Plaid Cymru has officially unveiled its national manifesto for the upcoming Assembly election on Thursday 5th May with a pledge to govern for the whole of Wales.
Former Member of Parliament and candidate for the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency, Adam Price, is the author of the party's programme for government. He joined Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood in unveiling the manifesto on Tuesday.
Mr Price describes the 194 page document as "the most ambitious, innovative, forward-looking manifesto Wales has ever seen" and a blueprint for creating a well, well-educated and wealthier nation.
In addition to the party's nine key pledges launched earlier this year which include the abolition of care charges for the elderly and those with dementia, 1,000 extra doctors, 5,000 extra nurses, major investment in transport and infrastructure, and a national commitment on cancer diagnosis, the manifesto features exciting prospects for Carmarthenshire.
Key headlines include:
- A full feasibility study on the re-opening of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth rail line;Support for the plans to reconnect the Amman Valley to Swansea via rail, with a commitment to consider the vitality of the line for passengers;
- A new fund to enable local councils and community groups to provide two hours free car parking in towns throughout Wales, providing a vital boost to town centre footfall and regeneration;
- In addition to the National Transport Plan that includes road improvements around Llandeilo, more road corridors in west Wales between Carmarthen and Llandysul, and between Newcastle Emlyn and Cardigan will be improved;
- A major revamp of Business Rates and rate relief, cutting rates for small businesses and lifting scores of Carmarthenshire firms from paying rates altogether;
- Exploring the development of a publicly or mutually owned broadband network and examining the demand for a Welsh Multi-Operator Mobile Virtual Network, offering access to all mobile networks in Wales to overcome the notspot problems in rural communitites; and
- Spreading prosperity through a Heart of Wales development corridor, using the unique natural assets of the market and spa towns of mid and west Wales as magnets for new businesses and a new economy along the Central Wales railway – increasing demand for rail services and making more frequent services viable, a virtuous circle of sustainable local development.
Speaking at the launch, Adam Price said:
"It is our privilege to be able to present Plaid Cymru's programme of government which not only states clearly what we would seek to achieve as a party of government over the next five years but also how that can deliver transformational and radical change over the next decade.
"Wales is facing a number of major challenges – in health, in education, in relation to the environment and, as we are acutely aware at this time of crisis for our steel industry, in our economic standing. Tinkering around the edges, or in the case of the current Welsh Government – underperformance or even failure, is no longer an option.
"That is why we have sought to create the most ambitious, innovative, forward looking manifesto Wales has ever seen – one which draws on international experience, on best practice and from a wealth of ideas to make Wales work for its people.
"We have also drawn our inspiration for this manifesto from the people for whom we wish to serve. We have crowd sourced the thoughts of Welsh citizens through our Million Ideas website, we have surveyed around 700,000 people by phone or on doorsteps across our nation, we have heard the views of the organisations and businesses who work at the coalface and throughout it all we have learned and we have listened.
"What this manifesto shows is that we are a party ready to govern – it is detailed, it is hefty, it is robust, it is fully costed and its financial implications are independently verified. Our manifesto offers the strong leadership and vision Wales needs."
Carmarthenshire Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards added:
"Our manifesto demonstrates Plaid Cymru's ambition and commitment to delivering for the whole of Wales.
"I'm delighted to see a range of specific pledges for Carmarthenshire, but I know the programme we have outlined today will have a profoundly positive impact on all of our citizens.
"The detailed and fully-costed plans to improve our health service, our education, our economy and environment can help take Wales from the bottom of international league tables.
"May's National Assembly election is about Wales. It's an opportunity for us all to choose a new government for our nation – and my goodness does Wales need a new government.
"Wales has all the ingredients to be a success story in the modern world. Plaid Cymru is ready to help built that more prosperous nation."