‘Why we love the Valleys’


Key figures from Plaid Cymru explain why they love the area they come from and represent

Key Plaid Cymru figures have outlined why they love the South Wales valleys. As MTV broadcasts a series which is built upon a narrow stereotype of the valleys, members of Plaid Cymru have outlined why they love the area they live in and represent.

The Leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood said: “To me the valleys have so much going for them. I feel privileged to live in a place so enriched with history, culture and a deep sense of community spirit.

“The rugged landscape framing almost every village and town gives us an abundance of beautiful scenery.

“I was born and brought up in the Rhondda, I live on the same street in Penygraig where I was raised as a child and my seven year old daughter is growing up in the security that comes with people living close together in a strong community. For me, it’s the people that make the valleys special and what they make is something that money cannot buy.

“We have a remarkable history to celebrate here in the valleys, which includes playing a significant role in the industrial revolution, laying the foundations for the National Health Service and the lighting of the touch paper for the hugely influential Chartist Movement. These many qualities will not be undone overnight by one television programme.”

Ms Wood added: “I’m proud to say I’m from the valleys and I always will be.”

The Chief Executive of the Party of Wales Rhuanedd Richards said:

“The best thing about growing up in the Cynon valley was the freedom we had to explore because of the fantastic countryside, and the safety that came from always knowing that someone was looking out for you. Our communities are very proud, and where I am now, in Pontypridd, you cannot help but be impressed by the evidence which surrounds us of the incredible contribution the people of the valleys have made to Wales and the world. It is true that with the passing of time the landscape has changed, the challenges we face have changed. However because of the very fact that the people of the valleys are steadfast in their commitment to these communities, I believe that there are tremendous opportunities ahead to attract investment and to make the most of the wonderful natural environment the valleys have to offer.”

Plaid Cymru AM for South East Wales Linsday Whittle said:

“The valleys are my home, and if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I have always lived in the valleys around Caerphilly and this truly is where I belong. My family and friends all live locally, and the vibrancy of the community makes this a wonderful place to be. What I appreciate most about where I come from is the friendliness of the community – here are people who genuinely do look out for their neighbours, family, friends or even strangers.”

Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, said: “The valleys can mean Maesteg, Merthyr Tydfil, the Rhondda, Ebbw Vale or Brynamman, from just over the border with England to the Welsh-speaking West.

“I’m proud to have been born in the valleys, and I’m extremely proud to represent a region that has a large area of the valleys in it. For me, it’s about my roots and my identity. It’s where I’m from. Whenever I act, at the back of my mind there’s always the question of if it’s the way we do things in the valleys.

“I think that there are few better ambassadors for their own part of the world than people from the valleys. Whenever you meet someone new, you’re eager to tell them where you from, quickly followed by an invite to come visit the valleys. Of course, I want them to come and see Neath Port Talbot, and Ogmore. But I won’t complain if they plump for Merthyr Tydfil instead!”

Plaid Cymru AM for South East Wales Jocelyn Davies said:

“For me, the valleys are its unrivalled natural beauty and its people. The ordinary people who still hold the fondly-held values of being a good neighbour, of caring and of living life with an unassuming dignity. These values will aid us in building a future for the generations to come, when our collective hopes meet our growing ambitions.”

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans said:

"I have always lived in the Rhondda and am very proud to represent the people of the valleys as a Wales-wide Member of the European Parliament. Many young people from the Rhondda have come to Brussels, either on school visits or on work experience in my office and I have always been impressed by their talent and ambition. The valleys inspired me as I grew up in Ystrad and I know they inspire today's generation too. That will not be undermined by any television series".