Posted on: Wednesday 9 February 2022
Young people will get the chance to have their say in who their next councillors will be in this year's local elections.
It's the first time people aged between 16 and 18 have been able to vote in the elections in May, which will select councillors for Torfaen County Borough Council and community councils.
This week, a video by Torfaen Council featuring young people from across the borough will be sent to schools to help raise awareness of the elections on Thursday 5 May.
They have also recorded social media messages, including 16-year-old Lola, from St Albans RC High School, in Pontypool, who said: "We all have our own views on how we can shape our local area.
"I registered to vote online when I was 15. It was quick, simple and easy and and I'm excited to vote at the next elections in May. Use your views by registering to vote."
And Evan, 15, who said: "It takes less than five minutes to register to vote, it can be done online and has many benefits, including improving your credit score. This can help when buying a mobile contract or car finance."
Members of Torfaen Youth Forum are also taking part in the UK Youth Parliament Make Your Mark campaign this month to encourage 11-16-year-olds to be part of the democratic process.
Caroline Genever-Jones, Torfaen Council's elections manager, said: "This is the first time 16 and 17-year-olds have been able to vote in local elections.
"Last year, nearly half of all over 16s in Wales registered to vote for the first time in the Senedd elections. We are hoping even more young people will register and vote in these elections."
This week, Household Notice Letters will be sent to all properties to ensure everyone who is eligible is on the register.
Anyone over the age of 14 can sign up to the electoral register in Wales. You must be registered by Thursday 14 April to vote in these elections. You can register at www.gov.uk/register/to/vote. For information about how to vote, visit our website.
There is still time to stand as a candidate for election. To register and request a nomination pack, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01495 7622002. The closing date for nominations is Friday 1 April.
You can watch the video here. Follow #TorfaenLocalElections2022 and #useyourviews on social media for all the latest information about the elections.