Carol Rahn, from the Battersea Society (and a KLS volunteer), has written this piece about her experience of the Your Vote Counts event that we ran together yesterday. It will appear in the next edition of the Battersea Society’s newsletter Battersea Matters.
“On 5 April, Caius House played host to a local election event aimed specifically at younger voters in Battersea. Jointly sponsored by Caius House Youth Centre, Katherine Low Settlement and the Battersea Society, the event featured a “Question Time” style format with local candidates from the Conservative Party, Greens Party, Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats. In a twist designed to give younger voters that chance to interact with the candidates, this was preceded by a buffet lunch where everyone had the chance to mingle and talk with everyone else. At least two candidates from all but one party took the opportunity to participate in this part of the programme, where this writer overheard conversations about jobs, the environment and how local government works. Young people no longer learn about government in school and for many the political process at all levels is unknown territory.
Housing proved to be the hot topic in the panel discussion, as were questions about what would be done to address the crisis in mental health among young people, what was being done for disadvantaged families and would the party make Wandsworth an accredited London Living Wage employer.
Thanks to a feedback form triggered by a QR code on participants’ smartphones, we know the event was well appreciated by the young people who were there, but the turnout was disappointing. One takeaway was that if we are going to engage this generation in the local political process, this can’t be something that only happens at election time.”
Register to Vote here: Register to vote – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (deadline is 14th April)
Find out who’s standing in your local ward in Wandsworth here: Wandsworth Council elections 2022 – Wandsworth Borough Council
Get out and vote on 5th May 2022.