Young people from as far afield as Brazil, China and Australia enjoyed the chance to debate issues in Sandwell Council’s chamber.

A group of 38 young people on a cultural exchange, organised by the Lions Club International Youth Centre, spent an afternoon at the council house and met councillors as well as the mayor, Councillor Ahmadul Haque MBE.

Sandwell Lions Club arranged the visit which also included a trip to the Balajhi Hindu Temple, Sandwell Valley Country Park, and ended with fish and chips and a skittles competition at Thimblemill Library.

Sandwell mayor, Councillor Ahmadul Haque, said: “It was a pleasure to host part of the group’s trip to Sandwell and show them around the council chamber. They enjoyed a lively debating session in the council chamber covering lots of topics including should people who don't vote be fined.”

Sandwell Lions Club president Melissa Murphy said: “It was a great opportunity to welcome our young visitors from all over the world to Sandwell. We think we may have set a record for the number of nationalities in a library at any one time.”