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April / May 2011

INSIDE Nerys Evans has her sights set on returning to the Senedd as an Assembly Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. Find out more about Nerys and the other 59 candidates standing for Plaid Cymru on May 5 inside The Welsh Nation......

For a Better Wales Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones told the party’s spring conference that improving the Welsh economy and raising standards in education would be at the heart of the party’s 2011 election campaign. Plaid, he said, would challenge the culture of excuses which had characterised Labour’s years in

sembly term.” Mr Jones said health would feature strongly in the party’s manifesto with plans to increase the accessibility of GPs and dentists to meet the changing needs of our communities. The party had pledged to renegotiate contracts in order to improve local healthcare, he said. “The party is also committed to introducing fast broadband throughout Wales improving mobile reception,” said Mr Jones, “and investing in better transport links to connect the nation through infrastructure development.” Mr Jones told the conference that Plaid would continue to oppose the cuts imposed on Wales by the Con-Lib Dem Government and that Plaid Ministers would shield Wales from the worst effects of the Westminster Government policies. charge in Westminster. “Plaid will not, however, use the “In government we have recogcuts as an excuse for poor pernised that our economy needs to formance and weak delivery improve,” he said. within the Welsh Government,” “We’re setting out clear and inno- he said. vative plans to boost our economic performance by support"Now is the time to transform ing the creation of a dedicated Wales into the country we want it company to invest in essential to be. People expect nothing less capital projects and a Welsh of Plaid Cymru. Growth Fund to invest in indige- “Wales needs a party in governnous businesses. ment that will keep its word and “Our aim will be to create highwill be true to the values it holds value jobs, based on the Ecodear. nomic Renewal Programme I’ve “Wales also needs a party which introduced in government. is not intent on putting up with “We also need to improve stanthings as they are.” dards in education. Far too many Spelling out the choice facing votof our young people leave school ers in Wales, Mr Jones said: not being able to read or write. “Should we allow the other parWe will aim to halve illiteracy ties to manage decline in our key rates by the end of the next Aspublic services?

“Or should we rise to the challenge, meeting the expectations of our people with a Plaid Government and a decade of delivery?” Read more about all Plaid Cymru candidates on pages 4, 5,6, 7 and 8

CONTENTS Conference preview Historic Plaid’s new Referendum President Victory Shouting for Wales Welsh Election Greening the Valleys

Candidate Special featuring 60 Tax-raising all powers candidates backed How to Create SNP book reviewa Better Wales Councillors seek more powers AV Referendum:

the choice is yours!


STEPPING DOWN AFTER FOUR YEARS OF CHANGE AND POLITICAL PROGRESS writes Chief Executive Gwenllian Lansdown

This will be my last column for the Welsh Nation in my role as Chief Executive. I ’m moving (after the election on May 5!) to the rolling hills of Maldwyn where I’ll be getting married in June. The last four years have been an exciting time for Plaid Cymru. For the first time in our history, the party became a party of government through One Wales and the word ‘historic’ was used ad nauseum as huge changes were thrust upon the political landscape of Wales. The crowning glory was winning the referendum on March 3 with most of the work undertaken by Plaid Cymru activists! Our internal party machine also saw many changes. Our party headquarters moved from

an old, five-floor building to a modern, open space closer to the Senedd. We made more use of new media and our presence on-line went from strength to strength. Huge numbers of members joined by direct debit, which gave us unprecedented financial security, and we welcomed an army of young people to Tŷ Gwynfor through our internship scheme. A number of new staff members were appointed, and an interim Development Unit was set up to help development in parts of Wales where we should be doing better. We experienced a number of challenges too. We had a few wobbles as we managed the new experience of being in government. We had also forgotten how voting patterns differed in Westminster elections and we were disappointed as a result. Working for the party over the last four years has been an immense honour. By travelling the country to meet

branches, constituencies and candidates, I have understood that the party is a big family. Of course, there are differences of geography, of culture and of language but one fact remains: Plaid Cymru members are united in their unflinching commitment to our message as a party. If it weren’t for the support of our members at the grassroots, Tŷ Gwynfor staff could not operate effectively. I’d therefore like to thank the staff team in Tŷ Gwynfor, the wider staff team across Wales and beyond who’ve so often responded to our calls for help, the elected members at all levels, the committee members and all those members who give of their time, money and creativity to see Plaid Cymru succeed. I’m confident that Plaid Cymru’s overarching aim will be achieved. This may not happen in my lifetime but happen it will.

