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Cardiff councillors support lower voting age

CARDIFF councillors have passed a motion in support of giving 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote.

They have no power over the matter but the latest Wales Bill 2015 would give Welsh government more control over the voting age if it is passed as expected next year.

Lowering the voting age would mirror the move made by Scotland for its independence referendum.

councillor sam knight

Councillor Sam Knight, who proposed the motion on teenage voting

The vast majority of the council voted in favour of the motion put forward by Coun Sam Knight.

Council leader Phil Bale said: “It’s an important signal made by the Welsh capital that we want to lower the voting age.

“Following on from this positive debate, we hope that by the next council elections in 2017, young people are able to vote.”

Coun Chris Davis, who seconded the motion, said: “This is a positive step made by Cardiff council which follows other countries such as Brazil and Argentina, but other parts of Britain like Guernsey. It’s about time Wales did the same too.”

Liberal Democrat Coun Bill Kelloway drew on his own experience to vote in favour of the motion.

“If 16-year-olds are able to raise extra tax, drive cars and join the army then they should be able to vote,” said Kelloway.

“I have taught many 16-year-olds who are perfectly capable of voting,” he said.

Conservative Coun Adrian Robson was critical of Labour for putting forward a motion over which councillors had little control.

“While the Conservative group support non-partisan political education, we strongly argue the case that we should be talking about something which is substantial to our city,” he said.


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