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Eight General Election candidates in Bangor Aberconwy announced

BANGOR Aberconwy will be contested by eight election candidates on July 4 – and is perhaps one of the most difficult constituencies to predict.

The newly created constituency incorporates the old Arfon, which makes up 40.9% of the new area, and the old Aberconwy district.

The Arfon seat is currently held by Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, who is stepping down, whilst the Aberconwy seat was held by Conservative MP Robin Millar, who is again in contention.

With the new Bangor Aberconwy being split sixty/forty in terms of area, the constituency is difficult to predict. Tory, Labour and Plaid Cymru will all be hopeful of doing well on election day.

There are eight candidates contesting the seat. The Local Democracy Service approached all of them  to ask why voters should back them on July 4. The full list of candidates is below.

Reform’s John Clark says he will be fighting for small businesses: “For the last 24 years, I have been running a small business in Conwy, so I know what Welsh businesses are up against – high taxes, too much regulation, intense competition, and inflation. Tory rule has benefited the few at the expense of the nation and proved their economic incompetence.

“I voted for Brexit because I believe in the British people. I am proud of British history, and I believe that democracy is the only way to govern this amazing country.

“I believe Britain should not be involved in endless foreign wars and our armed forces should focus on defending Britain and British interests. We can regain our place in the world through leadership, good business practices, and entrepreneurial creativity.”

He added: “If you trust me with your vote, I will fight for a strong United Kingdom and will always seek to represent your interests over any external concern or pressure group. I am a populist with libertarian instincts ready to serve Bangor and Aberconwy.”

Retired nurse Petra Haig is standing for the Green Party:  “I have lived and been involved in my local community in Deganwy, Conwy, for over 15 years, working in Colwyn Bay for the final decade of a 35-year nursing career,” she said.

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“After I retired in 2017, I joined my husband running our own sailing school based on the River Conwy. I feel it is crucial for democracy that there is a Green Party candidate on the ballot paper so that everyone can express their support for protecting our environment and society. By voting Green, you have an opportunity to challenge the main parties, challenge the false and failing economic structure of our current consumerist system, and challenge the constant cuts to local funding.”

She added: “The Green Party places people, not profit, at the heart of our economic strategy, stands up for the future of our young people, and creates caring local communities.”

Bangor Aberconwy candidate Petra Haig

Labour’s Claire Hughes said she would work to ensure people didn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and heating their home: “I’m proud to call Bangor Aberconwy home. It’s where I grew up, where I live, and where I’ve raised my kids.

“For many of us here, the past few years have been tough, the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis. After 13 years of Conservative government in Westminster, families are really struggling.

“Despite this I am filled with hope. As we build a stronger, fairer, greener Wales, together, there is lots to feel excited about: our natural resources; world-leading talent; vibrant culture and language. Get things right and we could make Bangor Aberconwy an even better place to live.

“As your Labour MP, I would use my skills and experience to bring new life to our high streets, to support our farmers and small businesses, protect the environment, and create new jobs while fighting to ensure no-one has to choose between heating their home or putting food on the table.”

She added: “With your support, I will fight every day to bring that change for the people of Bangor Aberconwy. Let’s get our future back.”

Former Aberconwy MP Robin Millar, Conservative,  said he would help build a stronger economy: “My story is very familiar to many young people in North Wales – leaving for an education, a job, and to build a career.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. I’m determined to see North Wales levelled up – preserving its terrific culture, environment, and heritage but with better connections, a stronger economy and more skilled jobs; the kind of opportunities that come with being part of a strong, global UK.”

Mr Millar was born and raised in Bangor where his father was chairman of the old Conwy Conservative Association. His first experience with politics was with former Conwy MP Wyn Roberts on his successful “Win with Wyn!” campaign during the 1974 general election.

He was elected as Member of Parliament for Aberconwy in December 2019 – May 2024. In addition to working on constituency issues, Mr Millar says he supports groups promoting outdoor learning, a stronger UK, and better responses to poverty and children’s diseases.

Bangor Aberconwy candidate Robin Millar

Standing for the Liberal Democrats, Rachael Roberts said she would support communities from the grassroots upwards: “I believe that how we accomplish things matters just as much as what we accomplish.

“Community-driven initiatives should be at the heart of building the infrastructure our communities need. That’s why I will focus on supporting grassroots efforts led by the people of North Wales. As the Member of Parliament for Bangor Aberconwy, I will make it my mission to empower constituents by giving them a platform to voice their hopes and concerns.”

She added: “We are still in the depths of an acute cost-of-living crisis, with household bills far higher than working families can afford. Too many in our communities cannot even turn the heating on all winter long. It’s not fair. People deserve far better.

“I believe solutions lie in tackling the climate crisis alongside the economic crisis. Using my experience and passion for debate, I will fight for major investment in homegrown renewable power if elected as MP. Wales can and must lead the way on this transition.”

Bangor Aberconwy candidate Rachael Roberts

Catrin Wagner is representing Plaid Cymru, a party with good support in the former Arfon constituency, which is now part of Bangor Aberconwy.

She was described as: “A seasoned campaigner on issues ranging from the climate crisis to refugees, Catrin stepped into formal politics back in 2017, when she was elected to represent Menai ward, Bangor, on Gwynedd Council.  She led on campaigns such as getting rid of the ‘To Let’ signs in Bangor and establishing a group to green the city, while bringing successful motions to council calling for free period products in the county’s schools, and declaring a climate emergency.

“In 2019 Catrin was appointed to the cabinet, with responsibilities that included waste and recycling, maintaining highways and public green spaces, and flooding. She led on large scale flood defence projects, including the new Hirael Bay scheme, and she brought changes that aligned with her  political priorities such as changing road side verge cutting regimes to favour biodiversity, securing a grant to support community food share projects across the county, and establishing the ‘Timau Tacluso Ardal Ni’ (community tidying teams).”

Kathrine Jones is standing for the Socialist Labour Party but lives in Bethesda with her husband.

Mrs Jones said: “I lived at Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp for 17 years, working against Cruise nuclear weapons and the USAF Base. I then worked against Trident nuclear warheads being made at Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston.

“I joined the Socialist Labour Party and stood for election in Newbury in 1997. I have worked in hostels in Newbury, Bangor, and Colwyn Bay for nine years. I have also worked as an artist and have worked as a volunteer for Bangor Arts Initiative.

“This General Election in Bangor Aberconwy is crucial. I believe in nationalisation of essential services and resources and spending the money which is intended for Trident and replacing Trident with (spending on) our NHS and social housing. Peace not War! That includes opposing NATO and the genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza. All this is consistent with the Manifesto of the Socialist Labour Party.”

Bangor Aberconwy candidate Kathrine Jones

There are eight candidates contesting the newly formed  Bangor Aberconwy constituency at the general election.

They are:

  • John Clark, Reform
  • Petra Haig, Green Party
  • Claire Hughes, Labour
  • Kathrine Jones, Socialist Labour Party
  • Steve Marshall, Climate Party
  • Robin Millar, Conservative
  • Rachael Roberts, Liberal Democrats
  • Catrin Elen Wager, Plaid Cymru

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