The results of the by-elections are in! Thank you so much to everyone who stood in the by-elections, asked the candidates questions, and voted.
This crisis is having a devastating impact on young people. We are facing a loss of learning through school closures, with the least well off being most affected with education depending on digital access, undermining work done to bridge the gap in education inequality. Graduate job offers have been lost, and young people are leaving education at all levels into one of the worst recessions in decades, further entrenching intergenerational inequality. And this will not be the last crisis we face during our lifetimes. However, the interests of young people are so often overlooked when it comes to elections.
Earlier this week Liberal Democrat MP, Wendy Chamberlain, secured the first debate in the House of Commons on electoral reform since 2016. Westminster’s broken political system is shutting out people who “need their voices heard now more than ever” during the coronavirus pandemic, and we will continue to work to change that. We believe that some of the voices that most urgently need to be heard are those of young people.
At the start of this month, the Senedd and Elections Bill came into effect, meaning that (amongst other things) 16 and 17 year olds can now vote in Senedd elections. We still have a long way to go to extend the franchise for local and Westminster elections, but this is a fantastic step towards a more equal politics and ensuring more voices are heard.
To celebrate this step forward for Senedd elections, we asked our members why votes at 16 matters to them.
With nominations for the 2020 Welsh Young Liberals Executive now open, we reached out to Charlie Kingsbury to share his experience of being on exec.
Charlie was Vice Chair and Treasurer of IR Cymru (previous name of Welsh Young Liberals), before serving as co-Vice Chair during the 2015 GE and then co-Chair of Federal Young Liberals. During his time on exec, Charlie helped to introduce Action Weekends around the UK and rebrand the organisation. He is now Mayor of Aberystwyth, and represents Penparcau on the town's council.
Don’t forget that you have until the 8th October to get your nominations in!
This week 2 former Welsh Young Liberals exec members have taken on leadership roles in local government.
Cllr Rhys Taylor, former WYL Policy Officer, representing Gabalfa and Mynachdy, has been elected as the new Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats on Cardiff City Council.
We stand in solidarity with the black lives matter movement and those fighting for justice.
There is more we can all do to stand up to injustice and challenge racism. It's on all of us.
We encourage you to take some time today to listen to and elevate black and other ethnic minority voices and start building a habit of doing so. Please share the resources we share directly from the sources we quote, and not our posts on it.
Here are some good places to start:
Next year’s Senedd elections will be the first in which 16 and 17 year olds and legally resident foreign nationals are allowed to vote in Wales, in a major expansion of the franchise following the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020.
This is a major step forward for Wales, although work still needs to be done to ensure that young people are heard at all levels of government.
With so many decisions taken now having a direct impact on young people's future, it is crucial that the politicians of today listen to young people and act. Welsh Young Liberals Chair, Chloe Hutchinson said "From the climate emergency to Brexit, to the long term recovery from COVID-19, it is young people that will be most severely affected. I hope this change means that their voices are listened to."
Nominations for the Welsh Young Liberal by-elections are now open. The deadline for nominations is 11:59pm on the 7th June. Voting will open on the 8th June, and close at 12pm on the 18th June.
There are vacancies for:
- Policy Officer
- Campaigns Officer
- Communications Officer
To apply, please e-mail [email protected] with your name, membership number, and a PDF of your manifesto. We especially welcome applications from those from diverse backgrounds and fluent Welsh speakers.
Manifestos can be up to 2 sides of A4, for both an English and Welsh version. You can read more about the roles here and see examples of past manifestos here. If you want to discuss the roles further, please contact the exec by e-mail or social media. Campaigning must not begin before the close of nominations.
You are welcome to campaign in the Welsh Young Liberals Facebook group and use the hashtag #WYLelects on Twitter.
Cllr Liz Evans is our Returning Officer and can be contacted at [email protected]
Our website has been a little bit neglected recently, so what better time to tidy it up a bit than now! We've updated all our exec pages, made finding important guides and documents easier, brought back the news section, and created a new page to celebrate our achievements.
But we still need your help! We know that our members and groups do fantastic things and we want to highlight that.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are holding an election to elect a new leader for the party. This election could prove vital to the future of the Welsh Party as, following disappointing results in both the local and general elections, a fresh new vision and drive is need to take the Welsh Lib Dems into the coming years and the next elections. Who are you backing?