THE candidates for Aberconwy constituency have been busy campaigning ahead of the 2021 Senedd election on Thursday May 6.

Persons nominated for Aberconwy are Aaron Wynne – Plaid Cymru, Dawn McGuinness – Welsh Labour, Janet Finch-Saunders – Welsh Conservative Party; Rachel Bagshaw – Reform UK, Rhys Jones – Welsh Liberal Democrats, Sharon Smith – No More Lockdowns Party.

Welsh Labour Party candidate Dawn McGuinness, 52, is a working mother of two who grew up in Bala.

She said: “I left home at 17 to work in the USA as a nanny. When I returned to the UK I spent several years living in London, where I put myself through Business College, then worked for several technology companies as an Office Manager.

“I have lived in Llandudno for 20 years, where I currently work as an Area Manager for a national neurological charity.

“I am standing in the election as I believe it is time for a fresh approach with someone who will work with the Welsh Labour Government to put in place policies that will improve the lives of the people living here. My priority would be to secure good quality local jobs for the people of Aberconwy.”

She added Labour has pledged to create thousands of jobs in a low carbon house building revolution, building 20,000 social homes for rent.

“Working collaboratively with the Welsh Labour Government I will ensure that a suitable percentage of those houses are built and therefore jobs created here in Aberconwy.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Party candidate Rhys David Jones was born and bred in Merthyr Tydfil. He studied physics at Imperial College, London. And entered the Lloyd’s of London insurance market as a trainee actuary and has been in the financial service industry ever since.

He said: “I am a proud bilingual Welshman, and had to leave Wales to seek out the opportunities that weren’t available here. I want to bring those opportunities to Wales, grow our business sector, have a world leading mental health strategy and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

“It’s a priority to ensure we bring forward a universal basic income, and our first steps should be looking at the inequality that exists in minimum wage being tied to the employees age. In other words, same job, same pay. By making simple changes to the National Insurance threshold this can be achieved without any burden on local businesses who are so essential to a post-Covid economic recovery.

“An area of focus for me will be the poorly performing Betsi Cadwaladr Hospital Board, particularly in the treatment of mental ill health. I want to see ministerial responsibility for mental health decision in government, and mental health treated exactly as does physical health with 24/7 access to support.”

Welsh Conservative Party candidate Janet Finch-Saunders has been Aberconwy’s representative in the Senedd since 2011.

She is a member of the Conservative Party, and has a record of community service having been Mayor of Llandudno and a member of Conwy County Borough Council.

Mrs Finch-Saunders has founded a number of successful local businesses and is supportive of new start-ups and established small and medium sized enterprises.

She said her record included delivering speed limit reductions in Cwm Penmachno, seeing the creation of a zebra crossing in Glan Conwy, securing flood mitigation measures in Llanrwst, better bus services in Llandudno Junction, saving Dolgarrog bridge from permanent closure and carrying out countless individual cases. “I have proven I do work for our community.”

She said: “I look to continue working with communities across Aberconwy to secure a strong Covid recovery.

“Constituents deserve stability, the security of a regular wage, and major improvements to our NHS.

“It is time to give our youngest generations the brightest possible future. Therefore, I am committed to securing more school funding, additional teachers, 150,000 apprenticeships, and a stronger economy”

Sharon Smith No More Lockdowns Party candidate has lived in Aberconwy all her life and is a former pupil of Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno.

She said: “I now live in the countryside and fully support tourism and the support of agriculture and the rural way of life. I’m very much a supporter of human rights and have libertarian values.”

Referring to the lockdowns she said: “Extraordinary measures require an extraordinary burden of proof on the imposers of those measures before they pass the test of proportionality. That test has not even vaguely been met - the deep level of dissent in the scientific community already makes the measures indefensible.

“That the healthcare system is failing is an indictment of government management and a “Protect the NHS” propaganda line is as clear an indication of management bankruptcy as it is possible to make. The damage to children’s education, mental health and entire future is indefensible.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Aaron Wynne, now aged 24, has been a Conwy County Borough councillor since 2017 when he was identified as the youngest county councillor in Wales.

“I’m standing in this election because just like other people in Aberconwy, I’m getting impatient for change,” he said.

“Whether it’s poverty levels, a health board in special measures or a housing system that’s out of control, things need to change.

“Covid-19 has only amplified these issues and highlighted that our current politicians aren’t up for the job.”

He added: “One of my ambitions is to have a national housing revolution. Young families in Conwy are having to move out of the county for work and to find somewhere to live.

“We need to build more social housing and affordable homes to buy and rent, so that families can remain living local.

“I may only be 24, but I have lived in Conwy county all my life. As a young person who wants to remain living and working here, I know how difficult that is.”

Efforts were made to contact Rachel Bagshaw (Reform UK) before the Pioneer went to press.