Andrew Parkhurst – Welsh Liberal Democrats – Delyn

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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The Coronavirus pandemic has affected us all. Our health, livelihoods, education and liberties have all been affected.

The pandemic has also shone a light on some fundamental problems in our society where poverty, inequality and inadequate health care – particularly for mental health – are all too common.

The reason I am standing as your local Welsh Lib Dem candidate in the Senedd election is because I believe we can do better and we now need to focus all our attention on putting recovery first.

My desire is to see a fairer, more compassionate, tolerant and prosperous society where the country is competently governed, where individuals are given the opportunities to succeed and where the vulnerable are better protected.

I am not driven by party ideology though – simply a desire to work together to find sensible solutions to the problems we face.

I qualified as a Chartered Insurance Risk Manager and have worked for leading commercial and agricultural insurers.

I am now the Welsh Lib Dems’ Economy Spokesperson so my brief is to focus on measures which will create a more prosperous and fairer society.

My business experience has shown me how having a successful economy – with well-paid and reliable jobs – is crucial if we are to afford the public services that we all need.

The necessity to address climate change and to look after our environment is also very clear.

Businesses which address long-term challenges are those which succeed. Our country should be no different and must be bold in how it addresses the climate emergency.

My work has also shown me how integrity and high ethical standards are so important. I am a Past President of the Stratford-on-Avon and Liverpool Insurance Institutes, and in 2017 was awarded an Exceptional Service Award by the Chartered Insurance Institute in recognition of my work to raise professional standards over many years.

Having lived in Flintshire for over 25 years I know the area’s potential and challenges very well.

If you put your trust in me and I am elected on 6th May I will listen to your hopes and concerns and will use my voice in the Senedd to stand up for Flintshire to help make it a better place for us all.


Q1 What is the number one issue locally, and how will you achieve a solution?

The need to create the environment that will see businesses of all sizes creating more skilled, well-paid and reliable jobs with good opportunities for career progression.

We will promote a business-friendly culture, support entrepreneurs and businesses to invest (targeting productivity and decarbonisation measures), establish a Job Creation Premium to offset the initial cost of recruitment and training, invest in making the area a centre of excellence for renewable energy technology, enact measures to ensure local supply chains benefit from Welsh Government and Local Authority investment, reform business rates, improve digital connectivity and work to remove barriers for trade with European markets.

2 –  What is your plan for helping residents and businesses in your constituency in the coming years to recover from the pandemic?


We will put life back into our high streets and local communities by creating a £500m fund to get businesses back on their feet and enable them to adapt and thrive.

We will produce a plan to get cancer and other screening back on track and treatment waiting times down, putting mental health care on a par with physical health and increasing provision of local medical services.

3 – The pandemic has highlighted to many for the first time the powers that the Senedd have under devolution. How has the pandemic changed your views of devolution? 


I continue to support the principle of devolution. The pandemic has highlighted though how Wales, under socialist governments, has underachieved these past 22 years, particularly economically and medically. It is time therefore to change the government, not the democratic institution.

4 – What would you have done differently on the Welsh covid response? 


I would not have discharged elderly, untested, hospital patients into care homes, and, wherever possible, I would have used isolation units for the care of Covid patients, rather than general hospitals.

I would also have given more consideration to the expert scientific advice to ensure that the restrictive measures that needed to be taken were proportionate and necessary for the degree of risk involved.

The Welsh Government (WG) claimed to be ‘following the science’, but having obtained access to reports prepared by its own scientific advisers – the so-called ‘Technical Advisory Cell’ (TAC) – it is clear that at times the WG deliberately took actions that were contrary to this advice; eg the TAC said that closing non-essential retail would have ‘very minimal impact on rate of transmission”, but the WG went ahead anyway, contrary to its own experts’ advice.

In applying restrictions I would have given greater thought to the benefits of exercise and sunshine on physical and mental health, and would have produced a plan for getting delayed cancer and other screening back on track and treatment waiting times down.

5 – Would you support legislation to hold an independence referendum for Wales? How would you vote in such a referendum and why?


I would not support such legislation unless there was a very clear mandate from the electorate to do so. I have not seen convincing arguments in favour of independence so in such as referendum I would vote against it.

6 – What actions would you take, or support, as an MS to encourage Welsh language use growth? Or, if you are against this, why?


I would support increased Welsh language training and funding to enable greater provision of public services through the medium of Welsh and would encourage increased use of the Welsh language in education to ensure work opportunities are available to all and to help break down cultural barriers.

I would establish a Rural Economy Taskforce to examine the long-term needs of our rural economy, including the tourism industry, and campaign for the devolution of powers over S4C and other public service broadcasting matters.


7 – What does “climate emergency” mean to you, and why?

Climate change is the greatest threat facing this generation. The evidence is plain to see – from rising global temperature and sea levels to more frequent weather events.

Addressing climate change is therefore at the heart of all our policies, including creating a package of investment of £1bn per year to fight the climate emergency by investing in new, green technologies.

Addressing the climate emergency is the most valuable legacy we can leave to our children.

8 – There can be a perception that politicians are too “South Wales focused” and can see a north-south divide. Do you think this is the case, and realistically if elected which of your North Wales specific goals do you think you can deliver?


This is more than perception. It can be seen in the low levels of Council funding in North Wales, compared to South Wales, the cuts in commuter train services and level of rail fares (which can be twice those in South Wales) as well as the Welsh Government’s lack of familiarity with the area and trying to ride roughshod over the interests of local communities with its hugely expensive, climate-wrecking A55 ‘Red Route’ proposals.

