“A majority of Ards and North Down Councillors simply don’t give young people enough credit,” Alliance Councillor Deborah Girvan has said, as her attempts to put votes at 16 on the agenda where again defeated.
Councillor Girvan raised the issue on Wednesday night at the Ards and North Down Borough Council meeting shortly after Wales voting reforms saw the voting age lowered.
She said: “I am extremely disappointed as the Council came close to backing the proposal, with the UUP, Green Party and an independent Councillor all backing Alliance on this issue with the DUP, TUV and an independent Unionist refusing to change their position.
“It’s clear time has not brought any sense to those who continue to oppose this move. Simply put, those who voted against this motion last night had been given a second chance to show the young people of our borough that they are valued members of our society.
“Instead the DUP, TUV and the Independent Unionists who voted against only served to send a disheartening message to our next generation.
“While many of the old arguments were rehashed, their stubborn opposition has completely disregarded the many engaged, passionate and politically astute young people who want to have a say and be fully engaged in our society.
“Alliance will not be deterred and we will continue to pursue the right of 16 and 17 year olds to be able to take part in the democratic process and exercise their right to vote.”