The creation of a new Youth Parliament for Wales could end up being a “missed opportunity” – Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies has warned.
Mr Davies – a supporter of the concept of the Youth Parliament – slammed several aspects of the proposals that he said would go against the project’s aims and cause “further alienation and confusion”.
Under the plans – the Youth Parliament will be split into four electoral regions – rather than the five the Assembly operates under.
The Vale of Glamorgan has been placed into the South West Wales region – while Montgomeryshire is included in North Wales – a situation Mr Davies described as “absurd”.
He has written to the Presiding Officer expressing concerns his concerns – claiming that rather than engage more young people into politics the plans would only serve to increase the disconnect between them.
Mr Davies said, “I am a strong supporter of the concept of a Youth Parliament – which I believe is vital to engage more young people with the political and democratic processes in Wales.
“But it seems frankly absurd that rather than mirror the existing political structures and institutions – the format will be completely different.
“It will only serve to increase confusion – and cause people to not take the new scheme seriously.
“It makes no sense for the Vale to be included in South West Wales – and Montgomeryshire to be in North Wales. It seems to have been done on the basis of convenience instead of a desire to increase engagement.
“I have informed the Presiding Officer of my concerns and I hope action will be taken to address them. This is an exciting opportunity and one that we do not want to miss.”