04/03/2017 Plaid Cymru Conference


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04/03/2017

Aled ap Dafydd and Vaughan Roderick present coverage of Plaid Cymru's spring conference in Newport.


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With just two months to go until the local elections all the parties will

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be looking to -- looking to gain councillors and local control.

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Welcome to Conference 2017. Good afternoon. Welcome to the first of

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our Spring party conference programmes. We will be bringing you

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coverage of the main parties and we are starting with Plaid Cymru who

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are meeting in Newport. You can join in the debate. New year but usual

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line-up. Joining me is our Welsh affairs editor. What are we

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expecting from today from Plaid Cymru leading up to the local

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elections? Plaid Cymru is in a pretty bullish mood. They are

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favoured for these partly because Labour had a good set of local

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elections last time so Labour would probably be losing ground anyway,

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even of the party was not in disarray and was not in power in

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Cardiff Bay and in a number of authorities. The Conservatives are

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in power in Westminster you would not expect them to be doing

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particularly well which leaves an opening for Plaid Cymru although

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they will be worried in some areas a Ukip presence might get some of the

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vaults that might otherwise go to Plaid Cymru. We have no idea how

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many candidates Ukip or put up or what sort of campaign they will be

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able to run. To be an eye on the comings and goings, we will have

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more from you later this afternoon. Our correspondent is keeping an eye

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on what is going on. I will be talking to delegates and members. It

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is interesting to see the disparity between what the party wants to be

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discussing, local elections, Brexit, proposals to raise the basic rate of

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income tax by 1p to pay for health and education and social services.

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What everybody is talking about is the future of Neil McEvoy. He was

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suspended for a month yesterday after some comments he made to a

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card of council official. The talk today is whether he should be

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suspended as a Plaid Cymru assembly member while the investigation is

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going on into what happened. Two senior assembly members have told me

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off the record that they think he should be suspended. He is meeting

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with the party chairman to see what happens next. He said that everybody

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should have the right and freedom to express himself. He arrived couple

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of hours ago. A buzz, the likes of which you do not get to see very

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often in these Welsh political party conferences. You have to feel sorry

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for Leanne Wood because in the past could rely on Thomas to cause a bit

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of distraction. He has gone and has seemingly been replaced by Neil

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McEvoy. Thomas is the usual preconference boiler but is now part

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-- not part of the ranks anymore. Turning to the leader's speech given

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by Leanne Wood. She said she wanted to rebalance Wales and be bothered

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not have to accept what she called second best. I hope to speak to her

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live later that this is what she had to tell her party. Good afternoon.

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It is fantastic to be here in the city of charters for Plaid Cymru's

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Spring conference. It was a series of events in and around Newport

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during the 1930s which saw the emergence of a liberation movement.

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Our ancestors in the Welsh working-class and the middle classes

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stood up to demand their political and democratic rights. Williams said

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they were fighting against all the odds. The revolt was not just

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confined to the city. They were was support in Armagh than sure and in

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the industrial coal field. It was here in Gwent where the colliers and

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the iron men defended the people's charter with their lives. It was

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here they called for a republic with full voting rights and accountable

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government for the people, well, for men at least. It was a stark! It was

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a utopian vision. It echoed the French racial, revolution decades

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before. Even though the chartists were defeated the struggle for the

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charter and democracy carried on. It had caught the imagination. It laid

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the foundation for the people in Wales to be given the vote and for a

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whole series of reforms for the working man. I am sure many of you

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will remember that iconic mural in John Frost Square commemorating the

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Chartist rising. It was terrible to see that mural destroyed by

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developers while building a shopping centre.

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While of course that investment was good for the city we must insist

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that local councils do more to protect our heritage and history

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when development takes place. New developments should not erase

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special and unique local features, history of place names. What is

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progress if we forget those who went before us? It is important to

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remember those political struggles for they give us our rights. They

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remind us that our rights were hard one. Plaid Cymru will always speak

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out against those who want to sell off our heritage and history to the

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highest bidder. The chief aim of the chartists was control. Many people

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felt they had so little control, like today. That is why we can learn

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from this history. Our democracy is not the living for so many people.

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People in many parts of Wales feel like they are not getting their fair

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share, they are being left out, neglected. Able have found

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themselves on the outside and that is why we need a new charter for

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democratic control. Central to that should be the premise that decisions

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about Wales should be made in Wales. A modern-day charters should

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consider matters of equality, especially income inequality and

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justice. It must mean that following the vote to leave the European Union

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Wales does not lose any funding, any of the democratic rights and

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protections that we currently enjoy. It must mean that we do not lose any

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aspect of our nationhood. A modern-day Welsh charter designed to

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defend our country, extend our democracy, protect our environment

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and strengthen our communities, a tour for governing ourselves as a

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nation, for taking more responsibility whether in the

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assembly or in the council chamber or anywhere else. Instead of leaving

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it to others elsewhere to govern us on our behalf we should make and

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enforce our laws and run our justice system. That is control. The party

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of Wales says no to concentrating power in London and yes to making

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our own choices and our own decisions. It is only through voting

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for Plaid Cymru that we in Wales would be in control of our own

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lives. The party of Wales will settle for nothing less. We will

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stand up for Wales and for the principle of taking more control

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over our own affairs so that we can make improvements in people's lives.

