It is a great honour and a privilege to have been shortlisted in the Delyn Labour Assembly Selection after receiving nominations from every Labour Party branch in Delyn and from five affiliated trade unions. I have met with many members over the last few weeks and I have spoken passionately about how my values and politics have been shaped by my background in Flintshire, spending the first eighteen years of my life growing up under a Tory Government.
From a very young age, there has also been an enduring positive political influence on my life - my beloved Grandad, Norman. Grandad worked as joiner in the ‘cold mill’ at the steelworks in Shotton and I can recall sitting with him playing while he chatted about what I later realised was politics. He strongly believed that the way to change things for the better was through the strength and values of the trade unions and Labour Party – a belief that I share today. Although when I say playing, this often involved me being given a hammer, nails and an old bit of wood whilst Grandad was working in his shed or rolling empty filter paper in one of the old roly machines back in the days when he still smoked, much to the ongoing terror of my mum!
I am proud to have received nominations from across the Labour movement but it is a source of particular personal pride to have had a nomination from UCATT. My Grandad’s union was UCATT, the union he first joined on 28th June 1948 and was later made an honorary member after 50 years. I remember being taken along to various events at the sports and social club in Shotton during the 1980s.
I am not only shaped by our past but I am proud of it and it has since spurred me to spend my working and personal life fighting for a better future. I am seeking selection to be the Labour Assembly Candidate for Delyn because I want to serve the community that made me and I want to play a part in making the country fairer. To me, being an AM is about public service – standing up for our communities, services and workplaces and being a strong voice for Delyn in Cardiff Bay.
Although he is sadly no longer with us, I hope one day to make my Grandad as proud of me as I am of him and what he taught me.