CLASH OF POLLS IS AVOIDED Plaid Cymru has today welcomed an unanimous Assembly vote to extend the next Assembly term to five years, avoiding a clash with the next UK General Election in 2015. Because of the Tory LibDem coalition’s decision to fix the term of the Westminster Parliament, the next UKwide election is scheduled to take place on May 7, the same date that had already been fixed for the Welsh election. Dr Dai Lloyd, who chairs the Plaid Cymru Assembly Group, welcomed the vote but criticised the UK Government’s disregard for Welsh democracy. “A clash of elections would have been dangerous for our democracy in Wales as Welsh issues and UK wide issues would have been bundled together and confused,” he said. “It would have been wholly unfair on the Welsh electorate who need to have an unclouded understanding of the issues they are voting on.”

ONE FIGHT WON - ONE FIGHT TO WIN writes Plaid President Jill Evans Four years ago, following the last Assembly election, Plaid Cymru had to make a very difficult decision. We were faced with the choice of entering a coalition government or continuing to fight our corner in opposition. As one of the sceptics at the time, I am more than happy to say we made the right decision. The referendum result on March 3 was a hugely significant moment in Welsh politics, as well as in the progression of Wales as a nation. It was a strong message from the people of Wales. I have been an MEP for Wales for 12 years but since March 3 it’s been different. I am representing a new European nation which has stated that it’s ready to make big decisions without interference from outside its borders. In our 2007 manifesto, we promised the people of Wales we would deliver greater powers for the Assembly. I am very proud that we kept that promise. Now we are setting out our exciting plans for building a better Wales. We are fighting this Welsh General Election to become the Government of Wales. We have proved what we can do as partners in government. Just think how much more we can achieve by forming our own government. A new start for the new Assembly. There’s only one way we can win. That’s by dedicating every spare minute we have before May 5 to getting votes for Plaid. Since its formation, Plaid Cymru has been the driving force in improving the lives of the people of Wales. We made history in March and we have the opportunity to make history again with the first Plaid Government. We can make it happen. The Yes vote on March 3 has had a lot of attention already. Here are some of the messages I’ve received from fellow MEPs: Congratulations for the Yes clear victory and for having been the party which has led this remark-

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able change for the future of Wales. We were honoured to be there on such an historic day for your nation. Oriol Junqueras Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya The result is very encouraging. I welcome the result for more autonomy and congratulate Plaid Cymru for its efforts in convincing the Welsh people to vote Yes for a full Welsh Parliament. Frieda Brepoels Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie - Belgium Congratulations to all the Welsh folk, to Plaid Cymru rank and file, to you as its President, and to any and all who helped in any way to achieve this result of more direct control and increased devolution. I trust this will inspire us here in Rijeka (Croatia) in our dream of regaining autonomy one day. Dan Milosevic founder member of Free State of Rijeka (association) - Croatia founder of Charter for Rijeka (political party, members of EFA) Very good news Congratulations to Jill and Plaid Cymru and to all the Welsh people. Rolf Granlund Ålands Framtid Party - Aland Islands Plaid Cymru’s input to this victory can't be underestimated! Tatjana Zdanoka For Human Rights in United Latvia Congratulations to the Welsh nation and to Plaid Cymru. A new hope for countries whose centralised states have cooled down devolution claiming (among other nonsense) that self-government does not correspond with economic recovery. Miguel Martínez Tomey Chunta Aragonesista - Aragon

“The referendum result on March 3 was a hugely significant moment in Welsh politics, as well as in the progression of Wales as a nation. It was a strong message from the people of Wales.” Jill Evans


