SNP Banff and Buchan MP, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, this week visited Fraserburgh Academy to meet with representatives of the academy’s pupil council and the Fraserburgh Youth Council to hear their views on a range of issues.
Topics under discussion ranged from of activities for young people in Fraserburgh to the extension of the vote to 16 and 17 year olds in the forthcoming independence referendum and future elections.
Speaking after the meeting, Dr Whiteford commented: “I was delighted to be able to meet with the Fraserburgh Youth Council and the Fraserburgh Academy Pupil Council and hear their views on a whole range of current issues. It is great to see a large number of young people who have an inspiring sense of civic duty and are willing to act and get involved to make their town a better place.”
“The young folk also displayed a genuine interest in the forthcoming independence referendum. They had their own well-considered opinions and questions on the issue, and it was clear that they were itching to have their say in the debate. For me, this perfectly illustrated the argument for the right to vote in the referendum and all elections to be extended to 16 and 17 year olds. On the basis of my experience with young people of that age, I do not see how anyone could consider denying them that right, and their say.”
Mark Buchan, 16, chairman of Fraserburgh Youth Council and in his 5th year at Fraserburgh Academy commented: “This was a really good opportunity for young people to engage with their local MP.
“I hope it has given Dr Whiteford an indication of young people’s priorities for the town and sends a positive message about young people in general, that we are enthusiastic and want to be involved and empowered in our communities.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said if 16 and 17 year olds can get married, join the army and pay taxes then they should also have the right to vote on Scotland’s future.
The Scottish referendum on independence is to take place in 2014.