HUNDREDS of schoolchildren from across East Hampshire grabbed the reins at East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) as they took over Penns Place for the day.

Children were invited into the council’s Petersfield offices as part of National Takeover Day – a nationwide scheme which gives young people a glimpse of the workings of local government.

The pupils toured the offices and took part in special activities, such as holding debates in the council chamber and taking on a recycling challenge.

Julie Butler, responsible for customer relations at EHDC, said: “National Takeover Day is a wonderful opportunity for children to get their first look at local government.

“East Hampshire District Council delivers more than 100 services a day to 115,000 people and has a huge impact on the lives of our residents.

“It plays a really important role in people’s day-to-day lives, so if we can encourage an interest in local government from an early age then that really does bode well for the future.”

Visits from seven schools took place during the week, which ran from November 13-17.

East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds joined pupils from Buriton Primary School at the end of the week.

He said: “The children are naturally very passionate about the place where they live and what happens to it and that’s the foundation of local government.

“We have to make sure that these young people carry that pride with them throughout their lives, and events like this one at East Hampshire District Council are a fantastic way of doing that.”

The schools taking part during the week were Liphook Junior School, St Matthew’s Primary School in Blackmoor, Woodlea Primary School in Whitehill & Bordon, Herne Junior School in Petersfield, St Mary’s Bentworth, Four Marks Primary School, and Buriton Primary School.