Young vot­ers tar­geted with ap­peal

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

AN AP­PEAL to en­cour­age more young peo­ple to vote in elec­tions has been wel­comed by coun­cil­lors.

Deputy leader of Bucks County Coun­cil, Mike Appleyard, launched a cam­paign to reignite in­ter­est in pol­i­tics among the youth of the county at a coun­cil meet­ing on Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 12.

Mr Appleyard said: “They [un­der-24s] see lit­tle change in things they think are im­por­tant. They are very rarely asked.”

Mr Appleyard talked about the im­por­tance of so­cial me­dia to re-en­gage young peo­ple.

In 1976, 76 per cent of un­der-24s voted in the gen­eral elec­tion, but in 2010 that fig­ure was down to 51 per cent.

He added: “We are de­vel­op­ing pol­icy and de­liv­ery for which young peo­ple will in­herit.

“They have no say in this as they are not tak­ing part.

“I be­lieve this is very se­ri­ous and we need to do some­thing about it.”

Coun­cil­lors were urged to think about how they could have more en­gage­ment with young peo­ple, such as door knock­ing with them and go­ing to schools.

Coun­cil­lor Lin Hazell said: “We have to kick the pol­i­tics out of this and work to­gether.

“This is not go­ing to be easy, but if we work to­gether on this it will work and we can get that kind of en­gage­ment.”

Coun­cil­lor Steven Lam­bert ad­vised that the de­bate peo­ple ‘es­sen­tial’.

He said: “Dur­ing the de­bate for the in­de­pen­dence in Scot­land, there was a lot of in­ter­est in the 16-year-old vote.

“They have the abil­ity to get mar­ried, have chil­dren, join the Army and yet they don’t get the chance to vote – that is some­thing that need to be ad­dressed. In Scot­land, it has been and I am sorry that it hasn’t here.”

Coun­cil­lor Tim Butcher agreed that he thought peo­ple should get the vote when they are 16.

Mr Appleyard will set up an ac­tion group with coun­cil­lors to share ideas about what they are do­ing to sup­port the mo­tion.

All of the coun­cil­lors agreed with the mo­tion. to get young

in­volved is BUCKS’ pen­sion bill has more than dou­bled since the year 2000 and is ap­proach­ing £700m a year.

The gov­ern­ment paid out £694.8m to pen­sion­ers in the county in 2013/14.

The county’s pen­sion bill has more than dou­bled ev­ery­where in the county since the turn of the cen­tury.

In 2000/01, the county’s el­derly re­ceived just over £300m in the al­lowance, mean­ing it has risen 130.8 per cent since then.

In 2011, the county had 14,000 more peo­ple aged 65 or over than it did in 2001.

Over­all the gov­ern­ment paid out £83.1bn in Bri­tish pen­sions last year. That is more than dou­ble the £38.7bn bill at the turn of the cen­tury.

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