Youth parliament for Wales consultation launched

Media caption,
Elin Jones goes back to her old school in Lampeter to urge pupils to back the idea

A youth parliament for Wales will help children come up with ideas that will "inspire us all", the presiding officer has said.

Elin Jones was launching the formal consultation on a plan backed by all parties in the assembly last October.

Young people will be asked for their views on the youth parliament's name, aim, membership, role and values.

"Children and young people have the right to take part [in politics] as citizens now," Ms Jones said.

The Youth Assembly for Wales - known as Funky Dragon - closed in 2014 after the Welsh Government withdrew funding, prompting concern about the lack of an initiative to engage young people in politics.

"Our duty is not only to today's voters, but to all citizens whose lives the assembly touches," the presiding officer said, launching the consultation at her former school in Lampeter, Ceredigion, on Friday.

Media caption,
Pupils at Elin Jones's old school in Lampeter say it will allow their voices to be heard

Ideas have already been gathered from a steering group which includes the children's commissioner, charities, the National Union of Students and groups such as the Scouts, Guides, young farmers and the Urdd.

"Children and young people will inspire us all to think differently about our nation's future," Ms Jones added.

"They often think of original ideas and provide valuable perspectives to complex issues.

"We must provide support for them to discuss issues they care about, find ways for them to influence, and, above all, we must listen."

Consultation events will be held across Wales from 13 May to 30 June.

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