Eco Team Visit County Hall

Please note - Photos from the visit and the full interview with Lancashire County Council Chief Executive Jo Turton can be seen below Hannah's report

County Hall – Eco Team Visit
Tuesday 4th March 2014
by Hannah Cowley (Year 5)

The Longton Primary School Eco Team was lucky enough to have the opportunity of spending the day at County Hall in Preston. Only a few people got to go, and I was very fortunate in being chosen. Mr Coxhead (in charge of the Eco team) took Francesca, Chloe, Alice and Hannah (that’s me!) to Preston. When we eventually got there, I couldn't believe how huge the building was and couldn't wait for the day ahead!

We all strolled into reception, nervous yet exited to explore this mansion-like building. Everyone got a special visitors badge which, I have to admit, made me feel professional and grown up! After whizzing up in the lift, we finally met Jo, the chief executive of the whole council. We were all a bit shy at first but we soon warmed up. She was lovely and friendly, asking us if there was anywhere in particular we wanted to see. After a quick chat, it was time for our grand tour.

Jo showed us around but we didn't get to see every single room! My favourite room was definitely the one where all of the formal meetings were held – it’s called the Chamber room. It had about a hundred chairs, all of them with councillor’s names. The gallery (an upstairs seating area for the public) was a great feature and there were carved animals at the end of every row of chairs. At the front of the room there were throne like seats were people like Jo had to sit. We all got to sit in the chairs, a definite highlight to our day.

After that, we met Rosie and Tim, who work for the council as well. They told us about their job and the sort of things they do. We looked at a map and they told us to guess where it was. It only took a little while for us to figure out that it was an eagle eye view of our school! Then they showed us a park that they had transformed and showed us a nearby park that wasn't very good. We wandered up to it and wrote on a sheet what needed to be improved. Eventually we worked out that with an empty space, a tyre swing without a tyre, a few rusty old swings and a climbing ladder that didn't feel safe, the public would only stay for about two minutes. We got back to County Hall and designed our own park using some magazines for inspiration. This led up to lunch, which was vegetable pasta (yum!).

We had a question and answer session with Jo and found out that she gets hundreds and hundreds of emails a day! She loves reading and would work in a library if she didn't work in county hall. Then we dashed to a meeting which gave us an insight into how the county council operates at the top level. We also learnt that grown up meetings can be quite boring!

Luckily for us, there was also a fair trade stall on and we got a few freebies! The last thing we did was visit Mr Coxhead's dad up in the attic. Finally, after our brilliant day, it was time to go home.

I loved going to County Hall, and it was an experience I'll never forget.

By: Hannah Cowley Yr5


Members of the Longton Primary School Eco Team sat down with Lancashire County Council’s Chief Executive Jo Turton for an exclusive interview!


Interview by Alice Baker, Chloe Lloyd, Francesca Ambler and Hannah Cowley


Where did you grow up and which schools did you go to?

I am from Louth in Lincolnshire.

What do you think you were you like as a child?

I was a bit of a bookworm and also enjoyed doing lots of sports.

What other jobs have you done?

I have worked in shop, a market and a library. I also worked at a leisure park for most my summers, have worked in a bar and a restaurant.

What is the hardest decision you have ever had to make at work?

The hardest decision I have ever had to make at work will have to be to sack some body. Once I made that decision I cried all the way home.

How many emails do you get a day?

I get hundreds and hundreds of emails every day. Fortunately, I have an assistant who helps me sort through them and prioritise the most important ones. I set myself a rule that I must reply to every email within 24 hours.

What are your aspirations?

To be the best Chief Executive the county has ever had.


What hobbies do you have?

I love reading so my hobbies are basically all about reading.


What three pieces of advice could you give us?

I would say to work hard, make sure you have as much fun as you possibly can and clean your teeth.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

I would say it is probably to trust my instincts.

Did you prefer High School or Primary school and why?

I like both equally.

How important do you think an Eco Team is to a school? And why?

I think if the eco teams in the other schools are anywhere near as good as you girls then it would be fantastic. I think that it is great that you get to do things outside of your school and I think that it is great that you get to do things that help you clean up the environment.


What sort of things would you most like to see Eco Teams doing in schools?

I would like something around how we deal with lots more flooding and what could we do.

If you could improve the world, what would you do?

The one thing that would probably help which is very easy would be to eradicate malaria.

What is your ideal holiday?

My ideal holiday would be lots of food, lots of sunshine, nice places to visit, I like things to do, place to explore and a bit of sport.


What do you want to do when you reach retirement?

I want to sleep!

Contact the School

Longton Primary School

School Ln

Main Contact: Linda Masterson

Tel: 01772 612 495

SEN Contact: Sue Hothersall

SEN Email: '