Council unanimously backs reducing the voting age
14th March 2014
The Highland Council has unanimously supported reducing the minimum age for voting in all elections to 16.
The Council is also backing Highland Youth Voice’s “Votes[AT]16” campaign which calls for 16 and 17 year olds to get the vote.
Councillor Richard Laird and Councillor Linda Munro, the Council’s Young People’s Champion, presented the motion seeking the Council’s support to engage, empower and inspire young people in the democratic system.
Ainya Taylor, Highland Youth Convener, also addressed the meeting. She said: "Over 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds are currently denied the vote in the UK. For years we have been denied the opportunity to have our say. Now the case for lowering the voting age is stronger than ever.
“The best way to influence change is through the ballot box. I am sure most of you are aware of the key arguments for votes at 16 so I will just touch on them briefly.
you can sign up for the armed forces, but can't vote on who controls defence policy
you can leave school and get a job, but can't vote on who controls education and employment issues
you can be taxed at 16, but can't vote. There should be no taxation without representation!
you can get married at 16, but aren't considered mature enough to vote
you can drive a car before you're 18 but aren't considered responsible enough to vote.
“It is clear that young people are interested in politics. I have been heavily involved in youth politics for several years and am very passionate, as are many other young people in Highland. For the past year I have paid taxes and started learning to drive. I believe I deserve the right to vote and to make changes to my community.
“The Highland Council recognised the importance of young people in local communities and is actively encouraging 16 year olds to attend, vote and stand for community councils.
“Highland has a proud history of giving young people a voice. It is important that we keep young people in the Highlands and by supporting this motion Highland will again be leading the way in recognising the importance of young people in our society.
“The voice of young people is a key part of our community. I encourage you all to vote in favour of this motion and support the young people of Highlands to make this vital step forward in democracy.”
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018. The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector. Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication. The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.
[Printer Friendly Version]