MY first election was in Risca East Ward in 1983 where I polled over 900 votes and have subsequently fought elections including the General Election of 2001 coming second. I was elected as a county councillor in 1999 in the Blackwood ward.

As an active trade unionist and campaigner I have been involved in many campaigners, petition for Channel 4, and led the campaign two decades ago against the Patent Office being privatised.

My motto is simply "support the people" in their campaigns with the majority voices heard by conducting proper consultation exercises.

Major issues should be decided by local referendums, eg the route of the Sirhowy Enterprise Way and the location of a drug rehabilitation centre at Highbury House, Blackwood, where objections of 2,500 people were ignored.

Having been brought up in Wyllie Village, lived in Risca for several years and moved to Pontllanfraith in 1989, I have been councillor for Blackwood since 1999. I have detailed knowledge of all areas within the Islwyn constituency. I am proud of the valleys and believe in putting the people first at every opportunity, dealing with local issues and not scoring political points.

I have the support of the recently formed People's Voice within Islwyn, together we can change the face of politics within Islwyn, like my colleagues Dai Davies and Trish Law within Blaenau Gwent.

I therefore ask for your support on May 3, regardless of political preferences as an Independent voice I shall support all, and if elected on May 3 Islwyn issues will be my priority.