Last night Letchworth Youth Council came to visit me in Parliament. I always enjoy visits from youth councillors and this one was no disappointment with the young councillors very keen and asking interesting questions: one was about Green Peace, which led on to us talking generally about the rights and wrongs of breaking the law as a means to a just ends. I argued that even if you agreed with some of the aims of a campaign, if everyone went around breaking the law we would be left with chaos. That was why democracy was so important. The discussion then turned to cycle safety, an issue which the Youth Council had recently been considering. We discussed the suitability of the roads around Letchworth for cycling. I supported their campaign for increased cycle ways. I feel that the Heritage Foundation did well to highlight cycling in their Milennium project for a cycle way around the Garden City and I well remember the excellent opening event with Kim Wilde, our local Pop Star and daughter of the legendary Marty Wilde.
I was interested, but not surprised, to hear that only one of the children rode to school in the mornings – we all agreed that more cycle paths would help, but that in a Garden City like Letchworth it was a difficult choice between narrowing the already narrow roads further, or cutting the distinctive grass verges and roadside trees back.
After our chat I then took the Group on a tour of the House of Commons, which ended up in the Chamber, listening to a debate on whether the UK Youth Parliament would be allowed to use the Chamber for their AGM. Some MPs felt this offended tradition, but I was one of the MPs who campaigned with the late Andrew Rowe for a UK Youth Parliament and am glad that it has developed so well. The vote was won, so they will be able to sit on the Green Benches for one day and who knows, perhaps some will return in the future as MPs. I hope so.