BOARDING a train from Kidderminster to London, a group of pupils visited the Houses of Parliament on a fact finding mission.

Twelve schoolchildren from St Oswald's and St Mary's Schools visited parliament as guests of Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier.

The youngsters were looking at setting up a school's parliament as part of the BigLocal DY10 project and wanted to see how parliament and government worked.

On the way to the Houses of Parliament, the group stopped for lunch in Jubilee Gardens where they were met by Kevin Sugrue, chair of the Local Trust, Leila Wong, media officer.

The Local Trust works closely with Big Local areas to help them make best use of Big Local and their funding.

Mr Sugrue said: "It is fantastic to see this level of enthusiasm from young people to get involved in improving life in their area.

"BigLocal is about the whole community saying and influencing what changes should be made locally.

"Developing a youth parliament is a brilliant way of providing an ongoing platform for young people to stay involved."

After peering through the security fencing at Downing Street, the children went on to the Houses of Parliament's Central Lobby to meet with Mr Garnier and grill him on everything from the bedroom tax to electricity costs.

Mr Garnier said: “It is extremely important to engage our young people in the political process and to ensure that they are educated about parliament and the role of their MP.

"The children from St Oswald’s and St Mary’s were able to raise some very important issues and it was fantastic to see so many of our young people engaging in politics and really thinking about issues that affect their area.”