Erdington Liberal Democrat campaigner Ann Holtom is giving her backing to the national call for sixteen year olds to have the vote in the referendum on EU membership which David Cameron has promised will be held next year.
Ann said "Sixteen year-olds are eligible to join the armed forces, get married and pay income tax but yet don't have the right to vote. I am disappointed to see that that the Government has not included any proposal to allow 16 year-olds the right to vote the EU Referendum Bill before Parliament. This Bill paves the way for the crucial vote on this country's membership of the European Union and this represents a huge missed opportunity. The Coalition government was willing to allow sixteen year olds the vote in the referendum on Scottish independence last year, so why are the Tories holding back on letting English, Welsh and Northern Irish 16 year olds take part in this vital election?
What a brilliant way this would be to engage young people in politics, get their interest in public affairs and boost democracy. Politicians are always saying how important it is to involve young people and moaning about how they don't take part in elections. Here is a massive chance to do something about that and give our young people the right to take part in a decision that will affect their lives for years to come."