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West Sussex County Council vote to support lowering voting age to 16

The motion that was created by the West Sussex Youth Cabinet was debated and approved at the full council last Friday, 5th April.

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Cllr Michael Jones speaking in favour of lowering the age at the full council.

It is a debate that has raged for years and not just in this country.

Now West Sussex has agreed to support lowering the age to 16.

According to the council it is a ‘major breakthrough’ for the Youth Cabinet who have been working for quite some time on bringing the motion forward.

Ellie Roberts, Youth Cabinet chairman, said:

“It’s so important that our Votes at 16 Campaign has been heard and supported by councillors, it shows that the voice of youth matters in West Sussex.

“At 16 we can get married or enter a civil partnership, serve in the armed forces, pay tax and make other key decisions but currently we don’t get a say on who runs our councils and government. We think that’s wrong and it’s great that senior councillors think the same.”

But what does this actually mean? Well in truth not much as despite the council now agreeing they want to lower the age it is still down to MP’s and the Government to debate and pass such change.

With some very strong arguments on both sides of the argument debating the issue at the full council last week (you can watch the debate here) it was passed with 29 voting for, 24 voting against and 2 abstaining.

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Leave your cars at home on June 20th urges Crawley Council

Crawley Borough Council is urging residents to support Clean Air Day and leave their cars at home on 20 June.

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Clean Air Day is an annual event that aims to encourage people across the country to choose a sustainable mode of travel and help reduce air pollution.

This year, the council is supporting the Sustainable Transport eVent on 19 June, to help local businesses discover opportunities to play their part in making Crawley air cleaner. The event will show companies how staff can take up different commuting options to reduce the number of cars on the road with only one person. There will also be showcases for electric vehicles and other sustainable working practices which can all help to reduce air pollution.

Air quality will also feature at the next annual Junior Citizen event, with the aim of supporting the next generation to walk, cycle, scoot and take public transport to help reduce pollution and keep fit and healthy.

For local residents, there are plenty of ways to reduce air pollution, both inside your home and outside:

  • Walk, cycle, scoot or run! In a car, you’re exposed to 10 times more pollution than as a pedestrian. This is because car exhaust fumes from the car in front gets sucked into the car, with air filters having little effect, meaning you breathe in lots more pollution
  • Air pollution is more concentrated around busier roads. Walking through parks or quieter pedestrianised areas can significantly reduce the amount of pollution you are exposed to and make a nicer journey
  • Regularly service your boiler; this will ensure fuel is burnt cleanly and prevent carbon dioxide from building up
  • Choose low-or no-chemical cleaning, DIY and personal care products, fragrance free cleaning products, roll on deodorants and “low VOC” paint products alternatives

Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:

“Air pollution is a big health and environmental issue, but there are things that we can all do to make ourselves and others safer and healthier. Whether you leave the car at home once or twice a week, switch to an electric vehicle or public transport or make changes to the products you use, it all makes a difference.

“It’s important that we tackle the issue of air pollution together on Clean Air Day, so we can breathe cleaner air in the future.”

The Sustainable Transport eVent on 19 June is part of the Sussex ECO Grant Scheme which also offers financial assistance for businesses working towards energy saving schemes.

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