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Cardiff North 2015: Questions for Elin Walker Jones

Elin Walker Jones

Elin is the parliamentary candidate for Plaid Cymru.

Transport and the environment are key issues in Cardiff North. How would you balance the need for more housing, with the protection of the green belt and improving transport links?

We need to balance the need for homes with protecting the green belt. We need to recycle brownfield sites rather than building on greenfield sites. We need to consider infrastructure as well as houses – so we can build communities, not just housing estates. We need to build houses for people that need homes, rather than profit making enterprises for developers.

Plaid Cymru has a Build4Wales project to support major infrastructure improvements, including road and rail links.
We would also scrap the Right to Buy scheme.

We support the Help to Buy scheme for all builds but reduce the value that it covers, to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting first time buyers rather people wishing to upgrade their properties.

What would you do to support and promote local businesses and community groups in Cardiff North?

Cardiff North has a wealth of enterprising people with a fantastic range of SMEs, community groups etc. SMEs are the backbone of the Welsh economy. Plaid Cymru recognises this, and therefore supports and promotes small and local businesses.

Plaid Cymru would extend the business rate relief scheme so that all businesses with a rateable value of £10,000 or less will receive 100% relief from their rates bill and those with a rateable value of between £10,001 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief. More than 83,000 businesses will benefit from this policy.

Plaid Cymru is a grassroots party, which means that it supports community activities, groups, decisions, etc.

Will you commit to responding to all constituents’ queries in a timely fashion? How will you keep residents informed about the work you’re doing?

Yes. The challenge of balancing a busy schedule and keeping residents informed is one that I face as a county councillor. I manage this by keeping in touch directly with individuals, supporting residents’ associations, newsletters, social media, and surgeries. Happy to accept further suggestions if anyone has any additional good ideas!

If you could introduce a Private Members’ Bill to Parliament for something you’re passionate about, what would it be?

Oh – so many issues! Let’s start with people with disabilities. Let’s start small! As the county Autism champion, I would like to make sure that young people with Autism leaving the education system are able to access appropriate support to avail themselves of work, training or further education opportunities. This means that every local authority commits itself to funding a ring fenced local development worker, specifically for the Autism community, to support these young people.

Westminster needs to ensure appropriate funding for Wales so that the Welsh Government can protect the Local Authority block grant. However the principle of supporting young people with Autism needs to be enshrined in law.

We’ve also asked the candidates some questions to find out more about them as people.

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