It’s a huge honour to have been elected as Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for South Wales West. Thanks to everyone who voted for Plaid Cymru in this election - many of you for the first time. I pledge to be a strong voice in the Senedd for all the communities of the Neath, Swansea, Gower, Aberafan, Bridgend and Ogmore constituencies, regardless of who residents voted for.
Of course, I would have wanted more Plaid Cymru members to have been returned to the Senedd so we could have enacted our radical programme to strengthen our communities. I was proud of the positive campaign we fought here in the Neath Constituency which I think succeeded in high-lighting many issues - such as the need to support our town centres and high streets and reform the unacceptably high level of council tax we pay. I will continue to campaign on those issues and press the new Welsh Labour Government to act and listen more attentively to people’s concerns.
We saw an increase in the Plaid Cymru vote in the South Wales West region, positioning Plaid firm-ly as the alternative to Labour in this area. In the Neath constituency the vote against Labour was greater than the vote for Labour, but was split across many parties. The turnout was 47%. Plaid Cymru was a clear second and I hope now to work hard in the coming years to offer a genuine and credible choice that will inspire people to vote. Democracy relies on choice.
So, the the work is ongoing. Our communities have serious and deep-rooted problems - such as the levels of child poverty and low wages that existed before the pandemic struck. I am excited to be a part of Plaid Cymru’s fresh and energetic new team of Members, who have fire in their bellies and who will work together to hold the new Welsh Labour government to account on these issues. I am honoured to have been given the responsibility for the Social Justice and Equalities portfolio within Plaid Cymru’s team.
I don’t yet have an office – I have all that to organise in the coming months - but you can reach me on [email protected]