I’m standing for election because Blaenau Gwent really matters to me. I was born and brought up in Tredegar. Blaenau Gwent made me and shaped me. It’s personal to me – that’s why I’m standing for election and why I hope you will support me.

I am the only candidate in this election who can put Blaenau Gwent back at the top of the political agenda. For too long we have been left lost and isolated with no-one speaking up for us and standing up for us in the Welsh Assembly. I will work with our MP, our councillors and our MEP as a strong team that will put Blaenau Gwent first.

Over the last few years we’ve suffered from the terrible impact of a world recession and now see a Tory-led government in Westminster that simply does not care about our communities.

A cabinet full of millionaires is cutting winter fuel payments to pensioners. They are cutting our public services such as health and education and since coming to power we have seen economic growth slowdown and stop, costing us jobs and opportunities - especially for young people. They are also imposing huge cuts on the police force which will make us less safe.

Labour is on our side. We are fighting hard and working hard to protect our families. We have opposed the cuts to winter fuel payments and have demanded cuts to petrol prices.

In Wales we are protecting hospitals, schools and local services from the worst of the Tory cuts. And we want to do more.

We will protect free prescriptions and the bus pass. We will create a new jobs fund and invest in new apprenticeships and opportunities for young people to get started in life. We will employ more community support officers to help the police keep us safe in our communities and to cut down on anti-social behaviour.

In Blaenau Gwent we will work to ensure that all our communities see the investment and regeneration that we so desperately need. We will make sure that the railway line and the heads of the valley road schemes are completed. We will put jobs and new opportunities for young people at the top of the agenda. We will seek to invest in our town centres and will make sure that everyone in Blaenau Gwent benefits from new investment in the borough.