Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
I really enjoyed my visit to Summerhill Academy in St George last week.
The school has a School Council, Safeguarding Champions and has now set up an Eco Committee too. It’s really good to see pupils getting involved in decision-making, and making a positive difference to what happens in and around their school.
During my visit, I fielded a range of questions, including what inspired me to become an MP, what’s the main change to my job since I was first elected, and whether I’ve ever met the Queen – which is something I’m always asked!
One of the issues they’ve been keenly discussing is air pollution. My visit was the day after Clean Air Day, and I agreed with the children that more needs to be done to curb traffic in nearby streets. As Labour’s shadow Green Transport Minister, I am committed to encouraging people to switch to cleaner vehicles or, ideally, to more sustainable methods of travel, like cycling and walking, and a few weeks ago I joined pupils from another Bristol school for Walk to School Week.
At a local level I am supporting efforts by the Council to introduce “Schools Streets” schemes, and I hope that Summerhill can be one of the next schools to benefit.