Councillor calls for children aged 16 and 17 to be given the vote

Ballot box
Ballot box

A senior councillor is calling on the government to give youngsters aged 16 and 17 the right to vote in UK elections.

Coun Olivia Rowley, Wakefield Council's cabinet member for children and young people, has submitted a motion for the issue to be discussed at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday.

Coun Olivia Rowley

Coun Olivia Rowley

The motion states that children aged 16 and 17 can pay taxes, join the armed forces, give legal consent to medical treatment, set up and manage companies, get married and raise a family. They have also been allowed to vote in Scottish elections since May 2016.

In the motion, Coun Rowley said she "believes that 16 and 17-year-olds should be given the ability to influence decisions that will define their futures through engagement and participation in the democratic system".

She will ask for fellow councillors to support the motion.

And, if they do, the council will call on the government to allow teenagers, aged 16 and 17, to vote in all public UK elections. The authority's Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will also work with Youth Parliament representatives to listen and report back the views of young people.