Aberconwy Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru candidates have their say

Reporter:

Annie Roberts and James Wilde

In the lead up to the election Lib Dem and Plaid Cymru candidates for Aberconwy spoke to the North Wales Pioneer.

Liberal Democrats candidate for Aberconwy wants to see greater opportunities for new businesses.

Sarah Lesiter-Burgess, 43, community councillor for Glan Conwy since 2004, feels the creation of new business will bring a greater chance of employment for young people.

She said: “We are so dependent upon the public sector in North Wales. The Lib Dems want a drop in VAT for tourism businesses from 20 to five per cent. We will also create a new ‘start-up allowance’ for new businesses, this will bring more opportunities for local young people to develop their own business and will help keep skilled young people here.”

As part of her campaign the Westminster candidate also wants to fight against the “challenges” brought by social care.

“Social care in an ever-aging population is beginning to present challenges, especially in Aberconwy. We cannot allow further cuts to council budgets and the Liberal Democrat policy of putting 1p in the pound on income tax to pay for social care services and the NHS will help safeguard these services.” she added.

Mrs Lesiter-Burgess was “appalled” by Conwy Food Bank’s appeal for parcels and said her party would take 13,000 children out of poverty.

“The Liberal Democrats have committed to extending free childcare to all two-year olds and to the children of working families from the end of paid parental leave, to enable parents to get back to work. We would take 13,000 children out of poverty by letting both parents earn before their Universal Credit is cut.”

The Plaid Cymru candidate for Aberconwy is relishing meeting voters.

Wyn Jones, 52, who represents Uwch Conwy ward, has been speaking to the electorate.

Cllr Jones said: “By far the most rewarding aspect of electioneering is the opportunity to meet real people and hear their concerns. It is easy for politicians to talk in slogans that have little relevance in the real world.”

When canvassing, concerns have included the future of benefits payments and health care.

“The future structure of benefit payments is a source of deep anxiety for many of the most vulnerable members of society and I was particularly struck by a young man’s plight. He had been unable to work since suffering a life changing injury in an accident, and the benefit cuts facing him are perpetuating his distress.

“The future of the health service is a key issue to many. It is our belief that the problems are caused by the way these are managed. Too much emphasis is placed on the middle managers, where there are chronic under funding in front-line staff. I am aware of several cases where locals have been unable to receive the care that they deserve in this area.” he added.

Another worry was Brexit and what the implications will be for small business owners and farmers.

Cllr Jones said: “The future relationship with the European Union is a particular concern for farmers, especially hill and livestock farms which form the backbone of the rural economy in Aberconwy. They face a double whammy of losing farming subsidies on one hand and of barriers to exporting in the form of tariffs on the other. It is imperative this trade must be defended if there is to be a future for our farms.”

To read interviews with Labour candidate Emily Owen and Conservative candidate Guto Bebb visit: www.northwalespioneer.co.uk/news/176821/aberconwy-labour-and-conservative-candidates-have-their-say.aspx

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