OPINION: Why young people in Sheffield should vote in the upcoming elections
Politics affects every aspect of our lives from the homes we live in to the green spaces we love and the roads we travel on.
If you have never seen a council chamber you would probably imagine a group of people mostly in older age discussing bins and potholes. As someone who has reported on many council meetings over the past few years, I can tell you this is not all true.
Sheffield’s Magid Magid proved politics can be exciting and you don’t have to wait to make change and he is not alone, Sheffield Council has several young politicians such as George Lindars-Hammond, cabinet member, Sophie Wilson, Moya O’Rourke and Martin Phipps.
But you don’t need to become a politician to do this.
For young people to be heard and see changes that are important to us, we need to turnout and vote and we know historically we have been bad at this.
The upcoming local elections on May 6 is your chance to have a powerful say.
You have the power to decide who makes decisions in Sheffield, who the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner is and which structure the council is run by.
If you live in Broomhill, Broomfield, Endcliffe, Summerfield or Tapton, and many young people do, you also have the power to adopt a neighbourhood plan that could guide developments in the area for at least the next five years.
Maybe you didn’t study politics in school, not many have, and feel intimidated by all the noise around it but a good place to start is simply by asking yourself: what is important to me and what do I want to see improved in my community?
Then see who is running in your ward, read what they stand for in their manifestos and election leaflets and choose who you think will best represent you.
If the issues you care about are not addressed, reach out to candidates and ask them what they will do to tackle them.
Remember, you as a citizen are at the heart of everything and you hold the power through your vote.