Suffolk’s young representatives will communicate thoughts, opinions and the good work of young people to their new Parliamentary contact, with a particular focus on the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) national campaign of “Votes at 16”.
Although there is already a lot of support across UK Parliaments, the House of Lords can still delay and amend any legislation which is passed about votes at 16. UKYP aims to build support in the House of Lords through this ‘adoption’ scheme, to help make “Votes at 16” a successful campaign. The Welsh Assembly, Scottish Government, Northern Ireland Assembly and UK Parliament have all recently demonstrated their support of allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote.
Party political Lords do not necessarily follow the party line, so UKYP is lobbying them personally so that each Lord knows that there are young people who are passionate about Votes at 16 and that there are good reasons to introduce it.
Suffolk MYPs have already attended a “Votes at 16” residential course in London and also attended a mass lobby of Parliament. Young people can marry at 16, join the army, start their own business, have sex and pay taxes, yet can’t vote. UKYP feel wholeheartedly that this is undemocratic and that 16 and 17 year olds must be given the vote, in order to have their say on matters that affect them.
Amber Spearing, Support Worker for Suffolk Youth Parliament (UKYP)