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#Wales2016: Here's What Candidates Said About The Issues That Matter To Young People - In Cardiff South & Penarth

Postiwyd gan cardiffyouthcouncil o Caerdydd - Cyhoeddwyd ar 04/05/2016 am 17:39
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We at Cardiff Youth Council (CYC) decided to question the Welsh Assembly candidates of Cardiff on issues raised by you, young people in Cardiff - ahead of 5th May's election.

Using these issues highlighted by young people, we devised a series of questions for each of Cardiff’s 28 Assembly Candidates representing 7 different parties, across four different constituencies, to record their responses in this Special 2016 Welsh Assembly Election Edition Shout-out.

Here are the responses for Cardiff South & Penarth.

CYC have worked with young people across the city to highlight the following priorities in 2016:

·       A curriculum which prepares us for life

·       High quality mental health services

·       Tackling racism & religious discrimination

·       The Living Wage for all

·       A reduced voting age to 16 

“In no more than 500 words, please explain how you intend to address these issues if elected.”

Anthony Slaughter – Green Party

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss our policies.

Wales Green Party is the only party in this election to publish a specific Youth Manifesto, as well as an LGBTIQ+ manifesto. We have a rapidly growing membership here in Wales with many new younger members and this vital document was written by our young members to specifically address issues important to young people. This manifesto covers a wide range of policies including votes at 16, free higher education, more apprenticeships, free bus passes for the under 21s, better LGBTIQ+ education in schools amongst others. On education and the curriculum; we believe that everyone should have access to a full education for free, for life. Throughout your education, wherever you study the curriculum must equip you to live a full and rewarding life and should include health and wellbeing, mental health issues and managing personal finances. On mental health; we need to see an end to the stigmatisation of mental health issues and we need to see parity of access and resources with those that are available to those with physical health issues. Diagnoses, support and care must be equally funded and available throughout Wales and should be available in Welsh if required.

Racism and religious discrimination have no place in our society and should never be tolerated. We must tackle bullying in all forms and fight against racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexual harassment and all other discriminatory behaviour based on intolerance. We need to provide better education and more support and advice around these issues in schools.

We believe that the minimum wage should be a genuine living wage and should apply equally to all with no age related discrimination. We also oppose any compulsory application of zero hours contracts.

Votes at 16 has long been Green Party policy and should be a fundamental right. It would help create a healthier democracy, enhance social inclusion and empower active participation by all in our society. We also believe there is a need for better education in schools on the political process and how we are governed to help enable genuine democratic participation.

Ben Gray – Conservatives 

Thank you for your email on behalf of Cardiff Youth Council.

A curriculum which prepares us for life. We agree that learning life skills are an important part of education. Therefore, a Welsh Conservative Government will work with schools to focus on the importance of skills such as financial education and the study of home economics, helping students to prepare for life once they leave home. Furthermore, we would introduce emergency lifesaving skills and public health education into the curriculum.

High Quality Mental Health Services. Mental health support for children and young people has long been ineffective in Wales. Many young people are left without any support at all, which has major repercussions. We also have concerns that, when transferring between services as children come into adulthood, young people often get lost in the system and lose out on essential support. Therefore, a Welsh Conservative Government would increase the capacity of mental health services for children and young people, so that they are fully supported throughout their treatment.

Tackling racism and religious discrimination. Wales needs strong, resilient and harmonious communities that can respond effectively to the increasing pace and scale of economic, social and cultural change in the 21st Century. Therefore, Welsh Conservatives will adopt a zero tolerance policy to hate crimes and bullying. Furthermore, we will work with faith communities to support community cohesion and tackle extremism. This approach includes empowering local communities to tackle extremist ideologies and working with communities to reduce barriers to cohesion and integration.

The Living Wage for all. The introduction of the National Living Wage and the increase in tax free personal allowance are essential parts of the UK Government’s plan to move towards a higher wage, lower tax, and lower welfare society and we support this aim. On extending this to people between the ages of 16-25, the Low Pay Commission has recommended that the National Minimum Wage is the highest possible level it can be without starting to cost young people their jobs. This is because unemployment is higher among those aged 16-24 compared with those who are 25 and over. Therefore, we could not support its extension at present.

A reduced voting age to 16. In the run up to the 2015 General Election, a survey of 16-25 year olds and found that, if they were able to, 83% would have voted in the General Election. Clearly this shows a lot of young people are interested in politics and we should ensure that they continue to be engaged. Welsh Conservatives do not agree with reducing the voting age to 16, as we do not think that this alone will help increase political engagement. Instead, we want to introduce a Localism & Citizenship Bill, which would ex-tend the duty of paying due regard to children’s rights to all public bodies. Furthermore, we would ensure that Ministers in the Welsh Assembly receive a 10% pay cut, and the money saved would be fund a National Children and Young People’s Assembly, which would involve young people more in the political process.

I hope this is of assistance and thank you again for taking the time to write to me.

