BUDDING politicians took to the floor to debate today's biggest issues when Dudley Council House hosted it's annual primary school debate.

Schoolchildren from more than 20 schools across the borough debated pressing topics that are important to them at the 21st event of its kind on January 25 and February 1.

The debates gave a snapshot of the issues that matter to youngsters in the borough, with motions including a ban on mobile phones for primary school aged children; that all primary school children should receive free school meals; that shops should stop selling drinks in plastic bottles and that parents should ask their children’s permission before posting photographs of them on social media.

Children in years five and six took part, with children from each school presenting their case for and against each motion, which was chaired by a councillor.

Councillor Sue Ridney, cabinet member for children and young people said: "I was lucky enough to chair the debate between Jessons Primary and Lutley Primary who were debating the topic of whether products containing palm oil should be banned from sale in the UK. I could see that they’d done a lot of research and were really enthusiastic about their topics.

"These debates, which are now in their 21st year, are a fantastic way for children to learn how to research and present an argument, building their confidence and having fun as they do so. I’d like to thank the organisers, the teachers and school staff and most of all, the pupils who all did such an amazing job.”

Children took part from Milking Bank, Church of Ascension, Dudley Wood, Roberts, Ham Dingle, Pedmore CE, Dingle Community, Bramford, Lapal, Newfield Park, Dawley Brook, St Mary’s CE, Peters Hill, Greenfield, St Mark’s CE, Maidensbridge, St James’ CE, St Joseph’s RC, Ashwood Park, Brook, Queen Victoria, Christ Church, Lutley, Jessons CE.

The debates were chaired by the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Alan Taylor; the deputy Mayor Councillor Hilary Bills and a host of councillors including Councillor Alan Lees, Councillor Peter Miller, Councillor Colin Elcock, Councillor Nicolas Barlow, Councillor Tim Crumpton, Councillor Sue Ridney, cabinet member for children and young people and Councillor David Stanley.