GREEN-minded students from the Eco Group at the Westgate School met MP Steve Brine to learn more about the government’s stance on climate change, and what MPs can do within their constituency to help the issue.

Mr Brine asked the group about what they currently do and are planning to do around the school.

Westgate has a dedicated team of pupils who volunteer their free time to ensure the school and wider community are as environmentally friendly as possible.

Achievements in the last year include launching recycling schemes, including for plastic water bottles and crisp packets; establishing ‘Meat Free Mondays’ with the catering providers; regularly cleaning and improving the pond area to ensure it is a safe environment for their newts to live in; and redesigning the school blazer so that it is made from recycled bottles.

Following this, each pupil had prepared some questions for Mr Brine to learn how the government deals with climate change.

Many issues were raised and discussed, both on a national level, as well as locally, and it was agreed that although the government are taking steps towards making a more Eco-friendly nation, they could be doing more to enable local authorities to combat the issue on a more personal level.

It was also agreed that Winchester does not have enough facilities to enable large numbers of children, and indeed the general population, to cycle around the city, and specifically to school.

The effect of this has been seen around the city, with St George's Street in the city centre having very high levels of pollution, as well as many pupils being dropped off in cars to both primary and secondary schools, where cycling would otherwise be a cleaner environmental option.

All pupils came away from the meeting with a hope that in the near future, Winchester and its surroundings may take huge steps towards a cleaner future, and that young people will be playing a huge role in them when they come.