Statement from ERS Cymru for immediate release, 1st February 2017
For more information, quotes, or to arrange an interview, contact Dr Owain ap Gareth, ERS Cymru Research and Campaigns Officer, on Owain.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07771661802 (English and Welsh)
Commenting on the National Assembly for Wales’ new Panel on Electoral Reform, Dr Owain ap Gareth, Campaigns and Research Officer for the Electoral Reform Society Cymru (ERS Cymru) said:
“We welcome the Assembly’s announcement of this independent panel. This is a vital step forward for Welsh democracy and paves the way for a stronger Senedd.
“Over the next few years issues such as Brexit will have significant impact on Wales, so the Assembly needs to have the sufficient numbers to deal with the challenges that will come along with this. It is clear that the current arrangements of the Assembly cannot respond to the demands that will be placed upon it, so it’s right that this is being looked at.
“Our report ‘Reshaping the Senedd’  has already looked at the principles that should underpin this process, and we believe that more Assembly Members under a good and fair electoral system is fundamental in ensuring we have a democracy fit for the people of Wales at such an important time. Now is the time to boost both the capacity and calibre of the National Assembly for Wales at this crucial constitutional moment.
“With votes at 16 having secured cross-party consensus in Wales, following its success in Scotland, it’s positive that this team of experts will look at how to deliver on extending the franchise. This change has the potential to transform how our young people engage with Welsh democracy, particularly if delivered alongside effective citizenship education in our schools and colleges.
“Finally, while we are fully supportive of this announcement, there is a need to bring the public along too in these discussions and engage with voters themselves on these key issues. We look forward to supporting the panel in this important work”.
For media enquiries please contact: Dr Owain ap Gareth, ERS Cymru Research and Campaigns Officer, on Owain.email@example.com or 07771661802 (English and Welsh)
Notes to editor
 A link to ERS Cymru and the Wales Governance Centre’s ‘Reshaping the Senedd’ report can be found here: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/publicatio...