Young islanders encouraged to participate in politics

An increasing number of young people across the Channel Islands are taking an interest in politics.

Young people are determined to have their voices heard, with the rising cost of living thought to be a major influence as many no longer see a future for themselves living in the islands as a result.

Alderney recently lowered its legal voting age to 16 while Guernsey elected its youngest ever Douzenier, Charlotte Long.

Jersey's biggest political party, Reform, has recently set up a youth wing which will allow younger people to get involved with the politics of the island.

One of the group's members, Tom Clayton, says: "Whether you like it or not, the young people we see around us are going to be the older generation and I think middle-aged and older people struggle to realise they really need to give young people a voice.

"We don't want to be the lost generation that just moves to England as everyone else does. We want to stay, we want to contribute and we love this island"

However, while many young people are pushing for their voices to be heard, it is not always easy to get people out to vote.

Research carried out after Jersey's 2018 general election revealed that just a third of 16 to 26-year-olds in Jersey turned out to vote compared to three quarters of people over the age of 55.

29-year-old Deputy Max Andrews is one of Jersey's youngest States Members. He says: "I don't think its part of our education system, we need to be educating people from school age because that's where you will get the biggest engagement when it comes to children."

The Chief Minister has pledged to bring forward a plan to involve more young people in decision-making meaning steps are being made towards involving younger people in politics.

The hope is that the views of all islanders will soon be better reflected, paving the way for more young people to get into politics.