South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle’s blog: April 4
I wanted to mention one of Plaid’s candidates in next month’s council elections.
Young people are often unfairly stigmatised so I was delighted when Nathan Flanagan agreed to stand for the party in the Moriah ward, covering Abertysswg and part of Rhymney.
Nathan, who is just 18, has been heavily involved in the Caerphilly Youth Forum, which he has chaired. He will probably be the youngest candidate standing for election in Wales and that may also apply for the rest of the United Kingdom.
Many young people see politics as irrelevant. Perhaps they don’t feel they can influence things and who can blame them for being uninterested and disillusioned given the scandal of the expense claims involving MPs.
But politics needs to attract people of all ages – young and old, men and women and all backgrounds. It is crucial to have different perspectives on life.
Councils deliver services which affect all lives, including education, social services, libraries recycling, maintaining roads and pavements and refuse collections.
Nathan has shown his interest in his community through the youth forum as well as being the UK Youth Ambassador for Wales.
I’ve been out and about canvassing in my ward. Although I was first elected more than 30 years ago, I never take elections for granted. I work as hard now as I did when I first became a councillor in the 1970s.
Plaid has an excellent record of delivery since the party took control of Caerphilly council. I’ve found when knocking doors that electors are pleased that there has been no increase in council tax for two consecutive years given the rise in food, fuel and energy prices.
I had a light lunch with members of Penyrheol Baptist Church at the weekend to celebrate their new garden allotments scheme. They are to be commended for their work.
Interest in growing your own produce has increased recently particularly with the rising cost of food and, obviously, tending an allotment can also keep you fit.
I’ve been in touch with Arriva Trains Wales recently over collection of fares on trains and also fare dodging. There is need to step up ticket checks not just aimed at those trying to deliberately avoid paying but it is also important to ensure staff get through trains to collect all fares.