WITH the 2021 Senedd Election just over a week away, here the candidates for Newport East explain why they believe you should vote for them.

Sonya Cary - Freedom Alliance. No Lockdowns. No Curfews.

South Wales Argus: Newport East candidate Sonya Cary - Freedom Alliance. No Lockdowns. No Curfews.

Our lives matter and our personal choices ‘remain’ ours to do so at will.

As we approach what is likely to be the most important elections of our lifetimes, the importance of ‘your’ vote will ensure our ‘rights’ remain in our hands and not in the current draconian political system!

As a campaigning political party, Freedom Alliance believe people have the free choice to:

  • Leave home whenever they choose.
  • Make a living and operate business premises.
  • Freely associate, assemble, and protest.
  • Speak freely without censorship or penalty.
  • Make their own free and uncoerced medical choices.

Your vote matters!

I was born and raised in Newport – my Welsh roots entrenched in family values, loving thy neighbour and knowing the true value of friendships and my Welsh values have never changed.

I believe a new way of doing politics is needed in Wales; incorporating a new set of values across the whole system.

I don’t believe the current political structure have a vested interest in its people and as such, my primary objective and aims are to restore freedom of choice to the people of Wales to ensure our voices are heard and upheld.

John Griffiths - Labour

South Wales Argus: Newport East candidate - John Griffiths, Labour

During Covid-19, I have been very pleased to help thousands of individuals and organisations in relation to the pandemic.

This has included issues with vaccine appointments and restrictions, but also working with our local councils to ensure businesses get the support made available to them.

If re-elected, I can continue to be your strong experienced voice as we rebuild, from what is both a health and economic crisis.

I’ll continue to campaign for more investment in health and education - two areas which have seen a lot of funding locally for new schools like Caldicot and major school improvements at Llanwern.

The opening of the Grange Hospital has also been very important and there are now plans for a new modern health and well-being centre in Ringland which will be of huge benefit to the area.

Finally tackling climate change remains a key priority. I fully support Welsh Labour’s plans to ban single use plastics and I want to explore further ideas around ensuring all households in Newport East have access to quality, local green spaces - because one thing we have seen during Covid is a greater appreciation of our environment.

If you want to talk about any issues with me, call our campaign number on 07375 776498.

Mike Hamilton - Liberal Democrats

South Wales Argus: Newport East candidate Mike Hamilton - Liberal Democrats

Summarising the issues in Newport and Severnside in 200 words is not easy.

Under Labour leadership Newport has collected some unwanted “worsts”.

The city has the worst social deprivation in Wales.

Newport has more bad air pollution areas than anywhere else in Wales.

It has recently been identified as having the dirtiest streets in Wales.

Also, the worst traffic jams in Wales, due to a lack of public transport.

Yet, Newport should be booming.

It is the gateway to Wales.

The removal of Severn Bridge tolls should have led to economic investment across the region.

However, the short-sighted Newport City Council scrapped Newport Unlimited, the local Urban Regeneration Company, taking on the role themselves and failing miserably.

Only house prices are rising, putting stress on the inadequate provision of social and affordable housing.

All these issues have one root cause, the incompetent leadership shown by our politicians, those of Labour running Newport and the Senedd, and the Tories running Monmouthshire and Westminster.

It is time the region got the funding from the Senedd to boost our economy and to build the desperately needed social housing.

As our slogan at this election says – “Put Recovery First”.

Gareth Rhys Hughes - Conservative

South Wales Argus: Newport East candidate Gareth Rhys Hughes - Conservative

My name is Gareth Rhys Hughes, the Welsh Conservative candidate for Newport East in the upcoming Senedd Election.

I want to see a better future for Newport and Severnside, a future of opportunity, where we build the M4 Relief Road so that you can have precious extra time with your family.

I am the only candidate that can deliver this, and this is our last chance.

I want a future where schools are supported, Welsh education is consistently behind the rest of the UK.

