Clwyd South: Duncan Rees – Green Party
As part of Wrexham.com’s General Election 2015 coverage we invited all candidates from Clwyd South to take part in a written Q&A and present their own written biography:
Personal Statement: Duncan was born and brought up in Cardiff, studied at Liverpool University, lived 20 years in London, before moving to North Wales in 1995 – where he has since lived in the village of Brynteg near Wrexham. Duncan has worked for organisations in the campaigning and charity field, including CND and Oxfam. For 21 years to 2014 he worked as a membership and community officer for the Co-operative group – latterly in north Wales. He is a strong advocate of a fair deal for producers – overseas, and in Wales. He chaired the Wales Fairtrade organisation during its successful campaign to make Wales the worlds first Fairtrade Nation in 2008.
Married with two grown up children, Duncan takes an active interest in local issues, and is particularly interested in environmental matters, supporting local community and co-operative development, and promoting better public transport and improved routes for both cyclists and pedestrians. He is currently Chair of the Wrexham Fairtrade Coalition, and has been a volunteer on the Llangollen Railway for 10 years.
Duncan adds: “I believe there is growing support for key Green Party messages on issues like climate change, supporting the NHS, opposition to nuclear weapons, increasing the minimum wage and improving public transport. We are standing in 35 Welsh constituencies – and for the first time voters here in Clwyd South will have the chance to vote for the Green party. Lets get away from the failed policies of past governments. Vote for what you believe in – vote Green!.”
Each candidate has also been invited to take part in a Q&A….
What do you feel is the top local issue for this election and what is your policy on it?
Lack of housing and cuts in benefits.
The town centre is a focus for the area, what policies do you and/or your party have to help regenerate it?
Fewer out of town developments and superstores, and more efforts to regenerate proper shopping in the high street & area. This should include an increase in public transport access, and also cheaper car parking fees.
The current MP was elected with just 24% of the electorate voting for him. Do you think this is a problem? What have you done to attract and encourage people to vote?
The voting percentage issue is a huge problem, and has been largely caused by people perceiving that their vote makes no difference. The Green party would address this by promoting policies which are different and which would make a break from “business as usual” politics.
What are your views on how a Welsh town like Wrexham sits inside a Welsh Government and Westminster system and inside Europe?
North Wales needs better representation in the Welsh Government, but we also need to acknowledge our economic and social ties with nearby NW england.
Where do you most strongly disagree with your party’s manifesto? (For the independents: What do you most strongly disagree with that the current government has done)
I have no strong disagreement with the Green party manifesto.
As an MP you may get the chance to bring in a new law via a Private Members bill; if you got this opportunity what law would you seek to bring in?
To bring British rail back into public ownership.
Wrexham is due to become the home to one of the largest prisons in the UK? What is your stance on this?
Neutral, although would be pleased with the jobs it could bring.
The NHS is one of the main talking points heading into the General Election? What changes would you make to how the service is governed and delivered?
Bring Health and social services under one authority / make the NHS governance smaller in the regions / provide more local GP services and local clinics to reduce pressure on the Maelor hospital, and massively increase NHS funding. Also we must resist the privatisation of the NHS.
What are your views on fracking and why?
Against. On environmental grounds locally, and also because we know that around 80% of available fossil fuels will need to be kept in the ground anyway – if we are to avoid massive and catastrophic global warming.
What do you think makes you stand out from the other six candidates?
The Green party is being honest about what needs to be done – to heal our planet and our country. We are not “business as usual” party, and we are not asking for people to vote for us as an alternative to someone who is even worse – which is what the main parties seem to be doing. Out campaign slogan is “vote for what you believe in”
What do you think to the diversity of the list of candidates for Wrexham?.
Not great. I would have liked to have seen more ethnic diversity and more women and young people in the mix – this is something which the green party is attempting to address.
Do you think you will have the power and or influence to deliver on your promises to the people of Wrexham, if so, why?
Yes – because as just one Green MP (Caroline Lucas) has shown – we have a strength of political principle and purpose which far outweighs our (current) parliamentary strength.
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