ISLWYN: Tom Sullivan (Liberal Democrat)

IT IS clear to me that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the performance of the Welsh Assembly Government.

I agree with this assessment. Wales could be doing so much better.

The people of Islwyn are absolutely right to be dissatisfied. Under this Labour-Plaid Government Wales is now the poorest region in the United Kingdom. The fact is that we are getting relatively poorer.

Going into this election, I think it is right that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are focusing relentlessly on the need to create new jobs and prosperity by investing in homegrown Welsh enterprises.

We will offer companies £2,000 for staff training if they provide jobs to unemployed young people. This is the kind of kick-start Islwyn needs.

As a university student myself, it saddens me to see what is happening to education here in Wales. The evidence is that the Labour-Plaid government has taken us backwards rather than forwards.

International comparisons show that Wales’ results in reading and maths have slipped back.

We are rapidly falling behind the rest of the UK. The Labour-Plaid Government is currently spending £600 less per pupil than in England.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are right to make education a priority.

We would tackle the shameful spending gap that currently exists.

We would target extra money to pupils who need it most. This will help schools in Islwyn invest in more teachers giving smaller class sizes or one-to-one tuition.

As we all know, ambulance response times here in Islwyn are a real problem. In Wales we spend more per head on the NHS than in England but get worse results – longer waiting times, slower ambulance response times, lower standards of cancer treatment.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will get to grips with the estimated £1 billion that is wasted in the Welsh NHS every year. By tackling this waste, we can invest more money in frontline services so that we can reduce hospital waiting times.

If elected as the Assembly Member for Islwyn, I will campaign for a superior health service, an improved education system, and for transport links to be better integrated so that our area can reap the economic benefits.

It’s not just the Welsh Liberal Democrats who say that Wales can do better, it is the people of Wales who demand that Wales should do better too.

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