THE civic head of Bromsgrove council welcomed French visitors to the authority's home on Friday, July 18.

Councillor John Ruck invited French exchange students to the council chamber at the Council House.

The students, who are living with host families across the West Midlands as part of the LEC exchange programme, took part in a fact finding session.

It involved a Q and A session, with Cllr Ruck answering questions about civic life.

Cllr Ruck said: “It was very encouraging to see a group of civic-minded young people interested in studying another society.

"They saw that the way we do things here is rather different from the French system.

"They were surprised that my role as civic head was unpaid and that the position does not have the same power or responsibilities as a French mayor.

“I hope they will take back some of what they learned with them - after all, every democracy relies on each new generation."

LEC is a Paris-based organisation that supplies language courses for French students in other countries, throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.

• Anyone who runs a young people or school group and is interested in setting up an educational visit on local government is asked to call the civic head's personal assistant Sharon Chaplin on 01527 881484, or email