Aberconwy Labour and Conservative candidates have their say

Reporter:

James Wilde & Annie Roberts

In the lead up to the election Labour and Conservative candidates for Aberconwy spoke to the North Wales Pioneer.

CONSERVATIVE candidate Guto Bebb wants the young people of Aberconwy to grasp the opportunities available to them.

The 48-year-old, who has represented the Aberconwy constituency in Westminster for seven years, sees Coleg Llandrillo as the perfect platform for young people to start making their mark in the working world.

Mr Bebb said: “When you look at the fantastic tourism training school in Llandrillo, we have the facilit ies so why aren't our young people working in the tourism trade in our local businesses? Businesses tell me they can't find the staff. Maybe the pay rate isn't what you want at the start but you can work yourself up to a situation where you are better off."

With social care a big topic heading into the election, Mr Bebb is hoping to change perceptions towards care work.

“We need to see care home work not as low paid menial work but as a vital lifeline to many families and individuals,” he added.

Mr Bebb also gave his thoughts on food banks and the North Wales Growth Deal which would give an economic boost to the region's most deprived areas by attempting to link into the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

He said: “I'm not sure why the need (for food parcels) is growing in my constituency. When I was elected we had well over 1,300 unemployed people in Aberconwy, it is now less than 700.

“If you want a good health service, if you want good education, if you want to pay pensioners a decent living, then you have to have a functioning economy. In North Wales that means building on our successes and looking into cities in the North West and seeing how they are modernising and being a part of that.”

LABOUR candidate Emily Owen wants more diversity in politics and a 'fair' Brexit deal.

The 22-year-old, who is standing as a candidate in the election for the first time this year, said she never thought she would venture into politics.

“I got involved with politics within the council and as you start to see it really affecting peoples' lives, I had the bug. I am young to be standing in comparison to a lot of other politicians but that doesn't say I haven't had life experience. I have worked on zero hour contracts and experienced the struggles of getting on the mortgage ladder.”

As Brexit has been a hot topic, Miss Owen confirmed Labour would respect the vote.

“We are going to be open and honest and go into negotiations making sure we are protecting working rights, our jobs and making sure the funding is still there so we are not losing out.”

Miss Owen also gave her views on the ongoing NHS debate. She said: "The amount of money that has been stripped back from the NHS in Wales since the Conservatives were in government is enough to close every NHS facility in North Wales, that is a lot of money and the Welsh Government are cushioning that.”

On food banks, Miss Owen said: “When Labour were in government, there were 16 food banks in Wales and it's now 156.”

The student recently made national news after speaking out about sexual harassment messages she was receiving.

She added: “I was disappointed the way some of the papers did portray the messages. The pictures aren't the problem but the message is important and you need to say this isn't acceptable.”

Check back at 4pm today (7.6) to read interviews with Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Lesiter-Burgess and Plaid Cymru candidate Wyn Jones.

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