Dafydd Trystan Davies – Plaid Cymru

A curriculum which prepares us for life

Plaid Cymru wants to improve the quality of education for young people. In the early years we will emphasise the value of play and creative learning. We want young people to leave school with two or three languages to open up new opportunities. In the school environment we want support for the development of a respect and inclusion culture to tackle racism, bullying, homophobia and sexual harassment. We will ensure that financial education is incorporated into the school curriculum so that children learn about budgeting, consumer rights, and the importance of financial planning.

Opportunities for vocational and academic skills are equally important. Finally we will make sure that students have the opportunity to study in college and university with financial support.

High quality mental health services

Plaid Cymru will increase spending on Mental Health services and improve access to trained counsellors and therapists.

We will ensure there are sufficient emergency mental health care beds and no police cell should be used for this purpose.

We will tackle the unacceptably long waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, and ensure that transition to Adult services is improved.

Plaid Cymru will aim to ensure that Wales becomes a world leader in the rehabilitation and treatment of those with eating disorders, by establishing a specialist residential centre for people with eating disorders.

Tackling racism & religious discrimination

We declare everyone who lives in Wales, whatever their language, the colour of their skin, their religion, their roots, their gender or sexual orientation, as a full and equal citizen of Wales.

Plaid Cymru will fight for a Wales in which everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, and diversity is embraced and respected. Everyone should be able to feel safe and respected within their communities. We will work with Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure that all hate crime, including homophobic, racist and anti-disability hate crime, is treated as a serious offence by Welsh police forces.

The Living Wage for all

Plaid Cymru will ensure that all public sector workers in Wales and those in the private sector, who work for business in receipt of public money, earn a real living wage.

We will use the freedoms provided under the new Public Contracts Directive to achieve maximum social and environmental benefits, including payment of the Welsh Living Wage for all employees. We will also seek to expand and extend the role of the social sector in the provision of public services and goods.

Those looking after our frail and vulnerable are too often the most underpaid and undervalued in our health and care system. This will change. Care workers will be registered, will be given the time to care and will be paid the Living Wage for doing so. Zero hour contracts will be banned and home care visits will be no shorter than 30 minutes for primary visits.

A reduced voting age to 16

Plaid Cymru will pass a law for voting at 16 for National Assembly and local government elections. We will also establish a National Youth Parliament and work with voluntary organisations to improve the representation of women and ethnic minorities in politics, and also any other underrepresented groups or communities.

Nigel Howells - Liberal Democrats

A curriculum which prepares us for life

Teachers can teach at their best when they have the freedom to innovate. Teachers and experts know better than politicians what should be included in the school curriculum, and where they need flexibility. We will establish an Educational Standards Authority (‘ESA’) to set the curriculum content in Wales, independent of government interference and run by experts in the field. We would set direction for the ESA to develop a ‘curriculum for life’ covering issues such as financial literacy; physical and mental first aid; political education and citizenship; coding; and age-appropriate sex and relationship education, tackling issues of gender identity, sexuality, consent and healthy relationships.

High quality mental health services

One in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year. For too long, mental health has been stigmatised and ignored. We strongly believe mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health and are determined to give it the equal attention it deserves and commit to ending mental health discrimination. We will:

* Legislate for parity of esteem between mental and physical health.

* Seek to increase the relative size of mental health spending to match the needs of the population. * Set waiting time targets and invest in access to therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

* Reduce waiting times for children waiting for an appointment with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Tackling racism & religious discrimination

Opportunities are not equally distributed in modern Wales. Your ethnicity, health, sexuality and gender still too often affect your chances in life, educational attainments, work prospects, how you are treated by the police and the justice system, and even how long you will live. That must change. There is a need for further legislative, regulatory and educational measures to keep moving towards a fairer Wales that works for everyone. It is also vital that in an inclusive modern economy, all of our citizens have the opportunity to get on in life regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or disability. We will:

* Introduce a presumption that every public appointment shortlist should include non-male and BAME candidates, and establish an independent committee to monitor public appointments and verify the independence of the appointment process.

* Challenge discrimination in the justice system by promoting representation within the police from BAME groups.

* Support schools in tackling discrimination against refugees and asylum seekers.

The Living Wage for all

We would move towards the Welsh public sector becoming a Living Wage employer. and use procurement tools to drive up wages elsewhere.

A reduced voting age to 16

Our voting system needs to change, to deliver maximum power to voters. We will lower the voting age in Wales to 16, strengthen citizenship education, establish a National Youth Assembly for Wales and introduce a fair voting system.

In 2001, we were the first party in the UK to publically support extending the franchise to all 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections.

What is Cardiff Youth Council? Cardiff Youth Council is the official network for young people aged 11-25. We advocate for positive change in Cardiff to make the city a better place to live, work and play.

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Events // May 2016 theSprout Editorial Group (SEG) Meeting

Organisations // Cardiff Youth Council

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