Glyn Preston – Welsh Liberal Democrats – Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr General Election 2024

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This is a candidate page for the Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr constituency – the full list of candidates are: Jeremy David Brignell-Thorp, Oliver Lewis, Glyn Preston, Elwyn Vaughan, Craig Williams, Steve Witherden.

You can view our Election 2024 homepage here.

Supplied Bio…

I am delighted to be the Liberal Democrats’ choice to be the new MP for Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr. I was born and raised here and I live in Llanidloes, where I have had the privilege of being elected as a local county councillor since returning from university.

Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr has been left without a strong local representative for far too long and I want to follow in the footsteps of this constituency’s long Liberal history when we had hard working local MPs like Alex Carlile and Emlyn Hooson.

Our constituency has been let down by both the major parties. The Conservatives have been involved in constant sleaze and scandal, meanwhile the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff Bay doesn’t understand Mid or North Wales and neglects rural communities.

We have seen them trigger massive farming protests just this year, they have cut rural bus routes and are planning to cut services on the Cambrian Line. Meanwhile Labour’s mismanagement of the Welsh NHS has left Wales with the longest waiting times in the UK.

The Liberal Democrats understand rural communities, it’s where our roots are and I deal with them every single day as a councillor in Llanidloes.

The Liberal Democrats have a comprehensive plan to stand up for our rural communities and create the conditions so that more of my peers can make their lives here rather than moving away. We will increase funding to restore rural bus routes, we will boost the Welsh agriculture budget by £50 million each year, we will re-negotiate botched trade deals and increase gigabit broadband coverage to all areas so our towns and villages can take advantage of shifting work patterns.

We will also fix our NHS. We are the only major party talking about social care, which is a massive issue here. In Powys alone 37% of the council’s budget is spent on social care and crumbling services means patients cannot be discharged from A&E into the community. Our plans would see £200 million a year going into fixing the social care system in Wales.

Likewise, our plans for a rural GP premium would allow us to attract and maintain more GPs in our area making it easier for people to get appointments and further reducing the pressure on A&E departments. I’d also work closely with Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan if she is re-elected across the border in Shropshire to continue her work in holding Shrewsbury and Telford hospital to account for its massive failings.

Our plans for more affordable childcare, flexible working from day one of employment, free school meals for primary aged children and mental health hubs in every community would have a significant impact on the social care crisis facing Wrexham Borough Council where the social care budget has skyrocketed due to increasing child poverty and also from the impact of Covid on families and wellbeing.

I am asking you to place your trust in me on July 4th and vote for someone who is already tried, tested and trusted as a local representative and I promise you I will work extremely hard to restore integrity to our politics and be a strong local voice for our communities in London.

Q&A Responses…

1. What is the top issue that you feel the people of Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr will want you to represent them on, and what is your position on it?

From my conversations on the doorstep, healthcare is definitely the number one priority across the constituency. Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr are rather unique because a large majority of our residents will access healthcare on both the Welsh and English side of the border through GPs and hospitals such as Wrexham, Shrewsbury & Telford and Aberystwyth, and further afield for specialist care.
In this sense, we sometimes unfortunately get the worst of all worlds with both the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay and the Conservative Government in Westminster letting us down. Ambulances are often left queuing for hours and it’s really difficult to get a GP or NHS dentist appointment.
The Liberal Democrats’ big focus when it comes to fixing this is on social care. Despite the fact we are the only party focusing on it, it’s a huge problem. Our A&E departments are overwhelmed for two reasons: first people cannot access primary care (GPs) so end up deteriorating until they need to go to hospital and then secondly, social care is in crisis so people cannot be discharged from A&E into the community meaning beds become blocked.
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to make social care free at the point of need for all who need it, funded by reversing the Conservatives’ tax cuts for big banks. We will also raise the minimum wage for social care workers to £2 above the standard minimum wage, recognising there is a recruitment crisis and we need to value the role more as a society.
Our constituency has a large ageing population and social care forms a huge amount of what local council budgets are being spent on so this really would be my top priority if I am elected.

2. Cost of living is up, mortgages are up, food prices are up, energy costs are up, rent is up – all with inflation still increasing. What can you practically do as an MP to help people in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr in the future?

The Conservatives have badly mismanaged the economy and recklessly damaged the public finances, grinding economic growth to a halt and adding billions to the cost of servicing our debt. Liz Truss’ kamikaze budget has left us all paying a high price.
The Liberal Democrats will provide long-term help with the cost of living by cutting energy bills through an emergency Home Energy Upgrade programme and tackling rising food prices through a National Food Strategy.
We will also invest in green infrastructure, innovation and skills to boost economic growth and create good jobs. We will repair the broken relationship with Europe, which acts as a brake on the economy and costs the UK investment, jobs and is particularly harming small businesses which are facing mountains of extra red tape.

3. Social housing wait lists are high, private home ownership is more and more unattainable with more people in their 20s and 30s still living at home with their parents. In your view, how can this be resolved?

We simply haven’t built enough houses over the last 40 years. Successive Governments both in Cardiff Bay and Westminster haven’t prioritised the needs of young people and their requirement for a stable home to live in. I’ve seen this myself with friends being priced out of the villages and towns they grew up in and have their roots in.
This has only got worse since Liz Truss and the Conservatives crashed the economy and mortgage rates went through the roof, with costs also being passed on to renters.
We need to get building more and we need better regulations on developers to ensure they are building the homes we need, not just executive flats or holiday homes. We also need to ensure that homes are being built in the right place and come with extra amenities such as schools and GP surgeries.
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to build 380,000 homes a year across the UK, including 150,000 social homes a year. We have also pledged to ban no-fault evictions making it easier for young people to feel secure in their renting situation.

