Cubs are 'too young' to meet MPs in Parliament

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Indy Politics

Cub Scouts have been barred from entering Parliament to lobby MPs on water charges because the Commons authorities say they are too young.

One hundred cubs planned to use Westminster Hall in the House of Commons to speak to MPs on 15 July about their Stop the Rain Tax campaign against increases in water charges for voluntary groups. But the House authorities cancelled the booking because the youngsters were "ineligible to vote".

A group of MPs have tabled a parliamentary motion protesting against the decision and written to the Speaker, John Bercow, asking him to overturn it.

The chair of the all-party group on Scouting, Stephen Pound, the chair of the all-party group on adventure and recreation, Julian Brazier, and the Reading West MP Martin Salter told Mr Bercow that the decision was "unacceptable as all constituents, regardless of age, should be free to lobby their MPs".

The Scout Association's head of campaigns, Stella Creasy, said: "Scouting encourages young people to value democracy. That's why its a shame they are not able to lobby their MPs within Westminster Hall."

Changes in how water companies charge voluntary groups for the disposal of rain water into sewers mean that Scout groups, which did not previously have to pay, are being hit with new charges of up to £600 a year – up to 25 per cent of their budgets.

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