9th May 2017
With just a fortnight to go until voter registration deadline and one month to go until the General Election, Margaret Hodge visited Barking & Dagenham College?s Technical Skills Academy this Monday 8th May to speak to young people about the importance of registering to vote so that their voices can be heard. Figures show that around 75% of people aged 65 and over will vote in this election; only around 42% of 18- to 24-year-olds will do the same.
Margaret Hodge said:
"On June 8 thousands of young people in Barking and Dagenham will have their first chance to vote and their first opportunity to change the shape of this borough. I know that a lot of young people feel like their vote doesn't matter but I want them to know that it does. Only by voting can young people in this borough make their voices heard and change the community. I know from this visit today that these young people are very passionate about important issues like making sure they can get the skills to get a good job and get access to good education and I want to make sure they head to the ballot box."
Hilary Moore, Head of the Technical Skills Academy at Barking & Dagenham College said:
“Many students at the Academy take an active role in their community; having Margaret Hodge who has represented Barking for over 20 years visit provides a further opportunity for them to engage with key people in the borough. Dame Margaret Hodge has been very supportive of the Academy since she joined us at the opening ceremony in 2012."
Many of the students will be first-time voters - some may not have registered to vote yet and so the event was a good opportunity to ask questions before the 22nd May voter registration deadline.