This is my third occasion writing for Gwydir and in my last article I wrote of the regional division in Wales caused by Welsh Labour writes Gareth Davies
Since being selected as Welsh Conservative candidate for the Vale of Clwyd constituency in December 2018, I’ve had the time and the opportunity to see first-hand the effects of regional imbalance, particularly in coastal towns such as Rhyl and Prestatyn.
I was recently asked by a local news outlet what my message would be to financially struggling families, as the Vale of Clwyd has one of the most deprived areas in Wales contained within it. And my answer was simple.
If we have a Welsh Government that works for every corner of the country, who manages their local health board well so that it can strive to improve the health of the area without languishing in special measures and controversy for half a decade that stimulates poor health provision and quality, if we can fairly and properly fund our local authorities to raise the bar in delivering local services, and if we work with the private sector to deliver sustainable projects in coastal areas that can provide good jobs for local people then this would create a more holistic and prosperous future for many families struggling in the area.
Labour often try to own the subject of poverty as if they’re the purveyors and proprietors of the issue and it’s only them who can provide the shining light for people who are struggling. But I beg to differ and in reality it is they who have let these areas down since devolution and have presided over some of the most damaging and catastrophic decisions to our public services that we all use and rely on. We as Welsh Conservatives have a fantastic opportunity to tackle these issues head on, turn the tide of two decades of incompetence and failure, and really be the party who provides real opportunity to many people in areas such as West Rhyl and Denbigh.
As we near 100 days until polling day for the Senedd elections in Wales, I’m wanting to use this time and opportunity to hammer home my plans and priorities for my local area and North Wales that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on the area and make people feel proud of their surroundings and the country they live in, knowing that their Welsh Conservative Government are fighting their corner at every turn and not just focusing on Cardiff and surrounding areas in the South.
Parts of my plan are as follows:
1. Improving our Health Service and Glan Clwyd Hospital.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been under special measures for five years under a Welsh Labour Government with mental health and GP services suffering as a result. I want to use my eleven years of working in the NHS to improve our local health board, to better serve our area, and bring down patient waiting times for vital treatments.
2. Driving up Education Standards.
Since devolution in 1997 Welsh education standards have fallen to a level which leaves us at the bottom of the table of UK nations in reading, writing, and maths. Wales deserves better and I want to work with the education sector to drive up standards across the board and secure a brighter future for our children.
3. Working with local business.
I want to work with local businesses to ensure their recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and make sure they are represented in the Welsh Parliament as business rates and schemes are a devolved matter to the Welsh Government. Successful business needs good infrastructure and we need to ensure that the North Wales Growth Deal works for Denbighshire businesses in providing good transport links to the area including upgrades to the A55 Expressway and faster broadband speeds.
4. Putting North Wales back on the map.
Under two decades of a Welsh Labour Government devolution hasn’t been working for North Wales and has been pushed further and further back on the agenda in Cardiff Bay with local authority funding being cut year on year to the detriment of our local services. It is my mission to make sure that North Wales is not forgotten and is firmly on the minds of Government Ministers when making important decisions that affect our daily lives.
5. Standing up for the community I care about.
The Vale of Clwyd is the only area I’ve ever lived and where I’ve grown up, been educated, got married, and had children. As a Member of the Senedd for my area I’ll be able to channel my passion and my local knowledge to ensuring our beautiful area is fully represented in Cardiff Bay and secure a better future. I also want to work closely with our Conservative MP Dr James Davies in making sure our area is on the front foot in both Westminster and Cardiff Bay.
Let’s make 2021 the year of the Welsh Conservatives and make inroads to a better and more prosperous future for North Wales after too many years of failure and excuses from Welsh Labour.