AN idea of what life is like in local politics was shared with college students by new councillor, Miranda Grell.

Cllr Grell was invited to the session by people on the college's English as a Second Language new starters' course They have been learning about council elections and the role of members as part of the citizenship element of their studies.

This gives new arrivals to this country the opportunity to learn about British history, democracy and culture.

Among other things, they read about elections in books and followed the contest in the Guardian.

Their tutors organised mock elections, with the students creating their own parties and manifestos for their campaigns.

Many of them are refugees who have fled their homelands to make a new and safer life here.

The starter course is designed to help them settle in the borough and deal with any cross-cultural challenges they may face.

Cllr Grell said: "Everyone who knows me knows how passionate I feel about younger people getting more involved in politics.

"The citizenship course is absolutely brilliant and really helps students to understand their rights and responsibilities in our democratic system.

"I wish the students all the best in their studies and welcome them to Waltham forest."

The new starter course is run by Maria Mavale.