My name is Ryan Jones, I’m proud to introduce myself as the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for the Newport West by-election on April 4th. Before I spend the next couple of weeks traversing our community asking for your vote, I wanted you to know a little bit about me. I hope to get to know you all much better over the course of the next month.
I’m a 32-year-old businessman in Newport. I employ 30 people locally in my own construction company. I’ve certainly come a long way from my first job stacking shelves at the WHSmith's in Cwmbran.
I’ve always been entrepreneurial, and having a career running my own business is a natural extension of that. I find that I like to do things differently, and our successes in business is testimony to the benefits of challenging norms. In work we’ve built a dynamic team who always try to think outside the box when it comes to ways to solve problems.
Disappointingly, Brexit is already destroying opportunities for young people as major employers downsize or relocate their operations in Wales. This is despite the fact we haven’t even left yet.
Brexit will have a devastating impact on the Welsh economy, leading to higher unemployment and fewer opportunities. It will of course be the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society that are worst hit by Brexit. These people, already badly hit by austerity, will be pushed further into poverty.
One of the other issues I care about most is health. My fiancé is a nurse in the NHS and we all have friends and relatives who’ve relied upon and been cared for by the NHS. Of course, health is devolved and so is the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly, not Parliament. However, I know that you cannot have an effective and successful health service without enough funding and that it’s very difficult to give health and social care in Wales the funding it needs without the right funding from Westminster.
That’s why I firmly support Liberal Democrat calls to put a penny on the pound in income tax to help fund the NHS and would urge the Welsh Government to spend the extra funding it receives on health and social care.
I’m standing as the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Newport West because I want to create a flourishing economy and a fair society and I know you cannot have one without the other. I want to see governments and businesses working in harmony to better our society without imposing unnecessarily on people’s lives.
I’m a proud campaigner for the Welsh Liberal Democrats and for liberalism. At a time of change and challenge for Newport, it would be easy to simply try and defend the status quo. But that is not good enough. Newport deserves better and I demand better for Newport.