A CONSULTATION is to be launched into plans to increase the number of AMs in Wales to as many as 90.

This week AMs unanimously backed a proposal to launch a consultation into the proposals of an electoral reform report released in December, which also recommended allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Assembly elections.

The independent report said the 40 constituencies in Wales should be cut in half, with each area represented by between four and six AMs.

This would involve merging Newport East and West, along with Monmouth and Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent and Islwyn, while Caerphilly would merge with Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.

Each of these would be represented by either four or five AMs.

Regional AMs would be scrapped entirely

Presiding officer Elin Jones said: "Now, we will start a conversation with the people of Wales about their hopes and ambitions for their Parliament."

The consultation will be launched next week, with full details to be confirmed.