Vote For Youth

Liverpool’s Young People Gear Up For First Time Voting

JOBS and opportunities, safe neighbourhoods, the health service…

All issues that many people in Liverpool feel strongly about. Issues that will bring people to the ballot box in Thursday’s Local Elections.

They’re also some of the things that Liverpool’s young people feel strongly about. And when it comes to voting for the very first time, the younger generation is ready to make their mark.

Teenage students from The City of Liverpool College are well-prepared for Thursday’s Local Elec tions. They’ve registered to vote and they know what they want to change.

Jade Carter, 19, believes voting is all about equality.

“As a young person and a woman it’s important that I have my say,” said Jade. “We have to remember that it is 100 years since women were given the right to vote. “People have fought hard to make sure everyone has the right to vote so it is really important that we use it.”

For 18 year-old Owen Devling community is key.

“People need to feel safe and secure where they live,” said Owen. “They also want to take pride in their communities. It’s really important that we invest in our local areas to make sure everyone has the same opportunities no matter where they are from.”

Performing Arts student Charlotte Jenner-Howe, believes health is the hot topic.

“As students we don’t have a lot of money, so things like prescription charges can be expensive,” said Charlotte. “Young people are under a lot of pressure. I think how stress and other mental health issues are treated really important to us. It’s important that this is recognised and services are put in place to meet the needs of young people.”

Nationally, voting amongst young people is on the rise. In the last General Election voting amongst 18-25 year-olds was at a 25 year high. Despite this, young people are still less likely to vote than older people.

The city council has been working to raise the profile of voter registration and voting in the city. Over the past few weeks more than 5,000 new voters have registered to use their democratic right.

For student Emily Swaine, 18, making the right decision is crucial.

“I think young people should decide what they feel strongly about and what they want to change and then research what the different parties say on these issues. The most important thing is that young people use their right to vote and have their say.”

The message from Liverpool City Council to voters of all ages is a simple one: use your vote on Thursday.

Liverpool City Council’s Returning Officer Jeanette McLoughlin, said: “This year we have been working to raise awareness about voting among Liverpool student population. It’s great that young people have heard this message and are using their right to vote.”

“You do not need your poll card to vote but it will tell you the location of your polling station. If you are still unsure or have any other questions about voting, visit the city council website and search ‘elections’.”

Local Elections take place in Liverpool on Thursday 3 May. Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm. To find out where your polling station is, you can visit our postcode look-up at: www.liverpool.gov.uk/council/voting-and-elections/polling-stations/

PHOTO: First time voters from The City of Liverpool College Jade Carter, Charlotte Jenner-Howe, Owen Devling and Emily Swaine.