Why Should You Register to Vote?

20160202_185418Last week was the National Voter Registration Drive! A lot of you out there may ask: why should I bother registering to vote? What’s the point when my vote won’t really make a difference as nobody cares? As a local councillor, I regularly hear these grievances on the doorsteps, at public meetings and on social media. My response is why wouldn’t you want to exercise a right that people in the past fought – or even in some cases – died for?

I am currently 19 and I remember that exciting moment when I could vote for the first time in 2014; in this case in the European Parliament elections for MEPs. That year also marked me being becoming Staffordshire’s youngest local councillor. I was co-opted onto my local parish council and now have the great honour of representing thousands of residents in my local community. During the general and local elections last May – after which I was successfully re-elected – I was highly disappointed at the lack of young adults at the polling stations. This is a phenomenon that we desperately need to change in the country; a turnout of 58% amongst 18-24 year olds is simply not good enough!

If you’re a young adult – or not far off reaching adulthood – and wondering why you should vote, I am now going to give you some reasons why you should. Read more… 

Where next for the Youth Sector?

The past year has been a particularly tough one for the youth sector. Charities working with children and young people have come under fire following the closure of Kids Company and the difficult funding environment they operate in shows little sign of improving.

There are no easy answers for the sector. The global economy remains precarious, with the shadow of economic downturn in China hanging over stock and currency markets, and pushing oil prices down. As a result the UK Government remains pessimistic about growth prospects and committed to deficit reduction. Comprehensive statutory funding for youth services is fast being consigned to history and it is highly unlikely that we will see comparable levels of public investment return to the sector within the next ten years.

With this backdrop in mind, what should sector leaders be doing to preserve and enhance services for young people? First and foremost we must work together to agree priority areas and common goals. This will enable us to speak with one unified voice to influence policy and unlock new funding opportunities.

During the recent youth sector consultation led by UK Youth, NCVYS and Ambition there was much discussion about the challenges faced, but also a surprisingly high level of consensus around what the immediate priorities for the sector must be. We identified six main themes that came up repeatedly throughout discussions, written submissions and online feedback.

Read more about our findings and next steps