TOWN Hall chiefs are hoping to encourage the youngsters of Chorley to take a more active role in how the council makes decisions.

Chorley Borough Council is launching a number of initiatives to support the national Local Democracy Week which started on Monday September 13.

The hope is to spark an interest in the borough's young citizens - especially at secondary and junior schools.

"Local Democracy Week is all about encouraging local authorities not only to promote democracy, but also to encourage the public to become more involved," explained Councillor John Wilson, leader of Chorley Borough Council.

"This year we are paying particular attention to our young citizens of the future and we hope that they will become actively involved.

"Perhaps through the various initiatives they will get a better understanding of how their local council and local democracy works."

Several events have been organised, with various secondary schools together with Runshaw College getting involved.

The idea is for council workers to hold sessions on how the local authority works and also to stage a mock election.

Also, in a bid to attract the attention of young people, the council's arts officer Chris Mellor is running an arts and poetry competition in conjunction with schools throughout the borough. There are three categories - 5-8 years, 8-11 years and 11-18 years. Each entrant is invited to submit their work on what local democracy means to them.

A cash prize of £50 is being offered to the winner of each category with entries having to be in by Monday October 25. For more details contact Chris Mellor on (01257) 515320.

ZJohn Wilson

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.