I am committed to hiring more teachers, getting extra investment, to provide more opportunities for young people.

I want an environmentally stable future.

One study shockingly linked one in 22 deaths in Newport to air pollution.

Labour have failed on greenhouse gas commitments.

I am committed to making Wales Net Zero by 2050 and investing in clean energy and creating green jobs.

Labour’s 20-year rule in Wales is tired, they have run out of ideas.

I believe that I am the only candidate that can beat Labour in Newport East.

A vote for me is a vote for a better future.

Follow the campaign @MrGRHughes.

Daniel Tudor Llewelyn - Plaid Cymru

South Wales Argus: Nepwort east candidate Daniel Tudor Llewelyn - Plaid Cymru

Newport was radical once, time to be radical again.

I will give Newport East has a strong voice in the Senedd, and work hard to put Newport’s interest first, rather than push party interests.

Newport must be at the forefront of the green energy revolution with our deep-water port, our highly skilled adaptable workforce, we are a natural centre for off-shore wind, tidal lagoons, tidal turbines and an Usk river barrage.

The Metro must deliver for Newport, saving our environment, our time and money including railway stations at Somerton, Llanwern and Magor.

We need to end street homelessness and need affordable homes prioritised for local residents.

We need a protected green belt for Newport and Wales.

Wales lacks, a serious well thought out integrated housing structure plan, a modern planning system and a realistic vision for strategically developing our housing for the future.

The proposed Cardiff City region and the Western Gateway project does not serve Newport.

Newport has suffered because of the obsession with directly competing with Cardiff and Cribs Causeway.

We need to focus on growing small local businesses that supply our needs as well as hosting the usual chains to bring life back to our city centre.

David John Rowlands - Reform UK

South Wales Argus: Newport East candidate David John Rowlands - Reform UK

Many put their trust in The Brexit Party.

We delivered on that trust.

We are asking you to do the same again now that we are Reform UK.

Now that we have vaccines, new treatments and knowledge of who is at risk from Covid, we must use this information to manage the disease.

We must not damage our communities further by shutting schools and businesses again.

We will build the M4 relief road.

Newport residents will benefit from investment and jobs if a solution can be delivered to congestion around the Brynglas tunnels.

It is astonishing that Labour has spent more than £150 million and we still do not have a solution.

Reduce waste to lower taxes.

Wales has 22 councils delivering similar services at great cost to taxpayers.

We will reduce this number by half along with the number of chief executives earning up to £180,000 and use the savings to freeze council tax.

Devolution isn’t working, but we believe this is because of third rate politicians.

We will reform devolution to ensure government is leaner. Cancelling devolution would hand power over Wales to the Tories in Westminster, which would be a backwards step.

Robert John George Steed - Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party

South Wales Argus: Newport East candidate Rob Steed - Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party

Local businessman and hospitality business owner.

Benjamin Lee Walker - Ukip Scrap the Assembly/Senedd

South Wales Argus: Ben Walker

For 22 years, the Welsh Assembly has cost you, the Welsh tax payer, £60 million a year.

Wales is a proud nation, but for this money and commitment to tired politics, ask yourself what has been delivered for the people of Wales?

A failing education system, an over-loaded/under-funded health service and even MORE politicians.

These politicians don’t care about Wales – they care about their over-inflated wages.

If they did care, why are most of them climbing over each other to shout loudest in support of illegal immigrants being welcomed to live in Wales?

After serving in the armed forces I wanted to serve people with no voice and chose Ukip as that vessel. Ukip has a long history of speaking up for real people, not only in the Welsh Assembly, but also in helping to force a referendum for the UK to withdrawal from the EU.

We are the only party who has committed to scrapping the Senedd from inception and with your help, we can free Wales from its political shackles and start directing your money where its really needed which, is not the pockets of politicians.

Find statements from candidates standing for other constituencies here:

Statements from parties standing in South Wales East region will be published next week.