Liz Truss visits Huish Academy

A “surprise” visit from Secretary of State for the Environment to Huish Academy School this morning. Accompanied by David Warburton the prospective MP for Somerton & Frome she met Year 9’s from the gifted and talented group who were given the chance to grill the Secretary of State on some searching environmental questions. Good practise for the election campaigning ahead for both of them I should imagine..

And they were pretty searching questions too; amongst others she was asked…. Do you think it is worth dredging the Parrett? She had to answer that one robustly! “Yes I do. What you need to do is look at the whole catchment. How do you control the flow, what will be the impact of climate change, tidal issues – all have to be taken into account. But yes dredging is part of this effort.”

What are your views on fracking? This is a tricky question for an Environment Secretary.

Liz Truss replied that “fracking has a role to play. Provided you have proper protections in place it has an important role to play. You have to remember that gas has half the carbon emissions of coal.”

Why are pupils funded differently according to where they live?  “I know there are specific issues around funding pupils in rural areas. It is a matter of working to change the funding formulas and that talks time. But we are already working on this.

Of course there were many others including: are women taken seriously in politics? You said you’d like to see people in politics from a variety of backgrounds, with 59% of the cabinet from Oxbridge does this affect the decisions government makes? When you came to power you said this would be the greenest government ever. Is it? Do you think it is fair that a 16 year old can get married and have children but not have a vote? (she doesn’t think so  by the way).

Happily it seems that when class teacher James Moncur asked if pupils thought politics was important to their lives, the majority clearly agreed. And Liz Truss added that she got engaged with politics when her mother, a hardy CND campaigner took her along to rallies “it helped me get interested in politics…

All credit to the Secretary of State for taking the time to talk to the pupils and address each question in turn. She then made a couple of unscheduled classroom visits before the party minders whisked her off to the next ministerial visit.

HUish greet David and Liz Truss

You can find a few more photos of the visit on our facebook page “Langport Leveller”

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