Following a series of demanding qualifying rounds, the finest debaters from schools across north London descended on The Barbican this week, to confront the issue of water scarcity, with a place at the national finals the reward.
Debating Matters, a national competition which pits schools and sixth-form colleges against one another, encourages an intelligent contest of ideas against scrutiny from industry leading experts, who serve as panel judges.
Having contended with motions as diverse as, ‘Trigger warnings stifle debate’ and ‘Political parties are bad for democracy’, the finalists confronted: ‘Solutions to water scarcity in the UK are technological, not environmental.’
Miles Evans from Thames Water, who acted as a judge on the day, said: “It was brilliant to see yet more young people engaging with the crucial issue of water scarcity. As a business we’re constantly striving to reduce leakage and educate customers around using less water. By turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, a family of four could save up to £36 on metered water bills, as well as up to 17,520 litres of water per year.”
Nadia Butt of Debating Matters, added: “We’re delighted that Thames Water sponsored our event as part of their ongoing conversation with the next generation. Having a free and fair exchange of ideas is more important now than ever and we’re grateful to those judges who gave their time to ensure our event continues to go from strength to strength.”
The final was won by Ravensbourne School, who now progress to the national final in the summer.