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Votes at 16 receives Royal Assent in Wales 16 and 17 year olds were officially granted

the right to vote for Welsh Assembly (Senedd) elections on 15 January, after the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act receives Royal Assent. This legislation was officially entered onto the statute book in Wales – the biggest change to the franchise in Wales since the reduction of the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1969. It follows

campaigning from ERS Cymru

and a coalition of youth and civil society campaigners.

A separate piece of legislation is currently progressing through the Senedd on extending the right to vote for 16- and 17-year olds for the next Welsh local government elections, due to take place in 2022.

Transport for Wales is pleased to announce that they’ve renewed over a half a million concessionary bus passes. Over the past few months, Transport for Wales has been managing the reissue programme on behalf of Welsh Government and all Welsh local authorities to replace all over 60s and disabled persons’ bus passes with new- style Concessionary Travel Cards. Te original expiry date for the old bus passes was 31 December 2019, however, last month TfW announced a period of grace and is urging those who’ve yet to apply to do so as soon as possible, before the February 29 deadline. Recent figures reveal that 67% of all existing active card holders have made an online application to renew and 83% of users of cards in the last 12 months have also made an online application. Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport said: “Tis is an important milestone and one that demonstrates the scale of the work that has been undertaken so far. Te grace period is ongoing and once again I would like to

encourage anyone who hasn’t renewed to apply and ensure you can continue to benefit from the bus pass in the long- term.” James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “It’s great that we’ve renewed over half a million bus passes and I’d like to thank everyone who has applied so far. Our figures indicate that we are making good progress in our renewal programme, however, can those who have not yet applied, please do so before the January 31 deadline. “Transport for Wales is transforming transport throughout Wales and creating a unified transport network is one of the key objectives. We recently launched the new Metro Infrastructure Hub at Treforest which will play a fundamental role in creation of the Metro, which will include better integration with bus services in the future. Applying online is simple and easy.


takes around 10 minutes at www.tfw. wales/travelcards. Paper applications are available from local councils or by calling 0300 303 4240.

The Electoral Reform Society have said this was a ‘momentous day in the campaign for a fairer franchise’, with Wales joining Scotland in introducing votes at 16/17. 16 and 17 year olds can also vote in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. Jess Blair, Director of ERS Cymru said: “This is a real step forward for young people across Wales, and a real campaign victory. 16 and 17 year olds will now rightly have a say over critical issues that affect their future, such as health, education and the economy. As we’ve already seen in Scotland, this is a boost for our democracy as a whole – strengthening citizenship and boosting political engagement.”

Tesco grant gives helping hand to Maggies

A Cardiff-based organi- sation working to support people with cancer has received a £10,000 grant from a special Centenary voting round of Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme. Te funding from Tesco has allowed Maggie’s Cardiff to provide extra practical and emotional support for people with cancer, as well as their family and friends. With

backgrounds in

the study and treatment of tumours and years of experience within the NHS, Maggie’s Cancer support specialists help people with a wide range of a cancer diagnosis. Tey can explain test results and help

people understand

how best to support a family member. Rachael Davies, Centre

Fundraising Manager at Maggie’s Cardiff, said: “We are so grateful to Tesco for its support and to everyone who took the time to vote. We rely almost entirely on voluntary donations to be able to support people to live well with cancer. “Our centre in Cardiff has been open since May and provides a calm space away from the hospital where you can meet people who understand what you’re going through or just take a moment to gather your thoughts. We help people take back control when cancer turns life upside down, with support for anything from treatment, side effects, or even money worries.” Bags of Help, run in partnership with

Groundwork, sees funding awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. So far, Bags of Help has awarded more than £5m to groups across Wales since it launched in 2016. Customers cast their Bags of Help votes for local good causes by using blue tokens handed out at checkout points in their local store. Tesco marked its Centenary year with two special Bags of Help funding rounds, with a huge £100,000 funding pot in South East Wales. Te first of these special rounds concentrated on groups delivering health and wellbeing benefits. Further information is available at www.tesco. com/bagsofelp.



In this unique feature documentary, titled David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, the celebrated naturalist reflects upon both the defining moments of his lifetime and the devastating changes he has seen. Coming to cinemas on 16 April, the film addresses some of the biggest challenges facing life on our planet, providing a snapshot of global nature loss in a single lifetime. With it comes a powerful message of hope for future generations as Attenborough reveals the solutions to help save our planet from disaster.

His message comes at a critical time, when nature is sounding its alarm for united action.

The film has been produced by award-winning wildlife film-makers Silverback Films and global environmental organisation WWF. It will be broadcast in cinemas on Thursday 16 April 2020, live from the world premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Viewers will also see Attenborough joined live on stage by very special guests for a discussion on some of the most prevalent issues raised in the film.

Tickets are now on sale for cinemas across the UK, as well as the Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia and New Zealand. To find your local cinema and to register for updates, visit

The film will be released globally on Netflix in spring 2020.

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