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Put your views to good use

We all want to see positive change in Wales.

And while it’s pointless muttering at the dog about the litter in your street – and moaning into your laptop isn’t going to increase local job opportunities – there are plenty of positive things that you can do to make a difference. 

From voting in the Senedd elections, responding to a consultation, to contacting your representatives and signing or starting a petition, there are lots of ways you can get involved. You could even stand for election to represent your community.

Vote in elections

More people can now vote in Welsh elections than ever before.

If you’re aged 16 or over, and you live in Wales, you can now vote in Senedd (Welsh Parliament) and local government elections.

The next local government elections will take place in May 2022.

You must register to be able to vote. Registration is simple, you can do this by using the UK Digital Registration service or by contacting your local registration office.

Respond to a consultation

Many public bodies run consultations to get your thoughts and opinions on a particular subject.

Consultations are an opportunity for you to say what you think and suggest different ideas. You can comment on the whole consultation or just a part of it that means a lot to you.

At the end of the consultation all of the responses are considered and can shape future decisions in areas such as climate change, education or local services.

Find out what is currently being consulted on by the Welsh Government and the Senedd.

For local authority consultations check your council’s webpage and social media channels.

Contact your representatives

Representatives are elected officials at different levels of government who represent you and your community.

You can contact your representative to discuss issues that are important to you.

Members of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)

Members of the Senedd (MS) are elected by the people of Wales. They represent people living within the constituency or region they have been elected to serve. 

Find out who your Member of the Senedd is and how to contact them.

The Senedd makes laws for Wales and has a wide range of powers over areas including:

  • economic development
  • transport
  • finance
  • local government
  • health
  • housing
  • Welsh language
  • Welsh taxes.

In the Senedd, you are represented by one regional MS and one constituency MS.

Welsh Government

The Welsh Government are the devolved government for Wales. Typically, the party with the most Members of the Senedd forms the Government.

The Welsh Government consists of:

  • the First Minister
  • Welsh Ministers
  • the Counsel General

They are supported by civil servants who work across devolved areas that include key areas including health, education and the environment.

Councillors

Local authority councillors

Councillors represent the area where you live within your local authority. There are 22 local authorities in Wales. Councils deliver a wide range of services including:

  • planning and building control
  • education
  • trading standards
  • alcohol, entertainment and gambling licensing
  • health and safety
  • libraries, leisure and tourism
  • environmental health, refuse and recycling
  • transport and highways
  • housing
  • social services.

Find your local councillor.

Town and community councillors

There are 735 town and community councils in Wales with over 8,000 councillors.

Town and community councils represent local communities and deliver a range of services on behalf of the community, such as the maintenance of:

  • community halls
  • bus shelters
  • public spaces
  • play grounds.

Details of any town and community councils in your area can be found on your council website.

Members of Parliament

You can also contact your local Member of Parliament about issues that are the responsibility of the UK Government, such as:

  • foreign affairs
  • defence and national security
  • immigration.

Find out who your local Member of Parliament is and how to contact them.

Start or sign a petition

If you feel strongly about an issue you could sign a petition or even start one of your own.

Petitions can raise awareness of an issue and encourage politicians to take notice. With enough support an issue can get debated by your representatives and bring about change.

Find out more about petitioning the Senedd, or contact your local authority to find out how to submit petitions for consideration at a local level.

Stand for election

If you care passionately about your community and want to get involved to make change happen, you could stand for election to your local council. Being a councillor is both rewarding and challenging, but can give you the chance to improve people’s lives.

Councillors should reflect people in society so that they can represent the different views in the community and take decisions that benefit everyone.

To fully reflect the diversity of Welsh society, there needs to be people standing for election from a range of backgrounds.

Wales needs more women, people from black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities, LGBTQ+, disabled people and young people as councillors.

Find out more about becoming a councillor.