AN HISTORIC TRIO WALES SAYS YES Plaid Cymru’s Westminster team has congratulated Ieuan Wyn Jones and the Plaid team in the Assembly for putting the referendum firmly on the One Wales agenda and successfully involving all four Assembly parties to achieve a successful Yes vote. Plaid’s Westminster leader, Elfyn Llwyd, said: “The referendum result is testament to the hard work and determination of Plaid in government under the leadership of Ieuan Wyn Jones. “The referendum was a core part of the One Wales agreement and it is incredible that all parties joined together, united in this cause. I’m delighted Wales made a clear decision for its future. I know that Ieuan and Plaid activists across the country worked hard to deliver this well-deserved victory.” Dafydd Wigley said: “It is a sign of real leadership that Ieuan Wyn Jones has been able to bring together all the other parties in the Welsh Assembly not only to make the referendum happen but to deliver this crucial Yes vote. Wales voted Yes for a stronger Assembly and shown true confidence in our country.”

For the first time in Plaid Cymru’s history, the party has women in three top positions. Left to right, they are Ellen ap Gwynn, who chairs the party, Chief Executive Dr. Gwenllian Lansdown and President Jill Evans.

GET YOUR MESSAGE ON THE SLATE! Plaid Cymru members are invited to submit articles of up to 500 words for the party’s on-line blog called The Slate. The blog appears daily on the Plaid website. You may write on any subject related to politics or to the party. Send your 500-word blog to theslate@plaidcymru.org with a digital photo of yourself to use on-line.

There were also congratulations from Scotland’s Fits Minister, SNP Leader Alex Salmond. “I congratulate the people of Wales on their decision to move the powers of the National Assembly forward,” he said. “This was a great result for people and Party of Wales, Plaid Cymru. “Ieuan Wyn Jones and his team should be very proud of ensuring this referendum was held and securing such an excellent result. “I wish them all the best for the election campaign and look forward to seeing positive forward-looking SNP and Plaid governments returned in May.” Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said the Yes vote would open a new chapter in the history of Wales. “The vote is essential to Wales’s ability to meet its challenges head on and marks the beginning of a new period of Welsh devolution. The people of Wales want to see our nation succeed and they want our Assembly to take responsibility and to change Wales for the better. I can promise that this is what we in Plaid are determined to do.”

The Editor will decide whether your blog wil be published or not!

BACK DEMOCRACY: VOTE YES FOR AV IN REFERENDUM writes Elin Jones, Plaid Director of Communications

opportunity to reform the system at Westminster as well. There will be a referendum asking It shouldn’t come as a shock to if we want to change from the prehear that, as the Minister of Agri- sent system to the Alternative culture, I enjoy a Sunday lunch. Vote (AV) system. Plaid Cymru Now imagine going for a Sunday supports this change. lunch in a pub. When you hear “Another referendum?” you may your first choice of meat is unwell cry! available you would hope to get a I have seen many elections and second choice. Well, it makes referendums in my political career sense doesn’t it? – indeed the opening scenario I would be happy to get the wouldn’t work in my own conchoice, certainly happier than if stituency without a referendum the barman said: “We don’t have on Sunday opening for pubs in that so you can’t have anything.” Ceredigion in 1989. Welcome to your ‘choice’ under This is a particularly busy period First-Past-the-Post, the system we for politics in Wales. still use for elections to the House But the AV referendum is imporof Commons. tant. AV is a clear and simple step If you don’t choose the one who toward a better politics. wins, you won’t see your view re- Yes, I did say ‘clear and simple’. flected in the result at all. Like True Wales before them, the On May 5, on the same day as we No to AV campaign is trying to cast a vote in the Assembly elecpaint this change as complex and tions conducted under a fairer confusing and they will not shy voting system, we will have the away from muddying the waters.

