Cheltenham's MP, Alex Chalk, has hosted his fourth annual 'Politics Internship Week' for local students.
The town's MP organises an internship each year to give young people the opportunity to learn more about local democracy and learn new skills. This year 15 Cheltenham students - aged between 15 and 21 - took part. All attend, or had attended in the past, local schools - ranging from All Saints' Academy to Balcarras. They were put through their paces, performing a mock maiden speech in Parliament, experiencing a gruelling political interview, and drafting press releases. Alex led a number of the sessions, including one setting out how to go about becoming an MP, and another which disentangled the convoluted web of local government here in Cheltenham through the split system of borough and county councils.
The week culminated with a debate regarding the renewal of the country's Trident nuclear missile defence system, held in the Council Chamber at Cheltenham's Municipal Offices.
Speaking about the internship programme, Mr Chalk said ''I was delighted to welcome students from across town to the fourth Cheltenham Politics Internship which I organise each summer. It's so important that young people in Cheltenham get the opportunity to engage with our democracy and it's vital to help them build those all-important CVs too. It's also hugely valuable to me to get an insight into what young people in our town are most concerned about. I want to be able to take their issues up in Parliament."