Youth mayor backs vote at 16

jpco 11-6-14  Hajid Hussain 13, is going to be the new youth mayor  (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140906-112755001
jpco 11-6-14 Hajid Hussain 13, is going to be the new youth mayor (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140906-112755001
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Have your say

Youth leaders have shown their support for the idea of 16 and 17-year-olds being given the right to vote.

The subject will be discussed by Crawley Borough Council at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday (February 25).

A Notice of Motion will be tabled by Cllr Chris Oxlade (Lab, Ifield) calling on the council to support recent proposals made at a national level.

The news was welcomed by Crawley’s Youth Mayor Hajid Hussain, 14.

Hajid, of Langley Green, said: “I think that’s a really good idea because, at the moment I know quite a lot of people who want to have a say but they are too young.

“They want to be able to choose who rules over them.”

Hajid also felt more people would vote if a system was in place to allow people to do so online.

Sam Trumpeter, vice-chairman of the Crawley Young Persons Council, supported the idea but felt there would be pros and cons.

Sam, 17, of Maidenbower, said: “On the one hand, the government would be able to get a better picture of what the young people need and want.

“This can be a very difficult thing for them to do at the moment as we don’t come under their voter audience so we don’t have as much of a voice, because they’re not trying to get us to vote for them.

“Alternatively, a lot of young people don’t take politics seriously nowadays because we don’t get listened to.

“I think that some – not all – of the young people will make their votes based on what their parents/carers tell them they should be voting for, not what they actually think. If young people are encouraged to actually read up on the parties, their policies and the representatives’ then I believe that it could work very well.”

The meeting will be held at the town hall from 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend and up to 30 minutes will be set aside for questions from members of the public.