The truth is that the only change to casting your vote is that instead of using an X you can rank the candidates 1,2,3 and so on - and you can choose to put only a 1 or list all the candidates if you so wish. In the count, the winner will have to gain 50 per cent of the vote. That is the simple choice we face in the referendum on May 5. It is not about any issue other than the vital question of how we elect our MPs. It is not about changing constituency boundaries or the number of MPs, which will remain a matter for Westminster. The referendum is on AV and AV alone. Why vote Yes? AV gives more choice to people. It ensures politicians will have to work harder to retain our support to win 50 per cent of the votes cast. It cuts down on the number of

safe seats and so ensures more competition. AV also gets rid of tactical voting. It would forever consign to history the old Labour mantra ‘a vote for Plaid is a vote for the Tories.’ Outside Plaid’s own interests, it is vitally important that a system allows people to vote with their hearts and vote according to their honest opinion. So let’s put some proper meat of politics and democracy on to the empty plate that is served up to us at Westminster at present and vote Yes to AV on May 5!

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FOR A BETTER WALES: PLA

YNYS MÔN: Ieuan Wyn Jones is the Assembly Member for Ynys Môn, Plaid Cymru’s Leader and Deputy First Minister in the National Assembly. He is also the Minister for Economic Development and Transport. He was first elected as an AM in 1999, having served as an MP. He led the party into government in 2007.

CARMARTHEN WEST & SOUTH PEMBROKESHRE: Plaid Cymru Director of Policy Nerys Evans was elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 2007. She holds Plaid’s Education portfolio. Born and bred in Llangain, she now lives in Carmarthen where her family are Funeral Directors. A former member of St Peters Young Farmers Club, she won the Wales Yearbook Campaigner of the Year award in 2008.

CLWYD SOUTH: Mabon ap Gwynfor currently works as a regional manager for one of the UK’s largest health charities. He is married with one child and is a committed Christian who has been arrested several times for non-violent anti-war and Welsh language campaigning. Educated at Bangor University, Mabon served as the President of the Students’ Union. Mabon helped establish Cymru X and is a member of CND Cymru.

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CLWYD WEST: Eifion Lloyd Jones is a Higher Education consultant for the Centre for Welsh-medium Higher Education and is also a lay inspector of primary and secondary schools for Estyn. A former HTV journalist, he became their programme director/producer at Mold, North Wales Executive of HTV and Senior Outside Broadcast Director/ Producer. Eifion headed the Department of Media and Communications at Bangor University, chaired the National Eisteddfod of Wales Executive Committee and is a member of the Eisteddfod Council.

ISLWYN: Steffan Lewis was born and bred in Gwent and lives with his wife in Blackwood. He is a researcher for Plaid Cymru. He was Plaid’s parliamentary candidate at the Blaenau Gwent byelection and stood for Plaid last year.

PONTYPRIDD: Ioan Bellin works as a Press and Communications Officer for Plaid. He is a former journalist having worked for HTV Wales, where he reported on the first Assembly elections in 1999, and for the BBC Political Unit in Belfast. He remains an active member of the National Union of Journalists.

RHONDDA: Sêra Evans-Fear, aged 28, is a councillor for the Treorci Ward on Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. Born and bred in Cwmparc, she now lives in Ton Pentre with her husband and son. Sêra was educated at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen, Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda and the University of Oxford, where she received an MA degree in Modern Languages. She now works for the University of Glamorgan as a Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer.

MONMOUTH: Fiona Cross has two young children and lives in Cwmbran. Elected in 2008 as a Torfaen councillor, she is the youngest county councillor in Gwent. She chairs the Scrutiny for Cleaner Communities Committee.

PRESELI: Rhys Sinnett, aged 48, is married with two children. He works for Public Health Wales and is professionally qualified in general and mental health nursing, having worked in the NHS for 30 years. Active in his community, he is a trustee of Pembrokeshire Care Society, chairs the Board of Management of Project Milford,and is a director of Haven Credit Union.

NEATH: Alun Llewelyn is a county and community councillor for Ystalyfera and Plaid’s spokesman on Economic Development at Neath Port Talbot Council and Deputy Leader of the Plaid Group. Married with three children, Alun is a local primary and secondary school governor and Vice-Chairman of the Tiddlywinks Child Care Centre. He is a member of Jerusalem Chapel, Ystalyfera. In his spare time he supports Swansea City Football Club and the Ospreys rugby team.

