Young people in Montgomeryshire have been side lined for far too long - whether it’s by our Conservative MP and MS or by the Conservative-Independent run Powys County Council. In the beginning of April a report by ITV Wales and the Rural Youth Project highlighted the problems facing young people in rural areas of Wales, with a particular focus on Powys.
The report found that 60% of young people (16-24) living in rural areas in Wales are considering moving to a major town or city for employment while 68% said it was difficult finding any work where they lived. It also highlighted that housing is a major issue, with young people often being priced out of their home towns and villages as retirees move to the area – a pattern that could worsen with the aftereffects of COVID placing pressure on rural housing markets.
We know these problems have been allowed to build up for far too long, without any significant effort by our MP or MS to solve them. That is why this year our Senedd Candidate Alison Alexander has drawn up the following contract for young people in the Constituency, pledging to fight for policies across five key areas: jobs, education, housing, transport and connectivity.
Harry (23) and Glyn (21) are backing Alison Alexander and the Welsh Liberal Democrats because of their commitment to improve the standard of life for young people in Montgomeryshire.
- We will introduce a jobs creation premium, offsetting the initial costs of recruitment and training through a public sector grant for businesses looking to grow.
- We will introduce legislation providing stronger rights for workers to request flexible working and home working from day one of employment.
- We will work with industry to encourage the provision of high-quality apprenticeships and apprenticeships in a range of areas including the green and digital economy where there is a large skill shortage. We will also ensure that time for formal training while in education is protected.
- We will invest in creating new, highly skilled, highly paid, green jobs to bring employment in manufacturing and technology back to Wales, including in Montgomeryshire's large towns like Newtown, Welshpool and Machynlleth.
- Free bus travel for under 25’s.
- We will introduce high-quality, free childcare and early-years education from the age of 9 months, and expand before-school, after-school and part-time holiday care in order to help children get the very best start in life.
- We will expand the current Personal Learning Accounts, so that everyone, no matter their financial background, has the chance to continue learning and training, particularly in sectors likely to contribute to a greener, stronger economy.
- We will reform apprenticeships, ensuring that all learners have access to high quality training.
- We will create and fund a Right to Life-long Learning, giving everyone the opportunity to face the future with confidence and keeping our workforce flexible in the face of technological change.
- We will oversee the construction of 30,000 new affordable homes across Wales, helping to tackle the housing crisis and stopping young people being priced out of their communities as well as providing jobs to local people.
- We will initiate a 15-year large-scale program of investment in retrofitting homes (including fitting better insulation and the use of air-to-heat pumps) starting with rural homes and social housing. This will make them more energy-efficient, saving people money, reducing fuel poverty and create 10,000 full time jobs all while helping tackle climate change.
- We will invest in active travel schemes, including cycling and walking routes, E-bikes programmes and adopting the principles of the 20-minute community.
- We will push for a full hourly schedule on the Cambrian Rail Line (Aberystwyth-Shrewsbury).
- We will investigate the feasibility of reopening a railway station in Abermule.
- We will ensure that all communities have access to superfast broadband and mobile phone signal, eradicating not-spots, by 2025.