Leanne's Diary - Out on the stump.


Nominations have now closed for the local elections and I'm very pleased to be able to report that Plaid Cymru will be fielding our record number of council candidates this year. 

I was informed of this great news on return home from the north east, where I have been supporting local council candidates.

On Monday I went to Rhuddlan where I met local business people with our candidate Arwel Roberts.From there we went on to Rhyl West with Plaid Cymru's candidate Norman Shone – who is doing great work campaigning in one of the most deprived wards in Wales. Rhyl West's poverty is not inevitable. It's a great example if a town which deserves attention. In our vision of a future Wales, no one will be left behind.

Leanne and the team in Rhyl

A short break allowed a visit to an old Plaid member who has corresponded with me for many years. I had never met Dr Alun Hughes of Cerrig y Drudion before but I'm so glad I made the effort to see him. What a man! At 92 years old, Alun remains a staunch socialist and trade unionist – and a linguist who put his skills to good use during the Spanish Civil War. He was a real inspiration and reminded me of all those people who have contributed to our fight for equality and freedom.

The day ended with a pint and chat with our Wrexham activists in the Saith Seren pub.  It is a co-operatively run pub of course! Wrexham councillors Marc Jones and Carrie Harper have been  crucial in setting it up. Saith Seren is a great example of what we can do when we decide to do things for ourselves. Its got a really lively atmosphere with gigs, regular activities, courses and other cultural activities.

Yesterday I went to see the solar panels programme and the social enterprise partnership in Caia Park. The solar panels have raised £1 million for the council, helping to cushion the cuts. The Caia Park partnership runs seven businesses employing 70 people, three quarters of whom live in Caia Park. Some very committed and talented people make for a truly successful enterprise which is working to help people to help themselves out of poverty. If it works inCaia Park, I see no reason why it can't work anywhere. 

After officially opening Llyr Gruffydd's office in Wrexham, the local candidates and councillors - Arfon Jones, Carrie & Marc hit the town centre. After some very interesting conversations it was time to visit a 96 year old farming supplies co op in Corwen before hooking up with local candidates.

Above: Llyr's office opening and Leanne out in Wrexham

There was a lot of enthusiasm at the evening meeting with our candidates in Colwyn Bay and from our candidate Bob Gaffey who is standing in Mold. It was also good to catch up with Richard Edwards in Newtown who is a great community activist, involved in all kinds of community projects.

Leanne with our candidate in Mold Bob Gaffey

Across the North East, I’ve come across many people who seem genuinely interested in what Plaid has to offer. They’re listening to what we’ve got to say and quite a few of them tell me they like what they hear. I've really enjoyed my first couple of days on the campaigning trail.

Expect more news from the stump next week.  Ymlaen!

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