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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
'Vote at 16' move backed by SNP
Ballot Box
The power to vary the voting age lies with Westminster, not Holyrood
Proposals to lower the voting age to 16 have been unanimously backed at the SNP annual conference.

The move has carried strong support among party members, although powers to alter the age, currently set at 18, are reserved to Westminster.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already called for a debate on whether 16-year-olds should have a vote.

But the conference, the SNP's first since its election win, called for voting powers to be handed to Holyrood.

Delegates in Aviemore also unanimously backed a resolution welcoming the SNP administration's "national conversation" white paper on the country's constitutional future.

CONFERENCE AGENDA, DAY TWO
1000 BST - Conference resumes
1030 - Resolutions on independence and voting at 16
1130 - Donaldson Lecture, Rob Brown and Stephen Maxwell
1215 - President's Prize
1400 - Topical and emergency resolutions
1430 - Resolutions on writers museum, broadcasting, terror laws, Scottish civil service, council bylaws to ban air guns and sexual offences against children
1510 - Speech by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon
1540 - Resolutions

In other debates, a motion urging a ban on airguns in Scotland was passed unanimously.

The conference noted that airgun attacks injured 143 people in Scotland last year and 675 of the 1,245 firearms offences involved air weapons.

Also, MP Pete Wishart called for control of broadcasting to be passed from Westminster to Scotland.

Mr Wishart, the Nationalist broadcasting spokesman, said power over this area should "never ever" have been reserved to London.

He told the conference: "The continued London control of Scottish broadcasting has been an unmitigated disaster for Scottish broadcasting, what we have seen is erosion of jobs and skills, decline in our infrastructure and decline in our market share and programming."

A resolution demanding that broadcasting cease to be a reserved power was passed by the conference, as was a motion welcoming plans by the Scottish Government to create a separate Scottish civil service.

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