Politicians launch ‘Carmarthenshire’s Big Conversation’

Local politicians Jonathan Edwards MP and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM have today launched their latest initiative to hear the views of their constituents.

In recent years the Plaid Cymru duo have tried a series of new ways to speak to local residents. Throughout 2011 the AM and MP piloted a mobile bus surgery in which they travelled to rural villages throughout the constituency to meet residents in their own communities.

On top of that the party has held a series of public meetings and kept up its ‘5ive Streets a Week’ programme in which it speaks directly with residents on their own doorsteps.

Big Conversation

Their new project – Carmarthenshire’s Big Conversation – is their most recent initiative to listen to the views of constituents.

Part one of ‘Carmarthenshire’s Big Conversation’ will launch online today (Wednesday 2nd July) with a questionnaire on issues including housing, education, transport and immigration. Part two of the project will see the politicians and volunteers holding street stalls in villages and community shows throughout the summer to speak with local residents.

Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards said this was the latest in a series of exercises he and Assembly Member colleague Rhodri Glyn Thomas had undertaken to ensure the work they do truly represents the views of their constituents.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas said their outreach work was the way in which they pick up on key issues which matter to the people they represent, and only by continuously engaging with residents will they continue to represent their best interests.

The Big Conversation online survey is available at www.carmarthenshiresbigconversation.org or www.sgwrsfawrsirgar.org

Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards said:

“To put things into perspective, during the recent European election we spoke to 10,000 people – that’s a significant number of people, but still only a fifth of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr electorate.

“Our constituency is rural in nature, and despite investing in two offices at either end of the constituency, residents cannot easily get to see us. That’s why we make that extra effort to get out and hear the views of the people we represent.

“From public meetings, our 5ive Streets a Week programme and our mobile surgery bus, Rhodri Glyn and I pride ourselves on going into communities and directly speaking with residents. Carmarthenshire’s Big Conversation is the latest extension of those efforts to ensure the work we do is truly representative of what our constituents want.

“We’d be grateful if residents who are able to get online could spend just a few minutes visiting www.carmarthenshiresbigconversation.org

Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas added:

“Despite Plaid Cymru topping the Carmarthenshire poll in the recent European election, there is undoubtedly a public mood that politicians are out-of-touch. Irrespective of how much work we already do to speak with residents, it is our duty as elected members to respond to public attitudes. It is only by engaging with people will be know the work we do is representative of what our constituents would like us to do.

“Carmarthenshire’s Big Conversation will see Jonathan Edwards and I, and a team of colleagues, travelling the constituency, visiting as many community streets and events as possible, to engage with local residents.

“Part one is available online and lists just some of the key issues which have filled our mail bags in recent months. We want to get a constituency-wide opinion on these issues and think the Big Conversation is a way in which we can achieve this.

“We look forward to again getting around the constituency and hope the fine weather holds out for us. In the meantime, residents can take part in phase one by visiting www.carmarthenshiresbigconversation.org.”


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