CARDIFF WEST: Neil McEvoy is Plaid’s first ever Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and heads up economic development in Cardiff. A popular, straight-talking politician, he won the biggest vote and biggest majority of any councillor in Cardiff West in the Fairwater Ward in 2008. He is a combined honours graduate in modern languages, politics and economics.

CARDIFF NORTH: Ben Foday is married with three daughters. Born and educated in Sierra Leone, he has lived in Cardiff for more than 30 years. He was Director of New Employ Wales for 20 years . He has been a Plaid Cymru member and activist for four years.


LAID CYMRU CANDIDATES

CEREDIGION: Elin Jones was raised on a farm in Llanwnnen. After graduating from Cardiff University with a BSc in Economics she received an MSc from Aberystwyth in Rural Economics. . She served on Aberystwyth Town Council and became Aberystwyth’s youngest mayor. In 2007, Elin was appointed the Minister for Rural Affairs. In 2009, she won Farming Weekly’s Britain’s Farming Champion Award and was named the Wales Yearbook Assembly Member of the Year.

WREXHAM: Councillor Marc Jones, is married to a nurse and they have two sons. He lives in Wrexham and is an experienced journalist, having worked with the Leader and Daily Post and as a producer with the BBC. He is a long-standing Wrexham FC fan and a more recent convert to the Crusaders.

SWANSEA WEST: Carl Harris was born in the Sandfields area of Swansea before moving to the Sketty Park area of the city where he lives now. Carl was Deputy President of the Trinity Students’ Union for two years and then served as Deputy President of the National Union of Students (NUS) Wales. Carl worked for two years on the support staff for former MP Adam Price and Rhodri Glyn Thomas, AM, in the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency office.

ABERCONWY: Iwan Huws is a former Chief Executive of Snowdonia National Park and Wales Director of the National Trust. He was previously employed by the Countryside Commission and the Countryside Council for Wales. He chairs ITV Wales’ Advisory Council and is a member of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Upland Forum, Glas Cymru and the Advisory Board of Bangor Business School.

DELYN: Carrie Harper is from Caia Park in Wrexham, where she lives with her partner and their two children. She is a Plaid councillor and a member of the Council’s Planning Committee and Planning Policy Panel. She is also the North East Wales representative on the communities campaign group, Cymuned.

ARFON: Alun Ffred Jones graduated in Welsh at Bangor and taught in Deeside and Mold, where he headed the Welsh Department at Ysgol Maes Garmon, before switching to a career in television. He was leader of Gwynedd County Council before his election as AM for Caernarfon in 2003. He won the new Arfon seat in 2007 and has been Heritage Minister in the coalition government since 2008.

LLANELLI: Helen Mary Jones is Plaid’s Deputy Leader at the National Assembly and spokesperson for Health and Social Services. She has worked in youth and community work, has been a special needs teacher and worked for the Equal Opportunities Commission in Wales as their Deputy Director. She shares her time between her homes in Trimsaran and Cardiff. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Catrin, swimming, reading and gardening.

CYNON VALLEY: Aberdare-born Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies gained a first class honours degree in international politics and PhD at Aberystwyth University. A former university lecturer and Chief Executive of Plaid Cymru, he is now development manager for Welshmedium higher education throughout Wales.

MONTGOMERYSHIRE: David Senior lives in Trewern with his wife, Sally, and their twins, Eira and Aeddan. He is a science teacher at Cruckton Hall School which specialises in the education of children from the autistic spectrum. David was an active member of Welshpool Town Council and is now a director of Welshpool Projects.

