’s question time that is done in a similar way.”

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