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Plaid Cymru to make valleys conference regular event

23 Nov 2023 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru at Valleys Conference in Merthyr Tydfil.

Peredur Owen Griffiths MS

While it may be hard to define precisely, whenever the ‘valleys’ are mentioned most people have a good idea of the geographical area it covers.

For me, it represents the former coalfields in the south of the country where the cost of fuelling the British economy was a heavy one indeed.

After a childhood spent moving around Wales due to my father being a Minister, it is now the place I call home and have done for more than two decades.

The valleys are really important to Plaid Cymru. We are serious about representing each and every person in this special part of our country.

With that in mind, we held a special conference at the grand and glorious Soar Theatre in Merthyr town centre on Saturday.

As expected, there was a good turnout of local members drawn from across Merthyr Tydfil County Borough but we also attracted members drawn from the Eastern Valley all the way from the western reaches of the former coalfields in the south of our country.

The main aim of this event was to bring together people from various communities to discuss the problems they face within their neighbourhood.

Most importantly, we hope to identify potential solutions to these problems to inform future manifestos and campaigns in future elections.

The conference was held at Merthyr Tydfil’s Soar Theatre.


The session’s presentations – many of which were led by Senedd Members – on topics like the economy, the demographics of the valleys and campaigning were incisive and inspiring in equal measure.

In addition to the six Senedd Members in attendance (which included Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth), there were councillors, activists, and members all contributing to the discussion roundtables equally.

Topics that came up during the group discussions included combatting the cost-of-living crisis, transport policy, and the need to provide opportunities and well-paid jobs.

With the state of the economy and austerity biting hard after 13 years of Tory rule in Westminster, the morning could well have taken a sombre tone.

While there was no hiding from the challenges that we face, it was an inspiring morning that provided a good analysis of where we are in 2023.

Many positive ideas for policies emerged that would, if implemented, materially improves the lives of those that live here.

The plan is for this to be the first of a series of event we hold around the valleys to gather feedback, insight and solutions ahead of forthcoming election campaigns.

After holding these valleys conferences, I am confident that our party will be in a better position to craft policies that will more likely chime with people the length and breadth of the valleys.

Plaid Cymru is serious about making inroads into the valleys at the next Senedd election.

By holding these events, listening to our representatives on the ground and taking their feedback to inform policy and campaigns, we are matching our words with deeds.

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Steffan Gwent
3 months ago

Adam Price has long argued that the Amman Valley is an important constituent part of the ‘greater valleys’ but none of that lot can be spotted in this picture. Where are they? Probably too busy canvassing for Independent MP Jonathan Edwards!

Richard E
Richard E
2 months ago

Pliads great strength in past times was it local and regional network of and for members. Each group fed through to the Annual ‘ Cynhaledd ‘ – a huge event mixing the ecsentric and passionate, the mix of the chapel and the coalfield. Folks like Harri Webb, John Owen and Glyns Owen & James, Ted Meriman and John Ball spared with the Gwynedd branches including Dafydd Orwig, John L Williams, Maldwyn Lewis. The Dyfed brigsde of Hywel Heulyn, Mari James and Prof H Edwards and Melfydd George etc added pasion and fiscsl sense supported by Clwyds Gsreth Roberts, Neil Talyor… Read more »

David Smith
David Smith
2 months ago

What consideration, if any, was given to the principles and implementation of Community Wealth Building at the local authority level?

2 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

I’m not sure why people don’t like this link. There are some excellent ideas about communities having more power over their future.

Arthur Owen
Arthur Owen
2 months ago

The most important valleys based event for Plaid Cymru this week was a certain resignation by a chap called Dai in SIr Gar.Nation dot seems to have missed it.

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