Carrie Harper – Plaid Cymru

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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Q1 – Are you able to tell us a little about who you are, any political history and about your political leanings?

My name is Carrie Harper, I’m a County Councillor and Mum to two teenagers. I first became involved in politics over a decade ago due to organising several campaigns against housing over-development in north east Wales. I realised fairly early on that the way to change things was through the political arena.  I wanted to contribute to a political system that improved people’s quality of life and that put the needs and interests of our communities in Wales at the top of the agenda. Even as a political newcomer at the time, it was blatantly obvious to me that the London based parties could not and would not deliver the changes we needed here. I therefore decided to join Plaid Cymru and have not looked back since. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

I have continued to focus on the impacts of housing and planning on our communities, as well as campaigning to retain our maternity services in north Wales and on many campaigns to protect our key services. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Politically speaking I am a socialist but I believe in a distinctly Welsh vision in terms of what that means. I want to see people and communities empowered from the grass roots up and power concentrated locally wherever possible. I want to see a fairer distribution of wealth and resources across Wales, so that every community benefits from devolution. Above all, I believe that the people of Wales will always make the best decisions for our communities and that decisions about Wales should be made in Wales. There is a better future available for us if we choose it. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Q2 – What do you feel are the top 3 local issues which affect Alyn and Deeside community specifically and what is your policy on it/.

1 – The current crisis within the NHS.

Many people are actually surprised to discover that the NHS in Wales is devolved and has been run by the Cardiff Labour Government for almost 20 years. They do recognise however that the problems we are currently seeing in A and E and in our GP surgeries in terms of a shortage of doctors and increased waiting times are a result of bad management. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Plaid Cymru have put forward a set of policies to rescue our NHS, we’d train and recruit 1000 doctors and 5000 nurses. We’d also build a medical school in north Wales to ensure we train people as locally as possible and retain staff for the Welsh NHS.  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

2 – Fair funding for north Wales

North Wales doesn’t get its fair share, we don’t get a fair share of spending and we don’t get a fair share of resources. Even though we have 22% of the population in north Wales, we only get 17% of infrastructure spend, as well as not getting our fair share of Government resources. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Plaid Cymru will make fair spending across Wales a legal requirement. We recognise that many of our communities are feeling left behind and we understand that devolution has to work for every part of the country. We’d also ensure that Government resources are more fairly distributed. We’re the only party putting solutions on the table to level the playing field. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

3 – Welsh priorities for Brexit

Brexit is happening and we need to make sure that our needs and priorities are heard during the negotiations, at the moment we’re in danger of becoming the forgotten Nation, at a time we can least afford it. Both the Tories and Labour have already demonstrated they’re incapable of fighting our corner and no one seems to know exactly where they stand on the Brexit issue. With Tory threats of an extreme Brexit or even a no deal scenario, along with local employers such as Airbus and Toyota voicing concerns, our economy and jobs have to be the focus. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Plaid Cymru will always put the needs of our communities at the top of the agenda, we’ll make sure Welsh interests cannot be ignored as we leave the EU. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Q3 – What arguments can you put forward to ensure that there is a fairer funding formula for Local & Welsh Government?

The old economic model of concentrating wealth and resources in capital cities and the South east whilst the rest of the country looks on simply does not work. It doesn’t work across the border in England and it certainly isn’t working in Wales. Both Labour and the Tories seem content to do what they’ve always done but as we all know, everyone else wants a fairer distribution of wealth and power. Making that happen is a core principle for Plaid Cymru and that’s why we’re different. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

We’d legislate to make sure spending was fair, we’d also ensure new Government initiatives and current resources are shared out more fairly across the nation. We also have a core principle of devolving power as far as possible, empowering local communities in the political and decision making process. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

More than just fair funding, we’ll strive for equality across Wales by lifting up those at the bottom and working to eliminate geographic and economic inequality across our nation. We’ll also work to make sure the basic services we all need are not for profit and are publicly or community owned wherever possible. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Fairness and equality are threads that have to run through every policy and from the grass roots up if we genuinely want a better future. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Q4 – What relevant experience do you have for the job of Alyn and Deeside AM?

I have many years of experience as a county councillor, community councillor and campaigner. More importantly though, I believe I have the right motivation. I entered the political world accidently, having never had any political ambitions until my late twenties. I became involved through grass roots community activism and a genuine desire to make a difference, that perspective is still what motivates me a decade later. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

I’m interested in people and communities and how we improve our quality of life in Wales , how we inspire confidence in the current and next generation and how we can build a new vision for our country based on our strengths, needs and aspirations. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

I’m not interested in the status quo or simply managing the system, if that’s what you want then don’t vote for me. I want be part of a new kind of politics, I want to do things differently and offer people an alternative to the decaying political system they feel so alienated from. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Q5 – What is the biggest differentiator between yourself and your fellow candidates?

Simply this. My party will always work for and on behalf of the people of Wales, we do not answer to any masters in London. That basic but crucial difference means we never have any conflict of interest as the London based parties do and repeatedly demonstrate. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

There will never be a situation where the needs of Wales are not top of the agenda for Plaid Cymru. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Facebook page – Plaid Alyn & Deeside – ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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