Thursday, 28 April 2011

Seven days to go...

As you may have noticed the amount of new blogposts by myself has decreased over the last couple of months or so. This has been due the demands of campaigning: including attending various hustings, public meetings, and, most importantly, the pounding of pavements all over Sir Fôn actually meeting people and businesses. 

Over the last year and a half I have chronicled through this blog the economic, civic, and social problems faced by the Ynys Môn. This Island has over the the past ten years lost over 2,100 private-sector jobs – the equivalent of the entire population of Beaumaris.  Well known companies which survived the recession of the 1980s and 90s, which have provided stable, well paid work for generations of Islanders have in recent years closed in rapid succession:

  • The Octel chemical plant in Amlwch began production in 1953 and continued through the 80s and 90s (under various different names) until it closed in 2005 with a loss of 110 jobs.
  • The Peboc Eastman chemical plant in Llangefni was established in 1970, continued production all through the 80s and 90s, and only closed its doors in 2008 with a loss of 100 jobs
  • Anglesey Aluminium started smelting in 1971 and continued production all the way through the 80s and 90s, only closing with a loss of 400 jobs in September 2009
  • The Eaton Electric plant in Holyhead opened in 1960 under the name Midland Electric Manufacturing Company, it operated all through the 80s and 90s and closed just three months after Anglesey Aluminium in December 2009 with a loss of 250 jobs

And these are just the big companies, countless other small local businesses and shops have also gone out of business – as witnessed by the numbers of empty fonts on the high streets of our main towns. As a result Ynys Môn is, according to the Office for National Statistics, now firmly planted at the bottom of the UK's prosperity league table with a GVA per head figure of just half of the national average. The case for economic support for Ynys Môn is clear and apparent, yet when the Welsh Assembly Government distributes its business support funding we discover that Ynys Môn, like much of North Wales, receives well below the average spend per head:

Total business grants received by each local authority per head of population
since introduction of Economic Renewal Programme in July 2010
click to enlarge

Agriculture has also been hard hit, with the economic contribution of agriculture on the Island having declined by 68 percent over the ten years up to 2007. This has directly affected the Welsh Country Foods abattoir and meat-packaging plant in Gaerwen (where, incidentally, I found my first paid job). It began operating back in 1980s and continued throughout that decade and the 1990s and only began downsizing in 2009 with a loss of 200 jobs; the 'Chuckies' chicken processing plant in Llangefni was established even earlier and also continued production throughout the 80s and 90s, until it lost a whole shift (140 jobs) in 2009. Where is Môn Mam Cymru now?

And then we come to the Council. With the recent appointment of the Commissioners by WAG, Ynys Môn has now suffered the most stringent local government intervention ever seen in the Wales. The political problems at the council could and should have been sorted out 15 years ago, not allowed to fester and continue until this point. Will the latest intervention solve the problems? To be frank the latest signs are not encouraging at all.

This election gives us a real chance to draw a line under the past. If like me you feel strongly about the decline of Ynys Môn and think we need a new representative in the Welsh Assembly , then I would like to ask you to join my campaign and help rebuild our Island. 

As we move into the last week of the campaign if you would like to take part and help by...

  • delivering leaflets
  • canvassing door to door or by telephone 
  • putting a sign in your window

...or in any other way, then please use the 'contact me' section above and get in touch!


The Red Flag said...

Good luck Druid - and pray the weather holds. It's no fun door-knocking in the rain.

kp said...

Good luck. But is it just me or have you come over 'all rather Welsh' in these last few days? An attempt to draw the Plaid vote no doubt, but rather off-putting for the traditional Tory supporter.

Terms like Isle of Anglesey and Ynys Mon are not interchangeable. Each has its place and to use them incorrectly is to show bad manners.

Photon said...

It would be churlish not to wish you the best of luck, Paul. I can't ever understand why you chose to become a Tory, but that's your right.

If it's any consolation, I think that you are still the best person, if not the best party for Anglesey.

angleseypolitics said...

we could be in recount territory!

Richard Sletzer said...

Well guys - we already know (don't we just!) that Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems have done nothing but damage to Wales.

Those three parties, their silly policies and their incompetent, low-IQ politicians have made Education in Wales the worst in the UK, GDP in Wales the worst in the UK, the Health Service in Wales the worst in the UK.

All three parties deter enterprise and private business and have presided over a massive decline in the private sector. All three parties want to persist with bloated, unaffordable, public services.

So - this time - what's so wrong about voting Conservative?

Good luck to Paul - all power to your elbow.

kp said...

Oh Richard, I am beginning to like you more and more ... it is high time more people spoke out to stop the nonsense that is modern day Wales.

Anonymous said...

It's now time to show our support for Paul, or we will end lost again with the "Lost Mountain Sheep" for another five years.
Of all the candidates in this election Paul is the only one capable of doing the job for good of Anglesey. Paul will fight for Anglesey and North Wales and not for the South and Cardiff.
We must get behind Paul and offer him our full support and wish all best. I for one will be in touch and offer my time and effort to get Paul elected.

Un o Fon

Groundhog said...

Good luck Paul, you have four votes in this household adn I think you are the man for the job.

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

Since you created this blog site, we have all had the chance to air our views about the disaster that has happened on Anglesey in the past.

We have all read about massive failings, jobs disappearing, children leaving for better careers, these topics have been enlightening, because they were all written from the heart.

Most of these problems happened well before the banking crisis. We have lived in really desperate times.
We wrote about Plaid Cymru failing us all, labour losing the plot, we poked fun at the clowns that represent us.

Then we had the mess calling itself the Council. We dissected and tore the place to shreds, it was all done to show the Assembly what a mess we had up here, it worked.
Carl Sargeant the Texas Ranger rode into town, with his fistful of deputies, and we were really hopeful, for once something was being done, and someone was listening, the bad news.. the deputies and the Texas Ranger Carl Sargeant have NO effective mechanism to resolve all of the grievances in a timely manner, and I do believe that any means to resolve complaints and serious problems that we have at Llangefni will always remain elusive. Why? because the deputies and the Assembly just want a quiet life and want people to settle down and be quiet. Nothing will be done, because nothing can be done, they have no delegated power to punish, dismiss or suspend the wrongdoers, that caused the intervention in the first place.

In the words of the Texas Ranger "the people of Anglesey should start to learn to do as they are told.."

Vote Conservative if you care about Anglesey.

the outsider said...

I thought I knew a little bit about Anglesey, I realise I have a lot to learn about Ynys Mon.
Your blog has been an education over these last few months and I have no doubt that whatever party you were representing you would do the very best possible job for the island you love.
I also expect that, if elected, you would be a more effective advocate and lobbyist, on behalf of this island, with the Government in Westminster, than a candidate from an 'opposition' party could hope to be.
So for the sake of my fellow islanders I wish you very good luck on 5th May.

Anonymous said...

I hope the voters realise that we cannot keep living in the past, we have to adopt and evolve and move forward, we can do this together, but we can't do it with one foot in the political past. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

I hope this election puts the people in the driving seat for a change, instead of being made to feel good, we should be better than good.