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

Postiwyd gan cardiffyouthcouncil o Caerdydd - Cyhoeddwyd ar 04/05/2016 am 13:10
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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 Central.

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.”

Glyn Wise – Plaid Cymru

My name is Glyn Wise the Cardiff Central candidate for Plaid Cymru. I’m 28 which is relatively young in the world of politics, but I thoroughly believe in bringing the voting age down to 16, if you can pay taxes, get married, have children and fight for your country Plaid Cymru believes you should have a say in the matter.

We want to establish a national youth parliament in Wales as the SNP have done in Scotland. We believe the future of Wales is in the hands of the youth and Wales is the only country in Europe that does not have a national youth parliament in place. This follows Labour’s decision to cut funding for Wales’ national youth parliament, the Funky Dragon, in 2014.

A youth parliament could inform policies and legislation in Wales and could also help increase young people’s participation in democracy. Young people are less likely to be registered to vote and less likely to go out and vote than older people. However, the amount of young people who registered and turned out to vote in the Scottish independence referendum shows that many are interested and can be engaged in politics. 16 and 17 year olds were allowed to vote for the first time in Scottish referendum and 110,000 of the 130,000 young people of that age registered to vote.

The Scottish experience shows that it’s right for plaid Cymru to call for young people’s voices to be heard through lowering the voting age to 16.

We have welcomed Donaldson’s review of the National Curriculum and his recommendations for developing young people as “ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world” and “healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.” This means that citizenship education in schools will need to be improved.

For young people we will guarantee employment, education or training guarantee for every person under the age of 25. We will guarantee a world class education and a wide range of learning pathways. We will guarantee 50,000 apprenticeships schemes which will be full time or part time, depends on what suits you.

Plaid Cymru will fight for a living wage for all. This will guarantee everyone’s general wellbeing. Nobody deserves to be on the bread line.

Plaid Cymru is the party of equality. We welcome everyone here in Wales. We tackle racism and religious discrimination. We also believe in acceptance without question for all LGBT people. We want to and end the twelve month blood donation for all gay men. We will work with schools to end homophobia, racism and discrimination.

We recognise that health starts with mental health. We will tackle the unacceptable long waiting times to access mental health services. Improve access to mental health services in our communities. Increase spending on mental health services by £68m each year of the next Assembly term. We will support the ‘time to change’ campaign against prejudice towards those with mental health services.

Jane Croad – Independent

A curriculum which prepares us for life

Class sizes will be reduced to a teach- pupil ration of 1: 12, this will allow teachers to adapt their teaching better to each pupil and give more direction as to what the students should be focussing on and more support in making the best of their skills and talent.

The only way Wales is going to succeed is to have young people who are interested in improving their skills and who have confidence that they can achieve their ambitions and that the help is there for them to do that.

Funding will be prioritised for schools , colleges for vocational skills and Universities to give young people confidence in the educational system and have confidence that path they choose will be supported with enough funds to allow them to focus on studying and practicing in whatever area they choose.

High quality mental health services

The mental health services will be funded so they are as easy to access as if you have a physical health problem. In school, college and University mental health services will be available for all ages to access without intervention from anyone other than the young person who seeks help.

There will be specialist units for young people if they need residential care, that can adapt to what they need and supplement the care with other services, such as education, careers advice and general life skills if they need support .

Tackling racism & religious discrimination

This can only be taught through education from an early age, so children and young people can a good understanding of the different races and religions and respect for the differences. Also understanding the destructive results of racism and discrimination on individuals and groups.

The Living Wage for all

A living wage for anyone working should be introduced so there is fairness and young people are not unvalued or exploited. Lower wages for young people would only be allowed in circumstances when the work was part of a training scheme such as an apprenticeship and this would only be allowable if the completion of the training scheme would guarantee a job with a higher than average wage as the end of the training.

A reduced voting age to 16

16 year old should be given the vote. Political training should be part of the school curriculum and should include who is eligible to stand for election and guidance and encouragement for young people to get involved in politics and stand for election. 

Jenny Rathbone – Labour

Welsh Labour’s extra £100 million for schools is to implement the Donaldson proposals for a world class 21st century curriculum, concentrating on giving every learner the core communication, numeracy and digital competency skills and how to apply them to real life situations. Teachers will be liberated from teaching to a test to use their imagination and their pedagogy to support pupils’ learning. This will give future generations in Wales the skills needed to compete in our global economy rather than cramming their heads with facts.

I am very proud of what the revolutionary Mental Health Measure has already achieved in the last 5 years. We need to keep going. There’s some wonderful work been done in some Cardiff Central schools to give young people emotional intelligence and resilience; the Roots of Empathy programme or similar need to be rolled out across all schools. Self-referral to counselling in schools is important and must continue.

It is well established that increased inequality increases mental illness, so it is no surprise that there has been a spike in people suffering mental illness in line with the rich getting richer and ordinary people seeing cuts in their wages and benefits, particularly since the UK Coalition Government decided to implement public sector cuts in response to the bankers blowout of 2008 rather than re-regulating the banks to prevent them repeating their criminal speculative behaviour.

Admitting people to hospital should be a last resort for a patient’s safety or the safety of others. There need to be more talking therapists available at an earlier stage of people’s distress.

The causes of eating disorders are complex and are an expression of the disordered world we live in where the food industry spends billions on promoting harmful processed food, full of fat, sugar and salt and one third of all food is thrown away before it reaches the plate.

I celebrate the multi-faith work going on in Cardiff Central to get people talking to and understanding each other, e.g. the “Women and Religion” discussion at Dar Ul Isra mosque between Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of no particular faith. It is essential that all public services apply the law equitably and we deal with racism and sexism in the police and other services. It should not have taken 27 years to get justice for the 96 who died at Hillsborough. Tackling anti-Semitism should not be used as an excuse for turning a blind eye to the apartheid regime in Israel and some wonderful work has been done by Jews across the world in the run up to Passover.

A Living Wage for all is essential to improve mental well-being across the UK. The Well Being of Future Generations Act 2015 provides Wales with the framework for action to meet our global responsibilities. There was a majority for Votes at 16 in the 4th Assembly and I expect that to be the case in the 5th Assembly. We just need the powers to implement Votes at 16.

Joel Williams – Conservatives

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

Please find below the Welsh Conservative position on the points you raise. 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 extend 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.

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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