21 January 2018
Green Party candidate calls for major investment in local rail services and cuts to local council services to be reversed
Wales Green Party’s campaign for the upcoming Welsh Assembly by-election at Alyn and Deeside was launched on Friday evening (19th January). Due to the tight schedule of the by-election, the launch was held for members and supporters of the party only.
Duncan Rees, the Green candidate for the assembly by-election on 6th February, has previously worked for the Co-operative Group in its membership, PR and community team in Wales and prior to that in Merseyside. Before this, he worked as an education and campaigns officer for Oxfam in London. He has been active in the Fairtrade movement and was Chair of Fairtrade Wales at the time of Wales achieving Fairtrade nation status in 2008. Duncan is active locally in a range of voluntary organisations, such as the support group for Wrexham – Bidston railway line. Duncan has lived in Wrexham for 23 years and has been an active member of Wales Green Party since 2014.
Duncan’s assembly campaign highlights the need for the Wrexham – Bidston railway line to be electrified for the economic benefit of the constituency as well as questions the continuing cuts to the local council’s budget.
“The Wrexham – Bidston line, which has six stations in the constituency, must be electrified. We acutely need new and faster trains, more coaches and at least doubling of the service frequency. This would provide better and vital commuting, business and leisure links to the rest of North East Wales and Merseyside. It is vital that Alyn and Deeside is well connected. Investing in the railway line now ensures that the residents are able to commute not just now but carry on doing so in the future, have more flexibility when seeking jobs and crucially, visitors can also travel to Alyn and Deeside, helping us develop tourism and other services.
“As the National Assembly for Wales moves towards increased tax raising powers and greater responsibility for spending in Wales, its responsibility in funding local democracy will grow too. This makes the upcoming by-election very important to our community. With austerity and ongoing cuts from both Westminster and Cardiff, our parks and other leisure facilities, bus services, schools, libraries, bin collections and roads are increasing under threat. Local democracy risks becoming endangered.
“Figures obtained by the BBC from the Welsh government indicate that the main local authority in Alyn & Deeside, Flintshire county council, is due to make budget cuts of around 1% in 2018 / 19. Given rising costs, increased demand for services, and the need for investment, this means that areas like Alyn & Deeside will be hard hit. We need to act now to oppose these cuts! Should I be elected to represent Alyn and Deeside in the Welsh Assembly, I will work to ensure that the constituency gets the funding they need to future-proof the local community.”
The leader of Wales Green Party, Grenville Ham said: “It is time for real change. Green Party elected representatives have time and again shown their practical value in getting things done in their wards and constituencies across the whole of the UK. Wales Green Party does not tell your representative how to represent you or how to vote on issues. We believe our candidates know their local community best - Duncan certainly does.”