If elected, my priorities in this area would be to ensure there is a fair funding formula for Flintshire, reinstatement of commuter rail services, reduced rail fares (commensurate with those in South Wales) and scrapping the A55 ‘Red Route’ scheme.

9 – What are your views on an LGBTQ+ plan for Wales?

I reject any discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation, and as such support the Equality Act 2010’s provisions against discrimination on the basis of any of the protected characteristics included in the Act.

I believe it is important to listen to the lived experiences of people rather than making assumptions and I support actions to make Wales a more tolerant and compassionate society.


10 – Children and young people have missed almost a full year of regular education – what are your plans to make sure that children who have missed out on academic and social experiences are not left at a disadvantage in the next few years?


I will support a right to lifelong learning which will ensure that everyone, no matter their background, age or location in Wales, can benefit from free, flexible and accessible courses to gain new skills and qualifications.

I will also support funding to give our poorest pupils the same opportunities as their peers, from helping to cover the costs of school uniforms and sports kits, to supporting trips and IT equipment.

I want to see degree apprenticeships expanded, including at postgraduate level, to diversify the subject areas available and to create more routes into employment.

I also support providing free school meals throughout the school holidays and funding programmes that tackle hunger, isolation, and exclusion.


11 – Local services such as libraries, leisure centres and community centres have been badly affected in recent years due to lack of funding – how would you support local authorities? 

By reviewing the funding formula for local authorities to ensure the financial resources meet the needs of the respective areas and ensuring that Councils in North Wales receive fair financial settlements.

12 – How would you resolve issues at the local health board that are emerging from special measures?


There needs to be a thorough review undertaken by relevant stakeholders of the causes of the failings and a clear action plan produced with agreed measures to prevent a recurrence. Just carrying on without recognising that there needs to be considerable improvement is not an option.

13 – What are you planning to do to help those who are finding it hard to find work? 


We will introduce a Job Creation Premium to offset the initial cost of recruitment and training, and expand Personal Learning Accounts so that everyone can benefit from free, flexible and accessible courses to gain new skills and qualifications.

We will also invest £1bn p.a. to address the climate emergency plus £500m to rejuvenate our towns and cities as well as building 30,000 new homes for rent and taking measures to protect local supply chains, all of which will encourage the creation of additional job opportunities.


14 – Many feel that North Wales doesn’t get the same levels of investment as south Wales, a north Wales minister role was created to address some of the issues, has this been a token gesture?


One of the reasons why Wales has underperformed economically these past 22 years is the ideological attitude the Welsh Government has had to the private sector.

Having a ministerial role specifically for North Wales can be beneficial for the region, but to get full value from it there needs to be change of mindset in Cardiff Bay whereby Government investment is used to greater effect as a key to unlock private sector investment.

15 – With covid measures still in place how are you communicating with people that this election goes beyond covid and easing restrictions – if your policies are largely based on wanting to remove the covid restrictions, what can those who vote for you expect you to achieve and how you will represent them once the pandemic is over?


Welsh Lib Dems have a full, costed manifesto covering the complete range of devolved responsibilities. Whilst the immediate task is to implement measures to put recovery first, our longer term plans will transform the Welsh economy, improve health outcomes and address the climate emergency.

16 – Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for a trial of a Universal Basic Income as part of ‘Putting Recovery First’ – Has the coronavirus pandemic changed the demand for such a measure and how would it be funded and implemented if your party receives a majority? 


The fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic on people’s livelihoods and health has reinforced the need for everyone to have a financial safety net. The current social security system isn’t working and is damaging people’s lives and opportunities. I have seen at first hand decent, hard-working families who would literally face starvation but for the generosity of family, friends and charities. This is simply not acceptable.

Our proposal is to work with the UK Government to pilot a nation-wide Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Wales. This would initially be funded from existing social security and devolved benefits. In the longer term there is the potential to fund UBI by creating a ‘Citizens Wealth Fund’ through investment and management of renewable energy assets.

17 – Mental health is mentioned in every Westminster and Senedd election, however little seems to change for those who need help and have been waiting for long periods of time. How will you fund and improve mental health services for young people and adults in Wales and can you promise it is not just a ‘buzzword’ being used in election promises? 

Our commitment is to put mental health on a par with physical health, with 24/7 access to emergency care.

We will fund this by increasing the share of mental health funding to 13% of the health budget and, to ensure adequate focus, we will appoint a minister responsible for mental health, ensuring collaboration and partnership working across government.

18 – If you change political allegiance from what you are currently seeking election for (eg. resigning from, or joining another party or group) will you trigger a by-election? If not, why not?



19 – At the time of writing where has the top three sources of funding for your campaign come from, and are there any funding sources you feel would be relevant to voters to know about? 

All the funding for my campaign has come from the generosity of private UK Lib Dem members and supporters.

20 – In a few lines to wrap this up, why are you the best candidate compared to your competitors?

I am not hidebound by political ideology, whether of the right or the left. I just want Wales to succeed and the lives improved of everyone who calls Wales their home.

I bring with me considerable professional and business experience and competence which I can utilise to make this happen.

My approach is to collaborate, to build consensus where I can, and to stand firm when I need to. I will work with all stakeholders who have good intent but will not compromise on personal integrity or applying the liberal values of fairness, tolerance and inclusion.

Having lived in Flintshire for so many years, my roots and those of my family are deeply embedded here. I have a genuine desire to see a better Flintshire and a better Wales.

Twitter: @AndrewParkhur15

Full list of candidates standing in Delyn - and links to their profiles below:

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