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A ‘growing disconnect’: What do young voters think needs to be done in local communities?

Ahead of polling day, we spoke with one young voter to find out what local matters are important to their generation.
Ahead of polling day, we spoke with one young voter to find out what local matters are important to their generation.

With the local elections looming, candidates are looking to secure every vote they can.

Everything from the rising cost of living to the state of the high street has been debated, but what do younger voters feel needs to be tackled and do they think their voices are being heard?

Ahead of polling day, we spoke with one young voter to find out what local matters are important to their generation.

“Younger generations play a part in society”

Blairgowrie teen Maks Inkster is one of those who will be eligible to vote in Thursday’s local elections.

The 17-year-old, who is also a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, believes there’s risk of a “growing disconnect” between local authorities and the young people who live in their area and encouraged councils to listen to younger voters.

“There needs to be a way where councils can gauge the views of all young people in order to make it better for everyone in an equal manner”, Maks said.

Maks Inkster.
Maks Inkster.

“We are definitely under represented and councils focus more on the older generations but what I think is important is that the younger generation do play a part in society and have a say.

“There is no harm in asking what people think because there could be a growing disconnect between the council and the young people.”

Education is a priority

Among the issues Maks feels are important to young voters, education stands out as the most pertinent, and the uncertainly brought on by the pandemic has left many feeling anxious about their future.

The Blairgowrie High School pupil said: “The council should be doing more to see what young people think is happening in schools and acting in a way that helps pupils.

“I’ve seen a lot of people really worried about exams and there needs to be more services for people to cope with that.”

“There’s nothing for them to do”

Maks also believes there should be more things for young people do to in their local community, or at the very least better communication regarding what’s on offer, and would like see councils engage with young voters going forward.

He added: “I see people coming into Subway (my workplace) all the time, not because they are hungry but because they are bored. There’s nothing for them to do and that does lead to anti-social behaviour.

“I think it’s a lot to do with there not being a lot available for young people or at the very least services services not being know to them.

“Young people might see the council just for older people, and the council might see young people as anti-social when really issues intertwine and we should figure out how to solve them together.”

Fife teachers demand more staff, smaller classes and reduced workload

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