Shortly before the full Council Meeting last Monday, I met some students from Carshalton College. The majority intended to follow their course in public services by joining the police.

They hadn’t schlepped across Sutton just to see me. Sean Brennan, the Leader of the Council and Claire and Rachel from the Sutton Youth Parliament are pictured as well. They had also met our Chief Executive, Paul Martin, had a tour of the Civic Offices and watched part of the Council meeting (that’s dedication for you!).

We told them a little about how we fitted into the structure of the Council and discussed some of the local political issues. It is good that they are able to take the opportunity to see what goes on in their name locally. Although national government grabs all the headlines, local government provides most of the very visible services that people use on a day to day basis. It is the council that empties the bins, maintains the pavements and roads, determines what the neighbourhood should look like through planning and, so often charges you through the nose for this with the annual Council Tax demand. It might not be the sexiest type of politics, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. The enthusiasm of their tutor, Phillip Taylor was apparent and I am sure will give his students a grounding in the political basics which will remain with them for sometime to come.