Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Welsh Liberal Democrats Launch Assembly Manifesto in Ceredigion

It's been a busy week. Amongst all of the campaigning, we hosted the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP to Ceredigion last week when he visited our candidate Elizabeth Evans' hometown of Aberaeron to meet local representatives of the local business community.

Today, we were back in Aberaeron for the launch of the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Manifesto.

Kirsty Williams, our popular Welsh leader, officially launched the manifesto this lunchtime in front of the TV cameras (and Newsnight's Michael Crick!) and a gathering of supporters. Our Elizabeth Evans introduced Kirsty and the assembled media pack to Aberaeron and Kirsty's manifesto launch went out (so I'm told) live on BBC News 24.

Kirsty Williams launching the Welsh Liberal Democrat
Manifesto Today in Aberaeron
Kirsty Williams, in launching our manifesto said:

“This election is the chance for the people of Wales to set the direction of the Welsh government until 2016.

“My children are at primary school. By the time we next debate these issues at a Welsh election, by the time we next decide the direction of schooling in Wales, they will be kapproaching their GCSEs. For them and for thousands of other children, this will be their chance.

“This election is too important to allow the Labour Party to ignore Welsh issues. Labour and Plaid have left us with a weak economy, underfunded schools and an NHS that costs more but delivers less. The Welsh people deserve a proper conversation about how we in Wales address these issues.

“No more excuses. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that Wales can do better. That is why we are setting out a radical manifesto full of positive ideas to:

· Create jobs and improve our economy by offering companies £2,000 for staff training if they provide jobs to unemployed young people.

· Tackle the spending gap, providing more money for schools by targeting additional money at the 80,000 pupils who need it the most so that schools can afford to invest in the things that really matter, such as smaller class sizes or one-on-one teaching.

· Cut waiting times by cutting waste. We will improve healthcare by switching ineffective spending in the NHS to the frontline.

· Radically overhaul the energy efficiency of an extra 12,000 homes by doubling the money available for tackling fuel poverty.

· Make sure your council can deliver for you by cutting restrictions that stop them innovating and acting in the best interest of local communities.”

The fully costed manifesto gives the people of Ceredigion and indeed Wales more generally, an opportunity to support a party that wants to support enterprise and not hold it back. Here in Ceredigion, as the Deputy Prime Minister heard last week, that will be greatly welcomed.

It was great to have our launch, the day after Plaid Cymru had theirs, out in 'real' Wales. Plaid Cymru decided to hold theirs in the Cardiff Bay bubble but we rightly took it out into the country. Indeed, on asking the formiddable BBC journalist Michael Crick (who I can exlusively reveal, is partial to some victoria sponge), when did he last come to this part of the world, he answered by saying that this was the first time that he had visited Aberaeron and his last visit to Aberystwyth was some 10 years ago.

So it was nice to bring the media out of their comfort zone as well!

Now it's back to the door-steps to spread our message of optimism which can be read in the manifesto which Elizabeth and Kirsty launched today in the heart of Wales.

1 comment:

  1. Mark - as usual you are champianing the Welsh Lib Dem message - do you feel the Lib Dems can really make inroads in these elections?

    The media and the British publc have really had a go at the Lib Dems since their coalition with the Tories, and your support in the polls has taken a huge knock.

    So will the saga of the tuition fees; deep spending cuts which we're feeling and other issues affect the Lib Dem vote?