Young People Deserve To Be Heard - Worcester and Droitwich Standard

We have become better at understanding minority groups. But there is still one group of people that, wrongly, is still routinely criticised. That group is young people.

We focus too much on the misdeeds of a small minority of young people and not enough on the achievements of the many.

There is also the temptation to assume that low turnout among young people at elections indicates a lack of interest in politics, democracy and society. But that is to misunderstand young people. Over my seventeen years as an MP, I have been constantly inspired by the young people of Worcestershire that I have met in schools, colleges and at surgeries.

Recently I have been deeply impressed by year 8 pupils at St. Egwin’s Middle School who asked me some of the most penetrating and politically astute questions I have ever been asked – and that includes by national journalists with a reputation for toughness!

At a recent surgery I met a 13-year-old young man from Droitwich – and learnt about a young woman of the same age from Norton-juxta-Kempsey - who are both passionate about their communities and are fighting to ensure that housing planned under the South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy is put in the right place.

This confirms what I already knew – there is a hunger among young people to make a difference to their lives and their country. It is the responsibility of politicians – MPs and councillors - to harness that hunger, not through gimmicks and not by patronising them, but by taking them seriously and listening to them.

I visit as many schools and colleges as I can to do that – to listen. I remind any young person reading this – or anyone who knows a young person interested in political issues – to get in touch, and make your voice heard.

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