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Following last me's elections there has been progress on a number of

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Plaid Cymru's priorities. In fact you would be hard pressed to find

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any progress in Cardiff Bay that is not down to Plaid Cymru. Take the

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example of the new treatments fund. This will open up new medicines and

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treatments for rare diseases especially cancer. A policy that was

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inspired by the Williams, who will help some people's lives saved and

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help others to live longer. The party of Wales said that the way the

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drugs were being accessed in Wales was not there. We called for the

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system to be changed. The First Minister said it could not be done

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but Plaid Cymru made it happen. By challenging and persuading, we have

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made other things happen as well. That budget included extra funds for

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childcare, apprenticeships, local government, mental health services

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and our capital investment priorities. The job now is to make

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sure that all of it is delivered to benefit every part of this country.

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We will do that by continuing to hold this Labour government to

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account. Too many communities in Wales feel neglected, left behind by

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the government in Cardiff Bay and the government in Westminster. My

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message to people in those communities is that Plaid Cymru will

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stand up for you. We will never apologise for securing investment

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for places which are not getting their fair share.

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There is no doubt that we live in an unbalanced Wales. An unequal Wales.

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Anyone who tries to travel around this country can see first-hand the

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problems we have got transport infrastructure. Too many people are

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without broadband communications. Jobs, wealth, prosperity, are not

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spread evenly throughout the country. I hear the same feelings of

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neglect in different places. Challenging those geographic

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inequalities is vital. At Westminster under the Tories wealth

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and opportunity is being redistributed in the wrong way.

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Robin Hood in reverse. The same is happening in Wales. The Labour

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government is recreating the problem here where there is an overheated

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centre at the expense of everywhere else. Here in the south-east hopes

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of being pinned on a city region deal. The deal spends a relatively

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small pot of money on, amongst almost half of our country's local

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authorities and half of our population. ?1.2 billion spread over

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20 years. How will that rebalance the economy? It is not good enough.

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Elsewhere in our country we saw plans at election time for a North

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Wales metro. That plan features a map of North Wales which includes

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tester and Liverpool but not Conway and Gwyneth. It is not serious about

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rebalancing Wales with the new Welsh revenue authority. Wrexham and

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others were overlooked despite having 400 existing tax workers

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between them. The revenue authority will be a relatively small

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organisation with just 40 posts initially but that number of jobs

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will grow and even 40 jobs would make a far greater impact in a

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smaller town. As it stands the decision has been made to locate the

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revenue authority in Treforest. When I called for as many of those jobs

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possible to be filled locally, what was the First Minister's and so?

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Most of the jobs will go to specialists from London. The First

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Minister is responsible for skills in Wales. Doesn't that say at all

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that they do not have the skills to fill those posts and doesn't it say

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at all about Labour's lack of ambition for Wales? Do making Wales

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more equal Plaid Cymru is aiming to unite this country. Inequality

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divides people and regions. That is why we are on a mission to rebalance

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Wales, to equalise Wales, and we have started already. Putting the

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rail link on the agenda. Securing ?300,000 for a feasibility study

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bringing that project closer to reality. When completed Plaid Cymru

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will have secured the most significant railway in Wales since

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the cuts of the 1960s. We will be doing everything in our power to get

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that delivered. In south-east Wales we are pushing

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for the City Deal to include guaranteed investment in former

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coalfield communities and specifically designated role for

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Newport. We have said that work on the metro should begin at those

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points furthest away from the centre. We will not back a City Deal

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which sucks people and even more traffic into Cardiff where Plaid

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Cymru councillors have been campaigning against ingestion and

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overdevelopment. The party of Wales is proud of our capital city. We

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will do everything in our power to protect its people from Labour's

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local development plan. We will back a City Deal which shares the wealth.

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Properly. We want the next Admiral, the next Welsh success story, to be

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housed somewhere which other regional policy which creates viable

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communities connected to it. A thriving Cardiff and a prosperous

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land. Plaid Cymru has maximised our

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advantage to wrestle concessions from Government. You have seen our

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programme for opposition setting out what it is we want to achieve. What

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we have won so far will help people in all of our communities and it

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will help rebalance Wales. But that is only a glimpse of the change that

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Wales needs. They're just small steps on the journey to a stronger,

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self-sufficient nation. Imagine how much more we could do if the party

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of Wales replaced Labour as the strongest party in Wales. Look at

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the talent that I have got in the Plaid Cymru team in the Assembly.