CAERFFILI: Machen-born Ron Davies entered Parliament as Labour MP for Caerffili in 1983 and increased his vote at each election. In 1997 he became Secretary of State for Wales under the new Labour Government and, after leading the successful referendum campaign, took his proposals through Cabinet and Parliament onto the statute book. He became the first AM for Caerffilli but did not seek reelection in 2003 and left the Labour Party, citing disillusionment. He joined the Plaid Cymru-led Cabinet in Caerffili with responsibility for Economic Regeneration and subsequently joined the party.

CARDIFF SOUTH: Liz Musa was born in Cardiff to a Welsh mother and Nigerian father. She and her husband, Omar, have children and grandchildren. She worked supporting older people for many years firstly and is currently a Support Worker with Bawso Women’s Aid.

ALUN AND DEESIDE: Shane Brennan has been a party activist since he moved to Wales from his native Ireland in 2002 to study at Aberystwyth University. Shane is an enthusiastic Welsh learner and is standing for the party for the first time.

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FOR A BETTER WALES: PLA

DWYFOR MEIRIONNYDD: Dafydd Elis-Thomas was first elected to the National Assembly in 1999 for the Meirionnydd Nant Conwy constituency, which was later renamed Dwyfor Meirionnydd. Since the beginning of devolution he has served as the Llywydd. His political interests focus on the development of devolution in Wales and the status of Wales in Europe.

The team for the North region is Llyr Huws Gruffydd, Heledd Fychan, Dyfed Edwards and Liz Saville Roberts. Llyr lives on a family farm near Ruthin and works in Llandudno as the Wales Communications Officer for the National Trust. Heledd was brought up in Ynys Môn, before moving to Dublin to study History and Political Science. She stood in Maldwyn in 2010. Dyfed is the Leader of Gwynedd Council and leads the Plaid Cymru group at the Welsh Local Government Association. Liz works to promote and support Welshmedium education in the secondary schools sector and further education. She is also a county councillor in Gwynedd, and holds the education portfolio.

CARMATHEN EAST & DINEFWR: Rhodri Glyn Thomas was first elected to the Assembly in May 1999, winning by nearly 7,000 votes. His political interests include Agriculture and the Rural Economy, Europe and Social and Transport issues. He was re-elected in 2007 with an increased majority of more than 8,000, making his seat the Assembly’s second safest. He now chairs the Rural Development SubCommittee.

VALE OF GLAMORGAN: Dr. Ian Johnson lives in Barry, where he attended Barry Comprehensive School. He is Plaid’s Head of Research at Westminster and has vast international experience, having worked in several countries. Ian is an academic linguist and studied at Cardiff University, in the Netherlands and in Argentina.

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GOWER: Darren Price graduated in 2001 with a B.A. in Business Economics and in 2003 with an M.Sc (Econ) in Business Economics. He is a Plaid Cymru councillor in Swansea, where he was first elected in June 2004 at the age of 24. He is employed by Plaid Assembly Member Dr. Dai Lloyd in Swansea. In his spare time he enjoys playing rugby, golf and fishing.

TORFAEN: Jeff Rees is 46-yearsold with an adult son. He is a Plaid Cymru councillor and Group Leader in Torfaen. His work background is in the business sector and he knows and recognises the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit. Having lived overseas, he has seen how countries smaller than Wales successfully make their own laws and policies to benefit their own people.

ABERAFAN: Paul Nicholls-Jones is 57-years-old and lives in Briton Ferry. He was born in Trealaw and attended Porth Grammar School. Paul established a renewable energy company, was previously director of a recycling company and has also been a hotelier. He contested Aberafan for Plaid Cymru at the Westminster elections in May 2010.

The team for South Wales West is Bethan Jenkins, Dai Lloyd, Myfanwy Davies and Linet Purcell. Bethan is the youngest Member in the Assembly. A former president of Aberystwyth Guild of Students, she was elected in 2007. Dai, a doctor by profession, he still practises as a GP at Swansea University. Before entering the Assembly, he was a Swansea councillor. Myfanwy has a PhD in health services research and has taught in universities in France and the Middle East. She works in research. Linet was born in Liverpool to Welsh parents. She became a member of Plaid Cymru during the 1970s when she studied at Bangor University.


