Jobeth Bastable, Siobhan Hughes, and James Harris of Chasetown High School won the Michael Fabricant-Arthur Price of England Schools Speaking Competition on Friday evening, 6th February, held at The Guildhall in Lichfield. Siobhan Hughes also won the Individual Best Speaker Award.
The Motion being debated was "That this House believes that smoking should be banned in public places". Chasetown High School argued Against the motion. (Later, however, a poll was taken of the audience in The Guildhall and around 60% voted For the motion – though this does not affect the outcome of the Competition). Michael Fabricant said today "The standard of debate from all four schools was very high and I am glad I didn’t have to judge between them. But Chasetown High School argued their case very though I, personally, find cigarette smoke in restaurants and bars very unpleasant"
Three other schools also took part: Chase Terrace Technology College, The Friary, and King Edward VI. ‘Mr Speaker’ for the evening was The Rt Hon Eric Forth MP, a Standing Committee Chairman of the House of Commons. He helped judge the Competition along with John Price OBE; The Mayor of Lichfield, Cllr Barry White; The Deputy Mayor of Lichfield, Cllr Mrs Gwyneth Boyle; and Tim Wadsworth, President of the Rotary Club of St Chad.
Eric Forth awarded the Best School cups. John Price awarded the Individual Best Speaker cup. Michael Fabricant addressed the audience while the judges retired to reach their decision, awarded certificates to all the competing teams, and gave the vote of thanks.
Photo shows left to right: John Price OBE, Tim Wasdsworth (Rotary), Cllr Barry White (Mayor), the winning team (see above), Eric Forth MP, Cllr Gwyneth Boyle (Deputy Mayor), Michael Fabricant MP, and Cllr Jan Eagland (Sheriff).