I hope you and your family had a relaxing Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Changing the way we vote – what do you think?
Looking at the statistics it would be a fair assumption that young people aren’t interested in politics. After all, less than half of 18 – 25 year olds voted in the last General Election, compared to almost four out of five over 65s. Yet one of the things that always strikes me when I visit our local sixth forms, whether it is Chestnut Grove, Burntwood, Graveney or my old school Ernest Bevin College, is how engaged our young people are. They have strong opinions on how our country is run and they share the same concerns I had at their age; about what jobs they’ll get, whether they’ll be able to afford a house and much more.
But by not voting, young people are missing out. Government policies disproportionately benefit older people because 94% of them are on the electoral register and so many of them vote. It’s a no brainer. But the fact that more than half of a generation aren’t taking part in elections should worry us all and so we need to look at making drastic changes to tackle it. Why do elections take place on a Thursday? Why can’t you vote online? Why can’t you register to vote on the same day as casting your vote? This week, in my role as the Shadow Justice Secretary, I called for far-reaching reforms on how we vote to fit the 21st century – you can read more about this here.
I’m also keen to hear what you think. What are the other problems with the way we vote, and what changes are needed to make sure Government works for people of all ages?
Having your say
There are a few local proposals up for consultation over the next couple of weeks, and I just wanted to share the information with you so you don’t miss out on having your say.
- Transport for London have been contacting Tooting residents who live within 200m of land needed for Crossrail 2. You should have been contacted directly if this affects you, and I would encourage you to respond to the consultation before the deadline on 28th January. If you’re concerned you haven’t been contacted, but think it may affect you, please do get in touch and I’d be happy to look into it.
- South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust are looking to bring forward the first phase of the Springfield Hospital redevelopment, and are currently consulting on plans to build housing near Hebdon Road. Please do respond to the consultation if you live in the area before the deadline on 16th January. I have a number of concerns with the plans and will be raising these with the Trust. Drop me an email with Springfield in the subject line if you would like to receive updates on this.
- Lastly – as I mentioned before Christmas, the consultation on AFC Wimbledon returning to Plough Lane closes on 19th January – don’t forget to have your say!
I hope you find this useful – I do my best to spread the word about ongoing consultations on issues that will affect local residents, as it is so important that your voices are heard.
Until next time,