LEGISLATION which could see the voting age allow 16 and 17 year olds vote in Welsh elections, will be discussed at the next joint meeting of standards committees from across North Wales.

That meeting will be held in Mid Wales as Powys County Council’s (PCC) Standards Committee is part of the North Wales Standards Committee Forum.

It will be PCC’s job to organise the agenda and choose a venue for the  forum and it could take place in Welshpool sometime in April.

At PCC’s Standards committee meeting on Wednesday, February 12, chairman and independent member Stephan Hays told members,that they only had a couple of days left to add items to the agenda.

This is because the deadline for submissions is Friday, February 14.

Independent member Christine Mulholland asked: “Is discussing the implications of the draft version of the Local Government and Elections Wales Bill going to be on the agenda?”

PCC democratic services officer, Carol Johnson answered: “That has been suggested by some of the other councils as well.”

“All the ideas will be collected and will be sent to Clive (Pinney) as Monitoring Officer for the council that’s hosting the meeting.

“The agenda will be put together, it needs to be translated and sent out to all standards committees.”

Mr Hayes added: “We have chased the other councils three times,  provisional deadline was before the end of January.

“It was proposed that we have a meeting,towards the end of last year but it wasn’t possible.

“We have canvassed ideas from the other standards committees and one of them was about merging standards committees.

“We’re still in discussions putting ideas together and after this (February 12) meeting we’ll start put and agenda together and hopefully for a meeting possibly in April in or near Welshpool.”

“That fits in better more for the ones from the North.”

He said that they still needed to find a suitable building for the meeting.

It had been suggested at a previous meeting that the forum should be held in Machynlleth.

Nut it was pointed out that Welshpool is easier to reach for the majority of people travelling from North Wales.

The bill is currently at the evidence stage  and includes several aspects that will effect local authorities if if becomes law, amongst them are:

It would allow “principal” council to choose between a first past the post or a single transferable vote voting systems

Encourage greater diversity amongst executive members and establishing a statutory position of chief executive;

It would also give councils the powers to “voluntary merge” and restructure