Ceredigion Liberal Democrats today met and chose our new candidate for the Welsh Assembly election next May.
I'm absolutely delighted to report that that candidate will be Cllr Elizabeth Evans from Aberaeron, Or as she is more commonly known, Liz.
I've known Liz for 7 or so years and have found her to be one of the friendliest, most genuine and hard-working people I know - and she's a liberal to the core.
A Senior Caseworker for Mark Williams MP
I've had the great fortune of having worked with Liz for 5 years since Mark Williams was first elected as the MP for Ceredigion in 2005. I worked as his press officer and sometime caseworker whilst Liz worked as his Senior Caseworker in his Aberystwyth constituency office. She was always a sane voice of reason and experience that I could always rely on if ever I needed a word to the wise or a refuge from which to shelter from the pressures of working in a busy all-go political office environment.
Over those 5 years, I've come to see her many strengths. An excellent and effective communicator who has a natural empathy towards those who come to the office seeking advice and support, she is the ideal caring candidate.
A Ceredigion County Councillor
She also has a good political head for detail. I learned this during our time in the office in Aberystwyth but increasingly so after she was elected to Ceredigion County Council as the County Councillor for her home town of Aberaeron back in 2008. We sit next to each other in the Council Chamber and the depth of her knowledge is deeply impressive. Within just 2 years of being on the County Council, she has already become the chair of the Economic Development and Tourism Scrutiny Committee.
Her contacts and knowledge of Council employees from her time when she herself worked on the Council and from her many letters and phone calls to officials on behalf of the MP and his constituents has given her an invaluable insight into the working of both the local authority but also of other external organisations.
An Aberaeron Town Councillor and former Mayor
She also followed in the footsteps of her grandfather by becoming the Mayor of Aberaeron within a year of being elected to the Town Council, having 'topped the poll' in the 2008 election. Her family are renowned in the town for being the former and long-standing owners of the popular 'New Celtic Restaurant' by the Harbour.
She is a popular, well liked and hard-working local campaigner and community activist. She's a former recipient of the prestigious Welsh European of the year award for her long service as chair of the Aberystwyth-St Brieuc Twinning Committee and spent her formative years in the retail industry and as a self-employed businesswoman.
Time for a Fresh Start
The incumbant Assembly Member for Ceredigion of course is Plaid Cymru's Elin Jones. She's been the AM since the inception of the Assembly in 1999 and is the current Minister for Agriculture and as a result has been the subject of much discontent over some controversial policies that she has attempted to implement eg the Badger Cull and Glastir.
I've sensed in Ceredigion recently, a desire for change at the Assembly level. After 12 years with the same Assembly Member, it's time for a new take on the problems facing our county. Time for a new, articulate voice who will work alongside our MP Mark Williams as a strong team, fighting for Ceredigion.
It's time then for an Assembly Member change in Ceredigion.
It's time, for Elizabeth Evans.