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Home / Latest News / Cardiff Council votes to support smacking ban for Wales

Cardiff Council votes to support smacking ban for Wales

Cardiff council last night voted to throw its support behind a campaign to ban smacking in Wales.

Councillors voted overwhelming to accept a motion which called for children to be given the same protection as adults under the law on assault.

The Labour-run authority’s children’s services boss said he hoped it would put pressure on the Welsh Government to make smacking a crime.

The Labour Welsh Government has previously said it will not consider a ban until after the next election in 2016. The motion to last night’s full council meeting means the authority will sign a joint statement of support to implement “equal protection for children in Wales”.

Splott’s Labour councillor Gretta Marshall, who proposed the motion, said a parent hitting its child was “abhorrent in a civilised society”.

“We are asking for children to have the same rights as adults – it’s a no-brainer,” she said.

Councillor Julia Magill, cabinet member for education, said a ban on smacking was “long overdue” and parents who hit their children taught them the wrong message.

But Rhiwbina’s Independent councillor Jayne Cowan said: “I am sure that we would all want to see parents protect their children from violence and pain, but we cannot interfere in how parents bring up their children.”

Plasnewydd’s Labour councillor Sue Lent said: “Those who regard children as a possession and that the state should not interfere should think again.

“As councillors we have a duty to protect children.”

Following the debate, 43 councillors voted to support the call for a smacking ban, 12 voted “no” and eight abstained.

Councillor Richard Cook, cabinet member for children’s services, said he hoped the motion would put pressure on the Welsh Government to consider introducing a ban before 2016 or for Labour to include it in its election manifesto.

“I hoped that this will pressurise the Welsh Government to take this [issue] out of the ‘long grass’,” Coun Cook, himself a parent of two daughters, said.

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