Skip to main content

Voters Packs

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

Since the launch of Voting Times in July, 95,756 copies have been distributed across the UK to new voters, including those in Stoke-on-Trent, North, as they have reached their 18th birthday. Figures are not yet kept on a constituency basis, but if the hon. Lady mails constituents on their 18th birthday she will get some feel for the numbers.

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the Commission for looking at ways of engaging with young people. Perhaps we will be looking forward next to your blog. Parliament is now trying to engage with young people, given the fact that it is estimated that, at the general election in 2005, only 37 per cent. of 18 to 24-year-olds who were eligible to vote did so. We have to pay great regard to what we do to ensure that people understand our parliamentary system. I ask each and every hon. Member to engage with the Commission to see how we can flag up this matter even further.

I thank the hon. Lady for her positive remarks, and I agree entirely about the importance of Parliament connecting with young voters. However, the packs are only part of the work that the House is doing. Our parliamentary education unit is expanding its programme of visits to Parliament, which will more than double in the coming year and double again in the year after that. In addition, we have an outreach strategy across the UK involving local education authorities, teachers and schools, and work is under way to build material into the national curriculum. I agree with the hon. Lady that the subject is important, but we are doing a great deal as well providing the packs.