LAID CYMRU CANDIDATES The team for South Wales Central is Leanne Wood, Chris Franks, Richard Grigg and Delme Bowen. Leanne, a former probation officer and women’s support worker in the valleys, lives in Penygraig in the Rhondda, where she grew up. Chris was a county councillor and was the Leader of the Plaid Cymru Group on the Vale of Glamorgan Council. A solicitor, Richard was educated at Ysgol Glantaf in Cardiff and studied business, journalism, politics and law at university. Delme is a professor of Cell Biology and has fought a number of Assembly and Westminster elections.

The team for the South East is Jocelyn Davies, Lindsay Whittle, Jonathan Clark and Bleddyn Hancock. Jocelyn read law at Oxford University and is a former borough councillor. Lindsay was born in Caerphilly and lives in Abertidwr. Since 2008, he has been the Leader of Caerffili County Borough Council. Jonathan was born in Newport in 1966 and still lives in the city. He was Plaid's candidate for Monmouth for Westminster in 2005 and 2010 and for the Assembly in 2007. Bleddyn is an official with the mining union, NACODS, and was prominent in the successful battle to secure compensation for retired miners.

BRIDGEND: Tim Thomas was born in Cardiff in 1981.He lives in Brackla, Bridgend, with his wife Sara. They had their first child, Alys Haf, in March 2010. He is currently a Local Government Research Officer and managed his family's garden centre business for almost ten years in nearby Pencoed. A former UNISON steward, he has campaigned against the privatisation of healthcare.

The team for Mid and West is Simon Thomas, Rhys Davies, Llywelyn Rhys and Ellen ap Gwynn. Simon, has been a Senior Special Advisor to the Welsh Government, advising Ieuan Wyn Jones and the other Plaid Ministers. Rhys has been a Carmarthenshire county councillor since 2004 representing the Llanfihangel Aberbythych Ward. Llywelyn was born and raised in Eifionydd and was a policy researcher to the Plaid Group of AMs at the start of the Assembly in 1999. Born in Scotland and raised in Porthmadog, Ellen chairs Plaid Cymru and the Conference Steering Committee and is Group Leader on Ceredigion Council. She was Plaid candidate in Montgomeryshire in the 2005 General Election.

VALE OF CLWYD: Alun Lloyd Jones is a member of the Environment Agency (Wales) and a member of the Dyfed-Powys Police Authority. Mr Jones is a director of Cwmni Iaith Cyf, with offices at St. Asaph and Newcastle Emlyn. He has also been an officer in the Air Training Corps with the Rhyl and Denbigh Squadron for a period of ten years or so.

BRECON AND RADNORSHIRE: Gary Price is 32 years old and lives in Llandrindod Wells. He has been employed by Royal Mail as a postman for the past 15 years. He has been a member of Llandrindod Wells Town Council for ten years, is the current Town Mayor and has also been a Powys County Councillor for Llandrindod Wells for seven years.

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CANDIDATES CONTINUED...... CONFERENCE!

BLAENAU GWENT: Darren Jonewas born in the Rhondda and now lives in Blackwood. A former mayor of Blackwood, he has worked as a Communities First coordinator in Rhondda Cynon Taf since 2003 and is currently studying for his Masters degree in Community Regeneration at the University of Glamorgan.

CARDIFF CENTRAL: Chris William was born in Grangetown, Cardiff, and was educated at Fitzalan Comprehensive and UWIC. He is a Cardiff City fan and works in the electrical industry. A Welsh learner, he used to play rugby, football and bowls for local teams.

NEWPORT WEST: Lyndon Binding was born in South Wales and is a councillor in Caerffili. He also chairs the Health Social care and well-being scrutiny committee. He has worked in the care and health sector for the last 19 years in Wales.

is being held between Thursday and Saturday, the 8th, 9th and 10th of September in Llandudno. Branches and constituencies are invited to submit motions for consideration by Steering Committee to caijones@plaidcymru.org by the 13th of June. For further info, contact Cai by e-mail or phone on 029 20 475928.

