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Leanne Wood, Bae watch (December 2017)

(December 01, 2017)

Bae Watch; with Leanne Wood

Leanne Wood AC/AM

Since my election as AM for the Rhondda, I have developed a street surgery system which involves going to a different part of the constituency every Friday to speak to people directly about their issues. I have covered every council ward in the Rhondda at least once so far and am well on course to have covered every home during this Assembly. Over the last year or so I have been making a particular effort to go and speak to a group of people who are marginalised; for example teenagers, pensioners, people with mental health issues and other health problems. The reason for the marginalisation of young people may be down to the fact that voter turnout has traditionally been lower in the 18-25 age bracket, making it easier for decision-makers to ignore their needs. Allowing this voter apathy among young adults is reckless and will pose serious questions for our democracy if it remains unchecked. While it was good to see that more younger people turned out in greater numbers in the recent Westminster election than is usual, it is too early to say if that is an exception to the rule. I very much hope that it signals a turning of the tide and, that in the future, more young people will learn about and participate in politics.

As part of my outreach work with younger people I have been visiting schools to talk about the importance of politics before taking questions. Part of the purpose of the school visits is to listen to the views of young people. I also invite the pupils to take part in a survey and I hope to be able to share the result of that survey soon. The political knowledge and enthusiasm of the pupils taking part is usually to a very high, impressive standard. Young people will engage in politics if they are given a forum where they will be listened to. That’s why it is good to see that a Welsh Youth Parliament will be re-established next year. Many were disappointed when the Labour Government axed the Youth Assembly of Wales in 2014 without any plans for a replacement. This was a regressive move and left Wales as the only country in Europe without an independent youth forum. It is hardly surprising that many young people felt let down and were angered as a result of that decision. While the absence of a youth parliament is in the process of being addressed, I would like to see politics introduced as part of the National Curriculum in Wales. This has happened in Scotland and has had an empowering effect on younger citizens of that country and an invigorating effect on politics. This way, young people would be able to approach the ballot box confidently having been given a broad brush education about devolution and where responsibility lies in the post-devolution political landscape. That can only be a good thing for society and it can only be a good thing for politics.

Leanne Wood,
Leader of Plaid Cymru and Assembly Member for the Rhondda, September 2017

Also from Leanne Wood:

    

Bae watch; September 2017
Bae watch; June 2017
Bae watch; March 2017

Bae watch; December 2016
Bae watch; September 2016

Bae watch; June 2016

Bae watch; March 2016

Bae watch; December 2015
Bae Watch; September 2015
Bae Watch; June 2015
Bae Watch; March 2015
Bae Watch; December 2014
Bae Watch; September 2014
Bae Watch; June 2014
Bae Watch; March 2014
Bae Watch; December 2013
Bae Watch; September 2013
Bae Watch; June 2013
Bae Watch; March 2013
Bae Watch; December 2012
Bae Watch; September 2012
Bae Watch; June 2012
Bae Watch; March 2012
Bae Watch; December 2011
Bae Watch; September 2011
Bae Watch; June 2011

Leanne Wood's contact details:

     Website: http://www.leannewood.org/
     Facebook: Leanne Wood
     Twitter: @LeanneWood

 

cylchgrawn Cymru Culture magazine
Published by/Cyhoeddwyd gan: Caregos Cyf., 2017

 

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