Many people have asked me why I want to be our new MP.
My answer is simple. I’m passionate about tackling injustice and helping people get the best chance for a good life. My Mum and Dad taught me the value of public service from the day I was born and were very active in the community.
I’m running to be our new MP because I believe we deserve better from our politicians
Now, I’m running to be our new MP because I believe we deserve better from our politicians and the Westminster Government. I want to stand up for everyone in our community that feels let down by those in power.
Living here in Powys, I know how important it is we have an MP who understands rural issues. We need an MP who will work to deliver a better life for you and your family. This is my positive plan to do just that - and with your support, I can deliver it.
1. Back our NHS and improve social care
I'm proud of the campaigns I've spearheaded as leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats to improve ambulance response times across Powys. We fought against the botched plans to privatise social care in Powys in 2014 - and are still fighting to secure the vital funding that our healthcare services desperately need.
As your MP, I'll fight to end the two-tier healthcare system we people face - where Welsh patients visiting English hospitals get a worse deal than their English counterparts. I want to bring a new urgent care centre to the constituency as well as working to improve the provision of dentists, including mobile dentists to serve our rural communities, and GPs across the constituency.
2. Oppose Conservative cuts
For too long the Conservatives have failed to deliver a more equal and fair society. Our former Conservative MP was a strong supporter of Theresa May’s uncaring and incompetent government - voting with it 98% of the time - which has caused this austerity to hit so many people.
Changes to the benefit system have forced too many local people into using food banks. I demand better. As your MP I won't just fight cuts to Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit. I'll also campaign for extra money for public services in Wales. If we want safer streets, better schools and hospitals - we need to pay for them. And I'll make that happen.
3. Protect vital rural services
I live in Powys, just outside Welshpool. I know, living rurally, how important basic local services are to everyday life. Over the years, I and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have fought to protect the services we all rely on. Liberal Democrats on Powys Council worked with campaigners to stop the closure of 10 libraries across Powys. Our team led the fight to keep cash points and banks open in our towns.
In order to help our local businesses and communities survive, we must improve infrastructure right across mid-Wales. That's why I launched a campaign for improving broadband and mobile phone services right across our communities, allowing more businesses to move to the area. As your next MP, I will fight for better public transport across Powys.
4. Fix our broken political system
Politics, especially at Westminster, is broken. It’s clear that many politicians have stopped listening and aren’t putting the needs of residents first. The Conservatives are making a mess of Brexit and both the Conservatives and Labour have led their parties to extremes, ignoring the many issues so many local people are facing. Visiting communities the length and breadth of Powys I know that people can see how they want to fix the issues they face, but they don’t have the support networks, structures or funding needed to deliver the right solutions.
I will be a listening MP who is there for our communities, all year round not just before an election. As our MP I will commit to an annual survey to make sure I'm working on the issues that matter most to you and report back at least six times a year so you know what I'm doing on your behalf.
5. Stand up for Welsh farmers and local businesses
I'm proud of the hardworking spirit of people across Brecon and Radnorshire. From our hill farmers to our independent shopkeepers, to our small online retailers - all these enterprises keep our community going. I live in Powys. My grandfather was a Welsh farmer. I understand the challenges faced by those living in our wonderful rural communities. Long hours and tough working conditions are leaving many Welsh farmers struggling to survive. And the Conservatives at Westminster are just making it worse.
As your MP I'll fight Conservative plans for an additional 40% tax on farming. I'll also work with our farming communities to ensure they have the support they need to diversify. I'll be a strong advocate for enhancing and developing new industries. I want to help support the development of eco-tourism, the green energy sector and other high-tech industries. I'll campaign to reintroduce subsidies for green energy and press the case for the Swansea tidal lagoon - bringing more new jobs to Wales.