HERE are the statements from parties fielding candidates in Blaenau Gwent for the council elections.
ANDREW Page, Conservative candidate for Blaenau Gwent: My chief aim would be to put power back into the hands of my own ward and communities right across Blaenau Gwent.
I want local people to have more of a say in their futures and the futures of the areas they live in; simplified planning, cleaner streets, more decision-making for teachers and parents, and a more accountable local authority – with all spending over 500 pounds made publicly available online. Despite getting the money from the Conservative-led UK Government from England’s freeze, Labour in Wales has refused to freeze council tax here. Welsh Conservatives would reverse that decision and make sure families across Wales get the help they need.
If elected, campaigning for that change would become one of my main and immediate priorities, along with reversing Labour’s record-breaking cuts to our health budget. So too would be cleaning up graffiti and getting rid of the litter blighting our streets.
Independents in Blaenau Gwent
STATEMENT from Des Hillman, leader of a group of independents in Blaenau Gwent:
I have a close working relationship with my group of standing councillors and I am endeavouring to help a number of new independent candidates to get elected.
I would like to say that as a minority independent group we would watch that the running of the council in Blaenau Gwent would be done in the best interests of the people that work, visit and live there and not in the interests of any political party or individuals on the council that has happened in the past.
We will be monitoring everything that the people of Blaenau Gwent deserve from their council for the tax they have to pay, that includes the town and community councils and the police.
We are a group of like-minded councillors, not a political party.
HEDLEY McCarthy, leader of Blaenau Gwent Labour group: We trust that our people will elect a Labour administration able to run Blaenau Gwent Council in a competent, efficient and appropriate way for all of the people of Blaenau Gwent.
To work with the Welsh Government to defend our people from the worse excesses of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition Government. To oppose their attacks on the health service and on benefits. To protect jobs and public services and strive for inward investment and regeneration.
“To bring Blaenau Gwent out of the wilderness and back into the mainstream. To complete the Labour Team with Nick Smith MP and Alun Davies AM.
“To restore integrity to a council that has been humiliated throughout Wales by the Independents. To restore and manage our education service properly for our young people.
To STAND UP for Blaenau Gwent in tough times and to earn and return the respect of everyone.
Blaenau Gwent’s independent candidates are standing alone, rather than part of an independent group. The area’s former People’s Voice party is now defunct. Plaid Cymru and the British National Party are also fielding one candidate each.