BLAENAU GWENT: Darren Jones (Plaid Cymru)
My name is Darren Jones, I am your Plaid candidate. I am 37 years old and was born in the Rhondda. I currently live in Blackwood with my wife and two sons.
I previously stood for Plaid in Islwyn in the 1997 Westminster elections, and was elected to Caerffili county council in 1998 aged 25, serving in the first Plaid administration as the youngest cabinet member in Wales.
I am a former mayor of Blackwood and have worked as a Communities First coordinator in Rhondda Cynon Taf since 2003. I am a firm believer in adult education, whatever your background and I am currently studying for my Masters in community regeneration at University of Glamorgan.
Over recent years a vote for neither Labour nor the Independents has made any long-term lasting changes to the root causes of poverty or deprivation within the communities of Blaenau Gwent.
Do we continue to place our trust in those who have been given many years to make any lasting improvements or do we continue with Blaenau Gwent's newfound political freedom and opt for something new?
Plaid is a left of centre party, whose core values in driving out poverty and deprivation in the South Wales Valleys are the main reasons why I joined the party as a 19 year old unemployed lad with few qualifications and even fewer prospects.
We've all had enough of career politicians, pursuing their own agendas, elect candidates with real life experiences, I've been both a factory and a community worker and these experiences will shape me as your next Assembly Member.
Don't vote Labour because of your forefathers, vote Plaid for your children.