WHAT PLAID WILL DO TO CREATE A BETTER WALES. writes Nerys Evans

MERTHYR TYDFIL: Noel Turner was born in Bridgend and is a Blackwood Town Councillor. He was previously a local councillor in Pengam on Caerffili Council, where he chaired the Housing and Environment Scrutiny Committee. Noel currently chairs Plaid’s Bedwellte branch and works as a manager of a call centre in Cardiff. He is a senior representative of the USDAW trade union and a member of Greenpeace, the RSPB and the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust.

OGWR: Danny Clark is an electrical engineer. He lives with his wife and two children in Llangynwyd, where he chairs the Community Council. Danny sees the key issues at present as fighting the grossly unfair cuts in Wales, improving funding for Wales, encouraging businesses to locate in Wales so the Welsh workforce can return to meaningful employment.

NEWPORT EAST: Chris Paul was born in Abergavenny in 1978 and grew up in Monmouthshire. He lived in England and South America before returning to Wales to settle with his partner in 2007. Chris has been a grassroots Plaid activist since then. His professional background is in the private sector, with expertise in arts and media. DIC JONES

SWANSEA EAST: Dic Jones, has been the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tirdeunaw for the last ten years. He has been a member of Plaid Cymru for 15 years . He currently chairs the Swansea East branch. His political interests include the environment, equality, employment and education, and he is a member of Greenpeace and Surfers against Sewage.

With just days to go to the 2011 Welsh General Election, Plaid Cymru candidates and activists are already out across Wales campaigning, leafleting and canvassing to get out our vote. But what do we want to tell people on the doorstep? What will a Plaid government do for people across Wales, from Bangor to Barry, from Carmarthen to Caersws? Wales has had a decade of devolution. Now, especially with new law-making powers and the first Welsh Parliament in 600 years, we need a Plaid decade of delivery more than ever. We want to transform Wales for the better – and we have the drive and the ideas to do it. A Plaid Government will prioritise a stronger economy and better skills for the Welsh workforce. We’ll ensure our children leave school with the education they deserve, able to read and write to a high standard. We’ll give you the right to see a doctor or a dentist when you need to and we’ll transform our NHS into a community health and wellbeing service, ready to meet the needs of modern Wales. Plaid in government will build a 21st century technology infrastructure with high-speed internet and proper mobile phone coverage across the whole of Wales. These are our key campaign priorities for the coming election. Plaid knows that a healthy, successful Welsh economy will underpin the success of every other policy in government and we’re the only party in Wales able to put Wales first in every decision. Our children are being let down by the current education system. Too many pupils are leaving school without the basic literacy and numeracy skills they need to succeed in life. This cannot continue. In 2007, Plaid ensured hospitals across Wales were protected from closure, including Llandudno General and Withybush at Haverfordwest. Now we want to make sure that our health service responds to the needs of modern Wales and is protected in the face of public service cuts from London. We’ll make sure our GPs, dentists, pharmacists and specialists serve your needs and those of your family and community with services more accessible and more responsive to patients in Wales. We’ll also increase the availability of urgent out-of-hours services across Wales to make sure that when you need quick and effective healthcare, it’s there for you. We in Plaid believe a more connected Wales will help create a successful Wales. We know people rely on good transport and technology for work, business and everyday life but in many parts of Wales these links need to be much better. A Plaid government will ensure better mobile coverage, broadband and free wi-fi throughout Wales. We’ll create thousands of free public wi-fi hotspots to make sure Wales becomes the UK’s first wireless nation. We’ll also get Wales back on track with a truly modern transport system to unite our nation, speeding up your journeys with faster, more reliable and more affordable ways to travel. Only Plaid has the ambition and the vision to change our nation and build a better Wales. Our ideas and campaigns to strengthen our economy, our education system, our NHS and our national transport and technology infrastructure will really make a difference to people’s lives. So let’s look forward to May 5 and secure the best result for Wales – Plaid in government, ready to build a better Wales!

Welsh Nation April 2011 P8


Welsh Nation April