Newham Council plan to set up the UK's first 'voting' task force

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 November 2018

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz. Pic: Rokhsana Fiaz

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz. Pic: Rokhsana Fiaz

Rokhsana Fiaz

Newham Council is set to establish the UK's first ever task force to get more people voting in local and national elections.

The “Democracy and Civic Participation Commission” will be chaired independently and will gather information from residents online and via roadshows and through sessions with national democracy experts, academics and councillors.

The aim of the commission is to get more people involved and interested in politics.

A report, which will be heard at full council on Monday, notes that only 35.8 per cent of Newham residents eligible to vote in the last local election cast their ballets.

In the last general election just two thirds of electors between the ages of 18-44 voted.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “I’m really excited by the prospect that Newham can be the flagship for participatory democracy that others can follow. People in this borough say they haven’t been listened to and ask what has the council ever done for them? All that must change.

“It’s really important that our residents and our young people are at the centre of this process.

“I want them to feel part of their community and to feel more responsible personally for decisions made in public about the things that matter to them every day.”

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