Votes for 16 year olds in Wales as Welsh Government unveils legislative plans

New measures to improve local bus services, lower the voting age and pressing ahead with a radical new school curriculum are some of the Welsh Labour Government’s key priorities for the upcoming year.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford AM revealed his government’s latest legislative programme yesterday (16 July) and Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, has backed the proposals.

She said: “There can be no doubt the Welsh Government is in a precarious financial situation.  The Tory UK Government’s debilitating austerity measures have led to a lack of clarity surrounding future budgets.  This has been amplified by ongoing Brexit uncertainty and exacerbated by the increasingly likely prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.”

“In spite of the unprecedented circumstances, the Welsh Government is continuing to deliver on its commitments and remains more determined than ever to protect the people of Wales.”

“I believe the new Public Transport Bill will be of particular interest to Wrexham residents as it will change the way buses are operated in Wales, allowing councils to run or reintroduce certain routes.”

As part of the commitment to create a more equal Wales, the Welsh Government will introduce a Public Transport Bill to reform the planning and delivery of local bus services.  Across Wales, certain routes have been stopped due to operators being unable to make them commercially viable but under the new proposals, councils will be given more freedom, being granted the power to franchise or run bus services directly to best suit local needs.

The reforms will also help the Welsh Government achieve their ambition of creating a truly integrated public transport network, helping ensure bus and train services are better co-ordinated.

Further measures have been outlined aimed at progressing Wales’ ground-breaking new school curriculum, which will be rolled out from September 2022.

A Local Government and Elections Bill will give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in local government elections, as well as strengthening accountability in local authorities.

A Housing Bill will be introduced to tackle no-fault evictions and a Social Partnership Bill will help ensure businesses and trade unions work together to “deliver a fairer and more prosperous Wales.”.