Why We Should Vote… Liberal Democrats

Leo Evans is a 20-year-old politics student who attends the University of Liverpool. He’s standing for the Liberal Democrat vote in Liverpool Wavertree. You can find him on Twitter here.

Leo Evans, taken from Liberal Democrat website.

Students typically have low voting turnouts – what should get us out there to vote for the Lib Dems?
I think this is a real problem that the student community as a whole faces, low turnout among students means that many simply don’t have a voice, and that’s not right! Fundamentally, everyone should use their chance to vote in what will probably be the closest election in British history! For the Lib Dems, we are putting forward several issues that will have a huge impact on students, first around my own passion which is mental health. For the first time we have legally created parity of esteem between physical and mental health in the NHS, but more needs to be done, were specifically promising £400 million into the mental health service to ensure everyone has the best access to care. We’re also looking to introduce a Young Persons bus discount card, that would give all 16-21 year olds 2/3 off bus travel. We’re also ensuring that were protecting the civil liberties of everyone in our country, we stopped the conservatives introducing the Snoopers Charter and we’ve included a Digital Bill of Rights into our manifesto to protect people’s privacy.
What are your priorities for the young people of Liverpool?
As I mentioned before improving mental health services is a huge issue. In Liverpool were lucky to have the new Clock View hospital in Walton which is making a huge impact on people’s lives, but we need to improve access to all levels of care. Fundamentally in liverpool we are at a real cross roads as to where this city goes. The labour run council are looking to sell off many of our green spaces like Sefton Park Meadows and there are now risks of part of the Harthill estate which have been listed as ‘surplus to requirements’, as a party we are looking to protect these spaces from being used for luxury homes, to ensure that these spaces are there not only for this generation but for generations to come.
Tuition fees have been a contentious issue for students since they rose to £9000 per year. What would you like to see happen to them, or to our higher education system as a whole?
I firmly believe that university education should be open and available to as many people as possible,to give people that choice. The current system, though contentious, has actually created a fair system, you don’t pay a penny before going to university, you only pay back when you are earning £21,000 a year and it’s written off after 30 years if you haven’t payed it all back, which most people won’t. We’re seeing more people applying to university than ever before, and disadvantaged students are 95% more likely to apply to university than a decade ago. I think, in all honesty. The biggest issue for students financially is what’s happening surround in grants and loans, I’m a student myself and my latest student loans were not enough to pay my rent off in full for the next few months, this is a serious problem and that’s why we’re launching a review of the finance system to try and make it fairer for students.
Any parting words for us?
All I would say is to make sure you get out and vote! Of course I would say vote for me and for the liberal democrats, but this is an extremely important election, both nationally and locally, and do remember you also have a vote on the local council elections which are equally important for the future of this city! Don’t let the student community be silent, have a voice and use the vote!

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