The issue of lowering the voting age to 16 has caused much debate over the years, but the upcoming election has drawn this into sharper focus.

As the looming December general election creeps closer, socially aware young people are trying to make their voices heard in the decision-making process.

Three 16-year-olds who study at William Howard School in Brampton believe that they are prepared and clued-up enough to take on some of the responsibility for choosing the next leader of the country.

Ellis Mayson,16, from Carlisle, said: “The decisions that are going on now in Parliament will affect our future.

“Brexit is the main one that is going to impact us more than anything else.”

Last night, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn went head to head on ITV to debate the key issues that have dominated politics for the last few years - Brexit, the NHS, and the economy.

Viewers put their tough questions to the two party leaders during the hour-long show.

Although Brexit was mentioned by the young people at William Howard School a number of times, the main issue that they believe that their voice should be heard on is climate change as they feel that very little is being done to prevent something that will have the greatest impact on their future.

Rebecca Forsyth-Scott, 16, from Brampton, commented: “I would say climate change because at the end of the day it affects our generation more than it affects anyone else. The government should be doing a lot more about it than they are at the minute.”

The young people agreed that more needed to be done by the government to address climate change.

Ellis added: “I would like to see the government to do more to tackle it.”

“I think that they need to actually do something rather than say they will do it.”

Natasha Medcalf, 16, from Carlisle, agreed: “They say they are going to do all this stuff and there has been little to prove that they have done anything to help with climate change.”

The House of Commons ruled out an amendment to the election bill that would have allowed 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in December, so these students won’t get a chance to have their say in the upcoming election.

Natasha remarked: “Other people are voting on what is going to happen to us, it’s going to affect us not necessarily them - so I think it’s more important that we understand what is going on and how that will affect us.”

A debate was sparked between the students over the role that social media plays in influencing the opinions of people, particularly their political opinions.

This discussion has also played out in the media.

Earlier this month, Facebook was urged to ban political advertisements being published on the platform in an attempt to counter misinformation and political targetting.

Natasha pointed out that both older and younger generations are equally as easily influenced by Facebook posts, Tweets, and news reports that often go with being verified or scrutinised.

She said: “You’re saying that social media can influence 16-year-olds on their opinion, but a lot of adults and older people can quite as easily be influenced by stuff like that if they don’t fully understand what is going on and the decisions being made.

“There are a lot of 16-year-olds who can make up their minds and do understand what is going on.”

The group of young people took part in the National Citizen Service which was an opportunity for them to step outside their comfort zone and get to grips with adult life.

They engaged in smaller-scale versions of democracy as they decided amongst themselves steps and activities to take during their summer activities which included social campaigns.

Susan Watkins, the Area Operations Manager for Inspira, said: “I met these young people out on NCS over the summer and that’s why they have been chosen to talk.

“They do get involved in decision making and some of the young people did fantastic social action projects which were linked to some of the topics that they have talked about today.

“They are really passionate about their causes.”