Quick guide to the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021

Published 18/10/2021   |   Last Updated 18/10/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 was passed by Senedd Cymru on 18 November 2020. It received Royal Assent on 20 January 2021.

The Welsh Government’s stated purpose for the Act, as noted in its Explanatory Memorandum, is to ‘provide local government with new ways to support and serve their communities’ and to ‘reinvigorate local democracy in Wales’.

The Act makes changes to the legislative framework for local government elections, democracy, performance and governance. A key provision in the Act is the extension of the right to vote in local elections for 16 and 17-year-olds and foreign citizens legally resident in Wales. This change in the franchise mirrors the provisions in the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020, which extended voting rights for Senedd elections.

This research briefing provides an overview of the key provisions in the Act.

Article by Osian Bowyer, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament