Meet the Welsh Assembly Election candidates: Caerphilly constituency
News | | Published: 12:42, Tuesday May 3rd, 2016.
Last updated: 14:24, Tuesday May 3rd, 2016
The Welsh Assembly Election takes place on Thursday, May 5 and Caerphilly Observer has asked all the candidates in the county borough to submit 100 words. Here we profile the Caerphilly constituency.
The Caerphilly constituency covers the St James, St Martin’s, Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen, Morgan Jones, Penyrheol, Llanbradach, Aber Valley, Ystrad Mynach, Nelson, Hengoed, St Cattwg, Gilfach and Bargoed wards to the south and west of the county borough.
The Assembly seat has been held by Labour since the first election in 1999.
Its last AM Jeff Cuthbert, elected in 2003, is not seeking re-election. In 2011 Labour won 49% of the vote, with Plaid Cymru coming second with 29.7%. Turnout was just 41.2%, slightly below the average of 41.4%, with 25,570 people voting out of a registered electorate of 62,049.
There are six candidates standing in the Caerphilly constituency, which contains the most deprived ward in Wales, St James, according to the Welsh Government’s Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.
ALADDIN AYESH, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: I am a university lecturer with 16 years’ experience in teaching and research.
I have a long-standing family connection with Caerphilly. I am a progressive liberal; strongly support small and local businesses, family-run farms, young people who work hard to excel, and devolution. I support sensible environmental policies and signed up to ‘Frack Free Promise’. I believe that life-saving drugs and operations should be available for all on NHS.
• Aladdin Ayesh did not provide a biography. This profile is based on his statement from the 2015 General Election.
ANDREW CREAK, GREEN PARTY: I am a 19-year-old gay male from Caerphilly and the Convenor of Wales Young Greens. I have lived in Senghenydd all my life and became active within the greens last year. I’ve since been a founding member of the LGBTIQA+ group; Green Pride. I get hands-on with politics, attending protests such as ‘Cardiff without Culture’ and have supported the Gwern Y Domen Conservation and Keep Caerphilly Mountain Green groups helping to stop Labours Local Development Plan.
My key policies are; no building on Greenfeild sites; End the discriminatory Blood Ban against gay, bisexual and pansexual men and women with bisexual and pansexual male partner.
HEFIN DAVID, LABOUR: I was born in Caerphilly and grew up in Hengoed, where I live with my wife Anna and our nine-month old daughter Caitlin. I love my community and am standing for the assembly because I want to make a contribution for all of the people who live here.
I am part of a Welsh Labour team that offers continued improvement in our education system, an NHS that is providing access to better specialist services and a key policy which aims to create 100,000 apprenticeships for all ages.
If I am elected, I will seek a regional housing plan for south east Wales that takes account of environmental, transport and educational needs.
SAM GOULD, UKIP: I have lived here all my married life and have three young children and run a number of local businesses. I came second in last year’s General Election in Caerphilly and with your help I can win.
My five pledges for this year’s election are:
1. Fight for a 24 hour A&E at Ystrad Mynach Hospital
2. Protect our greenfield sites from housebuilding
3. Call for at least 2 new primary schools to be constructed to help with demand for places
4. Deal with traffic and congestion problems
5. Press the council to offer free car parking in town centres.
JANE PRATT, CONSERVATIVES: I was born in Pontypridd, both my parents were teachers and my grandfathers were local coal miners. I have met many people in Caerphilly who are concerned about the lack of infrastructure in the town.
I am opposed to the proposed developments, we need to keep Caerphilly Mountain green and fight the development without the necessary infrastructure. I am concerned about the lack of consultation, I believe in local people having a greater say in decisions.
Labour has been in power for 17 years, we need real change in Wales to ensure money is spent wisely not on bureaucracy and red tape.
LINDSAY WHITTLE, PLAID CYMRU: Saving our precious green fields from developers, providing a doctor-led A&E service at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr and electrification of the Valleys rail line are my priorities for Caerphilly.
We must stop Labour’s Local Development Plan which is a recipe for chaos. Our roads, our schools and our GP surgeries will be unable if thousands of new homes are built.
I believed the new Ystrad Mynach hospital would see a step change in services for patients. I was wrong. Caerphilly deserves a full doctor-led A&E service.
Next Thursday, please vote Plaid Cymru for a better future and help end 17 years’ of dismal Labour control of the Welsh Assembly.