First of all, we chose our Welsh Assembly candidate for the May election last weekend. We have very wisely chosen Cllr Elizabeth Evans from Aberaeron – head and shoulders the best candidate for the job. For the past 5 years she has worked as the Senior Caseworker for our local Welsh Lib Dem MP Mark Williams. She has grasped the cases that have come through his door with a professionalism but also with a empathetic ear that is crucial in the job.
She was also elected to Ceredigion County Council in 2008 as the member for her home town of
and has been an insightful and active representative since her election. She followed her grandfather by becoming Mayor of Aberaeron last year and is now the Chair of the County Council’s Economic Development Scrutiny Committee. Aberaeron
Her past experience as a self-employed businesswomen and in retail and her recognition for her European credentials as a past recipient of the Welsh European of the Year award as well as her long-serving commitment to her local community shows that she is a dedicated and tenacious character.
She will carry the liberal flag in Ceredigion with pride and with great distinction.
We also had a County Council by-election last Tuesday (yes, Tuesday!) where the Welsh Lib Dems managed to gain a very positive 15% swing from Plaid Cymru.
The Ciliau Aeron ward was vacant after the previous Plaid Cymru Councillor, Moelfryn Maskell, was disqualified by the Adjudication Panel of Wales for breaking the Code of Conduct. He was elected in 2008 with 544 votes as opposed to 151 for the Welsh Lib Dems and 117 for an Independent. This time round, they won with a greatly reduced majority scoring 365 compared to 247 with a nominal Conservative presence on 43.
Sonia Williams, the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate and a local young mother was full of energy and enthusiasm and it was enjoyable to go out canvassing with her – despite the cold and the rain and the snow! She made a very good impression on the door-step and it showed in the result with the Plaid Cymru majority being slashed, coming down as it did from 393 down to just 118.
So, as we enter the Yuletide season, spirits are high in Ceredigion. We have an excellent, hard-working and popular MP in Mark Williams and we’re now being led forward by a new generation of Welsh liberal candidates. Most noticeably is the fact they’re women.
I’ll raise a glass of mulled wine to that and to the future growth of the liberal cause in Ceredigion.