On 25th January 2020 we hosted a major conference at the People’s History Museum in Manchester bringing together young people and policymakers to reflect on our key research findings. The event was introduced by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Jim McMahon MP for Oldham West and Royton. For this event we involved all of the young people’s groups we have worked with on the project and many other youth advocacy organisations, politicians and policy-makers. The aim was to reflect on the implications of our findings and understand the current state of the voting age debate in the UK. The conference attracted nearly 100 young people and policy-makers and the feedback on our research findings has been invaluable.
The event was run by Dr Andy Mycock with support from Dr Tom Loughran and Professor Jon Tonge. Participants took part in a number of workshops addressing the challenges of implementing ‘Votes-at-16’ in the UK. The workshops included discussion of themes such as the importance of political education to effective voting age reform, young people’s level of political interest and how voting is connected to adulthood. We were particularly interested in exploring how voting age reform could be further developed by regional and local governments.
We would like to thank all the attendees particularly those young people who travelled long distances to be there. We really appreciated the contribution of all participants and will be using the materials produced from the day to develop a report. Special thanks to Partnership Young London and James Cathcart for providing logistical support, advice and help on the day.