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Last Updated: Monday, 18 October, 2004, 06:34 GMT 07:34 UK
Youth 'given democracy voice'
Ballot box
Young people are encouraged to take part in democracy
Young people in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to become more involved with local decision making and planning.

Local Democracy Week begins on Monday with the aim of encouraging those aged between 16 and 26 to make their voices heard in council politics.

Organised by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), a series of events are being held by 11 councils across the province throughout the week.

They want to emphasise the role of councils in taking account of young people's views.

A recent NILGA survey, to which 21 of the 26 councils responded, found that about 56% of Northern Ireland's councillors were aged between 45 and 64 years.

Only 5.4% of councillors were less than 35 years of age, the survey found.

The week's events are being organised in partnership with the Northern Ireland Joint Council for Local Government Services Employers' Side and the Electoral Commission for Northern Ireland.

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