Teenagers not allowed to go to voting event - because it is 'too political'
3:00pm Thursday 22nd May 2014 in News
BOLTON’S youth MPs were not allowed to attend an event encouraging more teenagers to vote — because it was political.
Ebony Cropper and Tresor Mbuyi were invited to attend an awareness event at Bolton College and Bolton Sixth Form College.
It had been organised by public services union Unison to encourage more young people to think about their votes ahead of today’s local and European elections.
But after Kieran Grogan, the youth officer at the Bolton branch, contacted children’s services at the council to ask if the pair could attend he was told it would not be possible — because the event was “too political” in the run-up to the poll.
Mr Grogan said he was disappointed and confused by the move.
He added: “The council is happy to parade them in front of the Labour politicians, but not to actually send them to talk to the people who voted them.
“I tried to make it clear to them it wasn’t political.
“It’s disappointing that it’s Unison and GMB that are fronting these initiatives to get more young people involved in politics, rather than the council who should be out promoting democracy.”
Teenagers Ebony and Tresor were elected to the youth council for two years following a vote of schoolchildren in March.
A council spokesman said: “We understand the role of the Youth MPs is to get young people involved in politics and we arrange for the MPs to attend events throughout the year which promote young people voting and getting involved with issues in their local communities.
“However, in this case we were concerned that if the Youth MPs, who are apolitical had attended this event, it could have led to suggestions that they had links to a particular political viewpoint.
“So, we erred on the side of caution and did not to send them.”
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