A bill allowing people aged 16 and 17 to vote in council elections has been passed by the Senedd.
The Local Government and Elections bill passed through the Senedd on Wednesday (November 18).
It follows on from legislation allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Senedd elections, which became law earlier this year.
This means 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to vote in the next Senedd elections in 2021 and the council elections in 2022.
The bill also allows foreign nationals who are living in Wales legally to be able to vote and stand for election.
Councils will now be required to publish a ‘public participation strategy’ to help people better understand how local government works and how decisions are made.
Meanwhile, local authorities will also be required to stream public meetings of full council online.
Welsh Government’s local government minister, Julie James, said: “This Bill will enable a local democracy which reflects our diversity as a nation, provide local government with new ways to support and serve their communities and reinvigorate local democracy in Wales.”
Rhianon Passmore, Senedd Member for Islwyn, called the move “a welcome step forward for democracy”.
She added: “Young people are ever more engaged in the political life and the political decisions that affect themselves and the communities that they live in.
“No democrat should fear having to be answerable to interested and well meaning young citizens.”
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How can I register to vote?
Anybody over the age of 14 can register to vote in Wales, providing they are a British or Irish citizen, or a foreign national living legally in Wales.
Registering usually takes around five minutes and can be done at gov.uk/register-to-vote.
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