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Cardiff council split over giving votes to teenagers

LABOUR councillors have come under fire over two motions they want to debate at Thursday’s Cardiff council meeting.

The first, put forward by Sam Knight, urges the council to back a national campaign to give the vote to 16-year-olds and supports strong, unbiased political education to pre A-level pupils in schools.

But the council’s Conservative group only supports the part about political education for pre A-level pupils.

Conservative group leader Rod McKerlich expressed doubts that extending the vote would increase turnout. He said in areas with large student populations, like Roath, not many young people voted.

The campaign was launched after 16 and 17-year-olds were granted the vote for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

The second motion, put forward by Ed Stubbs, is in support of opponents of the Trade Union Bill being debated in the House of Lords.

It proposes that the council support the TUC and its affiliated unions in their campaign against bill and lobby national politicians to do the same.

But Councillor McKerlich said: “Cardiff council cannot influence trade union legislation. I would rather talk about council services than candy floss motions that do not affect the people of Cardiff.”

Plaid Cymru supports the motion but its councillor Gareth Holden said: “It is hypocritical of the Labour group to propose this when they eroded trade union rights when last in government.”

However, Labour councillor Chris Lomax hit back. “The bill is against rights that have been fought for over 100 years. The Conservatives want us to turn a blind eye to the bill and let it go through. Plaid are just trying to score political points.

“Labour never mistreated trade unions when in government.”

 

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