AS SOMEONE born and raised here, it’s a great privilege to have been elected to serve as the AM for Newport East since 1999.

We are living through difficult and worrying times.

The Tory-led UK Government is making cuts that are too deep, too fast and unfair – all backed by the Lib Dems. Youth unemployment has rocketed, jobs are threatened and public services and support for the vulnerable are under attack – such as cutting more than £22 million from Gwent Police, and the £50-£100 they will cut from the Winter Fuel Allowance.

Quality of life is suffering.

The Tory-Lib Dem coalition plans to virtually close the Newport Passport Office, threatening to cut hundreds of jobs.

There is a different, fairer way.

Thanks to Labour in the Welsh Assembly, Newport East has more nurses, doctors and teachers.

Pensioners and disabled people have free bus passes and we have free NHS prescriptions.

We have funded new school buildings, like Hartridge, Rogiet, and the new primary planned in Caldicot.

Welsh Labour will protect those things we value, and prioritise jobs, schools and the NHS. We will boost local jobs through apprenticeships and a Welsh Jobs Fund.

We’ll extend GP opening hours to help hard-working families, and I will always vote to keep the NHS public.

We’ll fund 500 more Police Community Support Officers to help the Police tackle crime.

I believe a good education is a right for all, and this is a priority for Welsh Labour. We’ll invest more in education, have kept the Education Maintenance Allowance, and provide a grant to Welsh students to cover the massive tuition fee rise introduced by Nick Clegg and the Tories.

The next few years will be vital. We need a strong voice standing up for ordinary people in our area.

Labour will protect those things we value most, like our schools, free bus passes and free NHS prescriptions. We’ll focus on building a better future by backing local jobs and training, improving our public services, and putting fairness at the heart of all we do.

I believe letting the Tories cut in the Assembly as they are in Westminster would be a disaster.

Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems made many promises before the last election, but soon forgot them when given the chance to prop up the Tories.

Only a vote for Labour in this election can help build a fairer Wales.