First of all, congratulations to all the councillors elected to represent their communities on Anglesey Council in last week’s election. I know you will all be aware of the trust your communities have placed in you, and I look forward to working with you over the coming years.
I also congratulate everyone who put themselves up for election. It was a hard fought election and everyone who put their ideas on the table and who worked hard to win support contributed greatly to the democratic process.
Plaid Cymru had its most successful local election ever on the island, and I wish Llinos Medi Huws well leading her 14-strong team of councillors. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Ieuan Williams for his council leadership since 2013. What the last 4 years showed was that the controlling group and opposition can work constructively for the good of the island where it matters, and I’m hopeful this will continue in the new authority.
We’re all proud to call Ynys Môn our home, and I could not wish to have a better community to live and in which to bring up my family, but we have our challenges, and in the coming years all of us as elected representatives must step up to the task of dealing with those.
Leaving the EU is chief among those. The UK Government must be reminded constantly of our needs, and remember that Wales and Anglesey’s situation is different in many ways to other parts of the UK. England imports more than it exports from the EU, for example, whilst Wales is a net exporter. That is why the single market is more important to us and for companies here on Anglesey that export EU-wide and beyond. The port of Holyhead is the main road freight link between Britain – and continental Europe – and Ireland, so we really can’t afford to have a hard border that could cost us dearly in trade and jobs. And the UK must ensure that our family farms, so vital to the island’s economy and society, are supported.
This is why we need as much experience as possible in our representation at Westminster. After 26 years as MP and AM, and 4 years in Government as Wales’ Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones has that experience. I look forward to working with him.