4. Young people are often an afterthought during election cycles and after years of disrupted education, including closure of youth facilities and lack of mental health support. What do you think needs to be put into place to support young people and how would you lobby for this if elected.

I am a young person myself, and I’m not afraid to say that I have struggled with my mental health at times, as have most people I know. In the age of social media, mental health has deteriorated even more and young people face increasing pressures over a lack of good housing, employment and life opportunities.

That is why the Liberal Democrats have proposed tripling the tax on social media companies and tech giants in the UK and ring-fencing the money raised to spend on mental health support. This would include a mental health practitioner in every single school.

We also need to recognise that we live in a rural region and mental health is often found to be worse in rural areas due to isolation. Farmers have some of the highest suicide rates of any profession and many young farmers aren’t immune from this. I would heavily support the great work done by the DPJ Foundation and others to continue to tackle this.

We also need to see more investment in youth services to help keep young people away from bad influences and to push them to secure the best future for themselves as possible.

5. Health is devolved, but there is a link to Westminster and England in many ways. People are waiting longer for GP appointments, hospital waiting times have risen, staff are poorly paid and overworked. In your opinion, how do you think the issues in the NHS need addressing

As mentioned in my first answer, fixing social care is the primary focus for the Liberal Democrats when it comes to mending our health system.
But we would also bring dental funding for the Welsh Government in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland and seek to end the NHS dental deserts that have plagued Wales under Welsh Labour’s control.
We would introduce legislation requiring all cancer patients to start treatment within 62 days to boost survivability rates, make it so you can get a GP within seven days and finally introduce a rural GP premium which would make it easier to recruit and retain GPs in rural areas.

5. How do you think climate change will affect Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr in the future, and what as a local MP can you do on the matter?

Climate change is already having an impact on Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr. We have seen massive floods in recent years followed by droughts and this is only set to get worse if we don’t act. This will have a particularly devastating impact on our constituency because so much of the local economy and employment relies on agriculture and any farmer will tell you they are very worried about it.
And it’s not just the climate, it’s also about our biodiversity and natural environment. Between them Welsh Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay and Conservative Ministers in Westminster have let water companies get away with dumping raw sewage in our precious rivers for years on end. The Liberal Democrats would ban executive bonuses, introduce a tough new regulator and expand blue flag status from our beaches to our rivers.
We would also introduce an emergency insulation programme, helping people save money on their bills while also reducing emissions at the same time. This is a massive issue in Wales where houses are some of the most poorly insulated which not only means high bills, but also means high levels of illness from pneumonia, etc… which also costs our NHS.

6. Do you think migration is a big issue to the people of Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, and if so, why? Summarise your views. 

Migration is a big issue to the people of Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr, but perhaps not in the way people may think. We actually have a massive brain drain problem here. The population of our constituency is both ageing and shrinking. This is a massive problem, not only does it mean fewer people to fill jobs, but in the long term it means public services may have to be cut as there are fewer people using them and fewer tax-paying working-age people to support them.

Many of my friends and family have had to move away to find better work, despite not wanting to. This needs to change if our area is to thrive in the future and will be one of my top priorities to bring investment and good quality jobs into the constituency to keep our young people here.

8. What are your views on the current devolution arrangements from Westminster to Cardiff, and what change if any, would you support?

The Liberal Democrats have always believed that much power should be as close to the people as possible. We have supported devolution to Wales, but it has been badly managed by Labour in a lot of respects. We want to hold the Welsh Labour Government to account for its failures.
We also want to see communities given more funding and powers. Local people know their communities and their needs best.
However, we would be fully against Plaid Cymru’s plans for independence, which would devastate border communities like ours. Can you imagine a hard border preventing you from going to Oswestry or Shrewsbury? Or preventing your children from being able to study at English universities?

9. What is your view on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and what future path would you like the UK Parliament to take?

We need to give Ukraine all the support it needs to win. Russia won’t stop at Ukraine’s borders if it wins the conflict. We should be providing Ukraine with more arms and more financial support. They are alone in standing up for the freedom of the entity of Europe.
Some people say supporting Ukraine is expensive, but it is less expensive than the cost if Ukraine was to lose and the war spread.
We also need to see the UK Government clamp down on Russian money laundering in London. Current sanctions aren’t being enforced well enough and money should be confiscated and given to the Ukrainian War effort.
We also need to boost our own defences in an increasingly unsafe world. Conservative cuts to defence have had a massively negative impact on our armed forces in recent years. Liberal Democrat plans would boost our troop numbers back to over 100,000.

10. Finally, Trust in politics is at an all time low. How will you engage with residents if elected and work to rebuild that trust and more importantly, why should voters put their faith in you?

This is an issue that has come up on the doors a lot for me. Scandal after scandal in both Westminster and now Cardiff Bay with the First Minister’s donation scandal has seriously damaged the public’s trust in politicians. Adding to this, we have seen our current Conservative MP embroiled in a scandal just a few weeks before the election.
I am running on a platform to clean up our politics and restore public service and integrity to the role of being an MP. I’m already elected as a local County Councillor and have a track record of working with my community for my community. It is these values I would seek to replicate if I was elected as an MP.
Being a Liberal Democrat, we tend to have much closer links with our constituencies than those from the two major parties who get sucked into a large party machinery. The Liberal Democrats have also unveiled plans to restore trust in politics including: a cap on political donations, making the voting system fairer and banning the use of deletable WhatsApp messages for Government business.

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