Councillors urge Norfolk to lead way for votes at 16

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Norfolk should be put forward as a pilot area for the voting age to be reduced to 16, a councillor has claimed.

A motion is set to be debated at the county council’s meeting next Monday, calling for the authority to back calls for 16 and 17-year-olds to be allowed to participate in elections.

The motion has been put forward by Green party group leader, Richard Bearman, and seconded by the party’s adult social care spokesman Elizabeth Morgan.

It calls for the council to write to the government, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the county’s MPs stating support for a lower voting age and put the county forward as a pilot area for the measure to be trialled.

It also highlights rising levels of political engagement among young people, starting from the Scottish independence referendum, where 75 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds voted.

The motion says: “In the most recent Norfolk MYP elections turnout from young people was the highest ever with 51 per cent of 11-18 year-olds voting.

“Sixteen and 17 year-olds are eligible to pay taxes, yet have no say in how it is to be spent through the democratic process at either local or national level.”