Young People’s Top Concern is Protecting the Environment

Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet
Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet

‘Protecting the environment’ is the most important issue to young people in Wigan and Leigh according to the results of a recent ballot.

13,641 local young people voted in the Make Your Mark ballot, which is led nationally by the UK Youth Parliament and facilitated locally by Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet.

The ballot, which runs every year, aims to discover what young people’s biggest concerns are.

The borough’s results mirrored the national ones, with the issues of most concern to young people emerging as: 

  • Protect the environment; protect the environment from the effects of climate change for the next generation. Look towards carbon neutral alternatives. 
  • Tackle hate crime; Educate young people on how to report hate crime. Invest in safe spaces to promote unity in communities. 
  • Votes at 16; Give 16- and 17-year olds the chance to vote in all elections and referendums.
  • Young people will now work with Wigan Council and other organisations across the North West, to help influence environmental plans.

Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet will continue to work on improving mental health support for young people, which was the top concern voted for in the Make Your Mark ballot last year.

The group has been working with Future in Mind, a panel of professionals from Wigan Council, Wigan Borough CCG, schools and lots of local health organisations, to improve young people’s mental health support. Their joint plans will be announced in February.

46% of 11-17-year olds from Wigan and Leigh voted in the latest Make Your Mark ballot, placing the borough 11th in the UK for percentage turnout and 8th in terms of the number of votes generated.

Young people interested in joining the youth cabinet or one of Wigan Council’s local youth voice groups, should contact the council’s targeted youth support services on [email protected]