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  Politicians need to listen to young people
Updated 18 October 2004, 12.54

It's Local Democracy Week and one of its aims is to break down the barriers between young people and politics.

Lauren attended a special political event where she was able to grill local councillors in a fun environment.

In her report she tells us why she thinks it's important that young people take an interest in politics.

"This year's Local Democracy Week was officially launched 158m above London in the BT tower.

Young people and councillors were brought together for an exercise to bridge the gap between them.

There were 20 councillors and about 20 young people from all over the United Kingdom.

A band kicked off the event
A band kicked off the event
They were from organisations like the British Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament representatives.

Comedy band

I soon realised there were a lot of young councillors, which was encouraging.

The fun started at 2.30pm when there was a comedy band, which introduced the event and sung a little song about the Town Hall!

Political Blind Date
Political Blind Date
To get everyone started there was a 'political blind date,' where a young person asked three questions to three councillors about why they should be elected.

Next came the highlight of the event, what everyone had come for - it was political 'speed dating' with councillors - very scary!

We, the young people, were asked to score the councillors on five aspects - approachability, listening skills, ability to understand youth issues, ability to answer specific questions, and how likely we would be to vote for that person.

We would spend two minutes before the councillors moved on, and we faced 10 councillors each.

There was one councillor who asked me how to get young people involved, she said that 'young people don't want to get involved'. I think this is absolutely untrue.

Get involved

To get young people's opinions you must give them the opportunity to voice them, this may mean going to young people's environment, like schools and colleges.

The event was held at BT Tower
The event was held at BT Tower
This event was definitely a step in the right direction.

Our issues

I believe it is very important for governments - local and national - to listen.

I came away feeling reassured that there were young councillors who were bringing young people's issues to the attention of the councils.

Make noise

We have a positive voice and I feel we should have a more active role in decision making.

We should no longer be 'seen but not heard', so make some noise and get involved."

Lauren, 15, Surrey

Why don't you write us a Press Pack report - and get it published on the site?!

It can be about anything that's happened in your local area - or your views on the news.

More InfoBORDER=0
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Young people 'don't care about voting'



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