CAERPHILLY’S Plaid Cymru leader is to stand as a candidate for the Caerphilly constituency in the UK General Election, which is expected in 2024.
Councillor Lindsay Whittle, who represents Penyrheol, has been on Caerphilly County Borough Council for 46 years.
Cllr Whittle said: “I want to thank members in the constituency for once again showing their confidence in me.”
He added: “Labour has had its chance in Caerphilly over decades and what has been achieved? Our area needs change and I would be that person at Westminster.”
Caerphilly’s current MP, Labour’s Wayne David, has already confirmed he is stepping down at the next election – having represented the constituency since 2001.
Cllr Whittle is a former Member of Senedd, representing the South Wales East region between 2011 and 2016. He was the council leader between 1999 and 2004, and for a second time between 2008 and 2011.
His selection for this election will need be approved by the party’s national executive.
Cllr Whittle said: “These are tough times for people with the higher fuel and food costs and now Labour-run Caerphilly Council has made the situation for many worse with a 7.9% council tax rise – the third highest in Wales. This is a time the council should be supporting people, not thumping them with a big increase in their bills.
“I know how much people are struggling because I volunteer in a food bank and we are receiving increasing requests for help in a country that is supposed to be among the richest in the world. Westminster is not helping Wales.
“As someone who was on the dole for seven months, I’m also very concerned that many people are unable to get well-paid jobs. That needs to change.”
As a former housing manager in Cardiff, Cllr Whittle said that he was concerned about the difficulty many people – particularly the young – are having in getting on the housing ladder.
He said: “I know Caerphilly council is building small numbers of new homes in places like Trecenydd and Trethomas but really the surface is only being scratched.”
Cllr Whittle has campaigned against the development of new housing on greenfield sites in the Caerphilly Basin arguing that development should take place on brownfield sites in the constituency.
He is chair of the governors at his former school, Cwm Ifor Primary and chair of the Aber Valley Heritage Group.