§ Linda Perham
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to increase the number of young people participating in local elections. 
§ Yvette Cooper
I have been asked to reply.
The Government are keen to encourage young people to participate in elections. My Department contributed to the Children and Young People Unit's work on the engagement of young people in democracy, and we support fully the Electoral Commission's campaigns and competitions aimed specifically at young people. The addition of citizenship studies to the national curriculum and the piloting of new technologies such as text messaging and digital television for voting should also help to engage, and appeal, to young people, as well as increasing their interest, understanding and involvement in the democratic process.