Politics

Mental health, climate change, inequality: the priorities for Welsh future generations

The Welsh Future Generations Commissioner launched a manifesto calling on politics to act on climate change and inequality

The Democracy Box's Josh White (Blank Face); Lola Evans; Katherine Rees; Tess Honorwood; Emily Mae Jones; and Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe, send a message ahead of the local elections

The Democracy Box's Josh White (Blank Face); Lola Evans; Katherine Rees; Tess Honorwood; Emily Mae Jones; and Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe, send a message ahead of the local elections

Young people in Wales are calling on politicians to act in the interests of future generations – by improving mental health services, acting on climate injustice and reducing social inequality. 

With just five weeks until Wales goes to the polls in local elections, Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe has launched a forward-looking manifesto developed with young people across Wales.  

Eva Franklin,16, was among those who contributed. She said: “Our voices as young people are so important because we are the future, so we should speak up about issues in order to shape the best future for us to inherit.

“I will be able to vote for the first time in the upcoming local elections and it is crucial that young people like me get to the polls and have our say because it is the most direct way to have your voices heard.” 

24-year-old musician Josh Whyte, who performs as Blank Face, was another of the young voices who shaped the manifesto.

“This manifesto supports us in our careers,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to work on projects and gives us a platform to express our feelings.”

Howe is the UK’s first Future Generations Commissioner. Her role is to protect the interests of future generations, under Wales’ Well-being of Future Generations Act. She said it was vital that young people have an opportunity to shape their future.

“Our manifesto is co-created by young people based around the issues that matter to them. We’re calling on all our council candidates to hear the voice of young people and make sure that they are acting not just in the interest of older generations but in the interest of younger generations too,” she added.

“With smart policy-making, the problems of both the present and the future can be addressed at the same time, and making these connections is vital.”

The full manifesto is available online here.

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