The Liberal Democrat City Council group recently enjoyed a piece of progressive success. At the latest Full Council meeting, they submitted a motion calling for Peterborough City Council to; join the Votes at 16 Coalition; ask the Chief Executive to write to our local MPs to inform them of this decision and ask them to support the campaign in the House of Commons, promote this policy through its communications and work with local schools, our Youth MP and the Peterborough Youth Council to raise awareness among young people of the UK system of Government and the role of active citizens in our democracy.
WATCH the video below and MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND!
Despite some very dated opinions and comments the motion was successful: VOTES: 32 in favour, against 13 and 4 not voting!
Some of the more interesting comments made by some city councillors included:
Cllr John Fox, who voted against the motion because he does not think 16 year olds “know a lot about life” or “know how the country works” – citing a lack of interest in a recent consultation regarding bowls greens in the city?
Cllr Steve Lane, who also opposed the motion, claiming “..young people …. still rely on people for help, their parents will influence them, teachers will influence them, … so they’ll always be easily influenced I’m afraid. “
Cllr Charles Swift, also contributed, stating “… the 16 year old today hasn’t got the nappies off their backside at this stage….. it’s the gospel truth! They’re carried about now, from pillar to post, left right and centre, they can vote at 18, but they don’t bother to vote.”
Cllr Arculus, also told the chamber, “I don’t see why 16 year olds who don’t have any qualifications, don’t have any life experience, aren’t mentally mature, don’t really have a really a stake in society at this point should exercise the same franchise that I’m entitled to. I don’t hear 16 year olds in the street insisting on voting at General Elections.”
REMEMBER – To let us know what YOU think by posting a comment below!
It’s worth noting:
- Currently 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds are denied the vote in public elections in the UK;
- That the campaign to lower the voting age is supported by thousands of young people across the UK and that the Votes at 16 Coalition consists of a wide range of youth and democracy organisations;
- At 16, people who can consent to medical treatment, work full-time, pay taxes, get married or enter a civil partnership and join the armed forces should also have the right to vote.
Thanks also goes to Chris York who recorded this footage and who also captured the rest of the meeting on his YouTube channel!