ELUNED Morgan one of the three contenders to become the next Labour Party leader of Wales today launched her manifesto promising to introduce radical change to the Assembly and to shake things up.
Bringing together the series of commitments she has made over the course of the leadership campaign she said: “The next time we present ourselves to the electorate in Wales, we will need to offer something fresh new and exciting.
“I believe that this manifesto offers the right combination of new ideas, practical thinking and focus to ensure that what is proposed is deliverable. There is an urgent need for Wales to have more self- belief and to understand that we are as able and as talented as any other nation on earth”
Speaking at the launch in the Learning Zone in Blaenau Gwent Eluned emphasised that the ideas had generally been generated as a result of a listening exercise that she had conducted throughout Wales ensuring that the proposed policies had grass roots support from Beyond the Bubble of Cardiff Bay.
Central to her theme was the fact that she is determined to ensure that the creation of quality jobs and eradicating poverty was put front and centre of her manifesto commitments.
Eluned said: “For decades Wales has been able to rely on a cheque arriving from London to pay for our public services in Wales. With the advent of a proportion of tax raising powers being devolved to Wales we need to grow our own economy, or we will have to manage decline of our public services like our schools and hospitals, I want to make it clear that I want to avoid this at all costs.”
Eluned emphasised that “At this time of uncertainty, my aim is to ensure as much stability as possible but not to be complacent or tied into a programme of government developed pre- Brexit.”
Her first priority would be to argue for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal proposed by Theresa May”.
“I would like to lead the campaign to stay in the EU which is undoubtedly the best option for jobs and stability in Wales.”
The manifesto is set out in five key themes which will help to transform Wales for the future. Her vision will:
- Tackle poverty and drive economic growth
- Care for Welsh people and offer hope and fairness
- Unite the party and unite the nation
- Promote Wales as a confident green nation
- Prepare the country for a rapidly changing world
Two policies were promoted at the launch which Eluned has underlined are critical issues which need urgently to be addressed.
Eluned said: “Mental health is an issue which affects thousands of people of all ages across Wales. My particular interest is to address the link between mental health and debt issues which are blighting the lives of people across the nation. Half of people in problem debt also have mental health problems, and these people are twice as likely to develop major depression.
“Currently only 14% of Welsh Health Boards collect data on financial difficulties to shape their local needs assessments. Guidance must be issued for all to do this. I will ensure that mental health services routinely screen all service users for financial difficulty, and refer them on to help in both primary and secondary care.”
“My Government would fund a trial of debt and money advice in mental health settings. This would supply a clinical evidence base to assess the impact on mental health recovery rates.
The other theme which she focussed on at her launch was the issue of childhood obesity and the need to improve fitness levels in the young.” She said.
“I will introduce a concerted programme to tackle obesity in the young by insisting that junior schools introduce a mile a day run. Secondary school children will be offered a free app and a fit bit which will encourage them to eat well and exercise frequently encouraging them to foster a love of fitness that will keep them going throughout their life. By investing in the youth of today we will save money for the generations of tomorrow.”