Martin Blakebrough Welsh Liberal Democrats
3:00pm Thursday 29th April 2010 in Monmouth
I do not see myself as a politician but as a community activist. I am the CEO of Kaleidoscope which supports people with drug and alcohol problems.
People often ask, ‘why do people struggle with substance misuse issues?’ For some it is a bad experience at school or with family Many of our female clients have suffered abuse Sadly it is can be an unresolved trauma such as soldiers at war
I believe for the majority of people addiction to drug and alcohol problems are avoidable.
We need a good and supportive education system, closely aligned with social services. In Wales we spend £500 less per pupil than in England which explains the appalling state of our secondary school buildings. If we are to provide the best for our children we need smaller class sizes to create a better learning experience and support for those struggling. My commitment to education has led me to be a school governor
I want to see job creation because people employed are less likely to turn to drugs or get involved in crime. This means we need a fairer tax system where people are rewarded for their work rather than a life on benefits. I support no tax on the first £10,000 earned.
We need to help young people through supported accommodation and counselling. I am a board member of Solas which helps such young people in Abergavenny and Chepstow. I am also delighted to support our youth club in Llanishen which is community led. Young people need a safe place to meet where they can discuss issues effecting them and their lives.
Soldiers are often victims of drug and alcohol problems because of the horrors of war. It is terrible that many of our young people have suffered because the Labour Government took us into an unjust war. In future any war entered needs to be properly resourced with a clear chance of a successful outcome.
I want a greener future where we support farmers to sell produce locally, rather than being short changed by the supermarket cartels. We need to encourage a greener economy investing in new green industries. We must encourage better transport options including a new high speed rail link from the Severn Junction Station.
I love my job because I can make a difference, if I was your MP I would seek to make a difference in your life too.