THE BLOG

Do Young People Care About the English Local Elections?

22/03/2016 11:49 GMT | Updated 23/03/2017 09:12 GMT

Apparently 2015 was the year that young people started to get into politics and as statistics would suggest, that is true with the turnout being as high as 58%, up from 52% in 2010 and 38% in 2005.

This year we have local elections in most of England's councils so is GE15 fever going to spill over into masses of people turning out to cast their vote?

Considering the 2014 council election turnout overall was at 36%, it doesn't seem highly likely does it.

But what would it take to get young people to vote in the local elections and what needs to happen for more people to turn out, regardless of age? I don't know the answer, but to try and find out I've set up a campaign on Data Brew to collect young people's opinion on heading to the ballot in May, you can check that out here if you wish participate.

I'd really like to find out what the Government's strategy is in regards to improving turn out within the youth demographic and do they deem it important enough to campaign on. Is it a case of "it's your local council's problem, not ours?"

So young person, does it matter if you vote or not?

Well with the Central Government cutting all funding to local authorities' this year and giving councils the power to raise their own money and spend it how they see fit, I'd suggest that that is pretty important, arguably just as important as you voting in the general election.

Huge decisions are going to be made that will affect you directly, we are talking hyperlocal social services and what you will be paying to live in your area, I think you'll agree that's not just about your bin collections.

Then we have to consider the new combined authorities, it's fair to suggest that a lot of the CA's will have bigger council's that have considerable more financial pull than the smaller authorities, if you see yourself as a bit of a civic activist and live in a smaller council borough, the next few years might be your time to shine.

Before the general election there was a lot of chatter surrounding young people and voting, words such of apathy were floating around but I saw a lot of evidence to suggest that wasn't the case. Most young people were just sick of politicians, especially if they took the time to watch our fine leaders' sometimes rowdy antics in PMQs and you can't blame them for that.

But young people are incredibly passionate about change from what I've seen and I believe holding your local ward Councillor accountable is a great start, also it's a lot easier to create community led political headaches which I fully encourage you to do.

Okay, it's not as sexy as nationals but if you are civically engaged, here's an opportunity to get you and the people you care about heard.

If you have an opinion, there is a form you can fill out here.