WE asked the parliamentary candidates for a 200-word answer to the following question.
As MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, what would you do to improve the lives of residents in the constituency?
Steve Churchman (Welsh Liberal Democrats): “North-west Wales has been sorely neglected for far too long, it is the poorest part of the UK with low incomes and little opportunity for meaningful employment. When the UK leaves the EU, much-needed funding – particularly for farming – is going to be lost.
“Wales needs to be taken into the 21st century. If elected to Westminster I will seek greater powers for the Welsh Government, devolving more responsibility to the region with increased funding to match; transferring powers over transport, all of the Welsh ports, energy, broadcasting, air passenger duty, policing, other youth justice powers from Westminster to Cardiff and allowing Wales to determine its own public holidays. This will provide the opportunity for job creation in Dwyfor-Meirionnydd.
“When transferring powers, Liberal Democrats will transfer funds, providing an additional £7.5m per year to fund police forces and raising income tax by 1p in the pound to raise £300m for the NHS.
“Liberal Democrat pledges on Brexit include maintaining membership of the single market, supporting the principle of freedom of movement, opposing anything that risks making Wales less prosperous and opposing anything that concentrates powers in Westminster
“Liberal Democrats will provide the means for Dwyfor-Meirionnydd to prosper.”
Neil Fairlamb (Welsh Conservatives): “I will fight for better broadband coverage so that hi-tech, non-polluting industries can locate here and keep our young people here and in good jobs, and promote quality tourism which respects the environment and stimulates interest in our heritage, culture, language and walking landscape.
“Additionally I will fight to restore Trawsfynydd as part of our nuclear energy programme by attracting investors, and develop the neglected Llanbedr airfield site.
“I also aim to champion local producers of quality Welsh food, support our hill farmers – guardians of our land – with the Conservative pledge to keep subsidy support post Brexit for the full parliament to 2022 at least.
“I shall work with Theresa May to release the new trading opportunities open to us as a global trader, free of EU bureaucracy but continuing to trade with Europe on new terms and reaching out to over 140 countries not in the EU, and hold Welsh Labour to account for their failing stewardship of Wales, especially in the NHS (a postcode lottery of treatment and waiting times) and education (the worst results in the UK).
“Finally, I will encourage voluntary initiatives like charity shops with business tax relief and fight for better infrastructure of road and rail links.”
Mathew Norman (Welsh Labour): “Keep one figure in mind, one billion pounds, the equivalent of the entire annual health budget for north Wales; this is the amount that the Tories have cut our budgets by.
“If elected, I will fight to bring this money back into Wales to invest into our future.
“Jobs here are often seasonal, we need more stable long-term employment. Welsh Labour has delivered 150,000 jobs to Wales; let us continue by granting support to local businesses and continue the growth of new start-ups to drive employment.
“Housing is another concern; young people like myself struggle to get onto the property ladder while others are on waiting lists for a home. I will work with Welsh Labour to build more affordable homes in Wales and support the Help-to-Buy-Wales and rent-to-own schemes.
“Transport links not only make it easier for us to get from A to B but also help the local economy. I will fight to guarantee rail electrification in north Wales, improve the A55, and support the HS2 high-speed railway line ensuring that there are effective links for north Wales.
“Only Labour can form an alternative government. Grant me the opportunity to work with the Welsh Labour Team and end austerity.”
Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru): “Thank you for the privilege of being your MP since 2015. If re-elected, I pledge to continue to put the interests of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Wales first in Westminster.
“As we face the challenges and opportunities of Brexit, be assured that Plaid Cymru’s commitment to our home nation will be unwavering at this uncertain time.
“We will demand that every penny we lose from Europe is replaced by Westminster. Wales deserves to be given the tools to build a better future.
“The success of livestock and dairy farming is crucial to our year-round economy. The needs of farmers and fishermen must count when new trade deals are brokered. Our natural environment must be cherished.
“Dwyfor Meirionnydd’s tradition of energy production and valuable technological jobs are a priority, and I will seek government and private sector investment.
“I will lobby for quality jobs for young people, and seek greater support for small businesses in the region.
“Connectivity continues to improve with better 3G/4G mobile signal, but too many communities still lack 21st century communications.
“I will continue to fight for the rights of victims in the criminal justice system, and to support community safety through proper police funding.”
Frank Wykes (UKIP): “UKIP wants a reduction in regulations (as good as a tax break for small businesses) and a fairer distribution of farm subsidies from the granaries of East Anglia to struggling farmers of Wales. More self reliance in agriculture is the aim.
“Money saved from no longer funding the EU can be used to increase spending on health, education and social services, and building more houses.
“UKIP favours water-driven renewables such as tidal and hydro-electric.
“Existing renewables such as wind and solar need to be stored in batteries when their output does not coincide with demand. Increasing numbers of electric cars can help with this, as they do in Japan, which is short of electricity-generating capacity.
“A new form of nuclear energy based on UK-sourced thorium, though less energetic than imported uranium, is much safer in use and waste management. Bombs cannot be made from it. It could provide much-needed jobs in the constituency.
“Lastly, immigration into the constituency is not a problem because most of the immigrants come from north-east Europe, whose culture is based on Catholic or Lutheran Christian tradition, and integrate well.”
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