Laura Sharman 18 July 2017

Major shake-up of Welsh council elections unveiled

Major shake-up of Welsh council elections unveiled image

Councils could be allowed to introduce proportional representation for local elections under new proposals unveiled by the Welsh Government.

The consultation on electoral reform in Wales also includes plans to allow 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in council elections.

Other proposals include introducing electronic voting, allowing voting at other places other than polling stations, and giving foreign citizens normally resident in Wales the right to vote.

‘We want to make it easier to vote and easier to be entitled to vote’, said local government secretary, Mark Drakeford.

‘There’s no reason why 16 and 17 year olds can marry, pay taxes and join the army but can’t vote in our elections. There’s no reason why, in the twenty-first century, we can carry out all sorts of daily transactions online but can’t, as of yet, vote online.

‘That’s why we’re setting out a number of different ideas to modernise the electoral system and putting out a call for the public to share their ideas with us too.’

Mr Drakeford also announced details of a Local Government Bill that would see mandatory regional working between Wales’ 22 councils on areas such as economic development and strategic transport.

Councils would also be required to work regionally on other services like education improvement, social services, additional learning needs and other aspects of land-use planning.

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