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Look at the ideas and the determination coming out of that

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team. Plaid Cymru remains the change Wales needs. I want to reiterate

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today that a Plaid Cymru Government is our number one aim. The Assembly

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isn't the only arena where we're making a difference, Plaid Cymru has

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the hardest working Welsh MPs in Westminster in 2016 and that is

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official. More contributions, more questions and more activity than any

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other party. And don't we need them? Where was the official opposition

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when the Article 50 vote went through? What use is it after the

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event to say the real fight starts now? How exasperating. The real

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fight started before June 23rd, but the official opposition weren't

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listening. Plaid Cymru had a raft of amendments to the legislation, all

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intended to protect the Welsh national interest. We said after the

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referendum that we would use every platform we had to hold the Leave

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side to account for their promises. It was about making the Prime

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Minister recognise what is good for Wales, but also what is at stake for

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Wales Our Westminster team refused to give the Prime Minister a blank

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cheque to carry out the hardest most damaging form of Brexit. People who

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don't want to sever ties with Europe will remember that it was Plaid

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Cymru who stood up for them and voted against this Conservative

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Westminster Government. APPLAUSE

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There can be no greater priority for our party right now than upholding

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the Welsh national interest during the months ahead as the UK

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Government begins the process of leaving the European Union. Scotland

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has a confident and strong Government standing up for their

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interests. Northern Ireland has a special position due to the peace

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process. But what about Wales? Initially, Labour didn't know

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whether it wanted us to be in the single market or out. Do you

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remember how they ended up voting with the Conservatives and Ukip to

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rule out participation in the European economic area or the

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European free trade association? Having criticised Labour for that

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vote, we couldn't allow for that to be the Welsh position ahead of the

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negotiations with Theresa May and the UK Government. She would have

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used that vote as evidence that Wales wanted nothing to do with the

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European single market. When we had an opportunity to step up to the

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plate and co-author the Welsh White Paper for the EU negotiations we had

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to take it. We set out a clear set of demands to secure Wales' future.

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In that paper, single market participation is the priority for

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the Welsh economy. This means we want EEA or membership in a soft

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Brexit, or the same tariff-free access to the European single market

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as we have now. Being in the European single market is not just

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about trade, it means setting a high bar, not lowering it when it comes

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to workers' rights, consumer rights and protecting our precious

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environment. Environmental regulation isn't red tape, it is

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ensured cleaner beaches and seas, helping to transform the coastline

:20:16.:20:19.

of Wales and tourism here. It makes sure that countries have a legal

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duty to reduce pollution, to have a healthy natural environment to leave

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to our children. We can keep these benefits when we're outside the EU

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and we must. The party of Wales will not sign up to deregulation,

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cost-cutting or a T-tip style deal with America. Plaid Cymru will not

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endorse any Brexit which weakens our public services or stops our

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students and young people from having the right to study abroad and

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we will keep repeating this. In the Welsh NHS you are more likely to be

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treated by a migrant than to see one in the queue. We can not and we will

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not support any deal which makes it harder to recruit those skilled

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workers that we need. And I reiterate to those people who want

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to come to Wales to work as doctors, as nurses, as engineers, you are

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welcome. APPLAUSE

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And to all of those people who have moved here from overseas, the party

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of Wales will never join in with the calls from those who make you feel

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you don't deserve to be here. We will speak out for you when your

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rights are infringed at home or abroad. The new presidency in the

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United States has seen travellers from a host of majority Muslim

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countries put under instant suspicion and the suspicion is now

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being felt by Welsh people who are Muslim, as well. A Welsh maths

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teacher born in Swansea, loved by his pupils and respected by parents

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and colleagues at their school, he was thrown off a plane when

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officials denied him the right to visit the country on a school trip.

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He's been given no reason and no explanation. Well, I think I know

:22:41.:22:45.

the reason. They think there's something wrong with his surname. It

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sounds too Bangladeshi perhaps? Too Muslim maybe? He wrote to me after

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the incident. He said that he believed that Plaid Cymru would

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support him. And we will. I will be working with him until we get an

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explanation, that's the very least he can expect.

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APPLAUSE In case there was any doubt at all,

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Plaid Cymru will stand up for all citizens in this country, everyone

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who belongs to Wales should be treated with respect. If you live

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here and you want to be Welsh, then as far as we're concerned, you are

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Welsh and your rights will be defended by the party of Wales.

:23:46.:23:57.

APPLAUSE Conference, I want to reaffirm today

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that Plaid Cymru will not accept any negotiation which undermines our

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farming sector and our rural communities. I've already told the

:24:07.:24:10.

UK Secretary of State for EU withdrawal that we expect all of our

:24:11.:24:15.

farming payments to be guaranteed for the future, not a Barnet share,

:24:16.:24:21.

but nothing less than the amount our farmers are already getting now. We

:24:22.:24:27.

expect a fair financial deal for Welsh agriculture and we expect

:24:28.:24:32.

control in Wales as to how that money is allocated. Plaid Cymru

:24:33.:24:39.

would then use that policy to control and prioritise the

:24:40.:24:42.

struggling hill farmers and dairy farmers. In these uncertain times,

:24:43.:24:48.

the party of Wales wants the whole country to stand behind Welsh

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farming. The people who work our land and produce top quality food

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are essential to our way of life and to the Welsh language. So I will

:24:59.:25:02.

pledge today that a Plaid Cymru Government in Cardiff as well as

:25:03.:25:06.

Plaid Cymru-led local authorities will do all they can to buy local

:25:07.:25:12.

and to buy from Wales and I would urge all people wherever you are to

:25:13.:25:18.

buy Welsh meat and Welsh dairy and all other Welsh food products

:25:19.:25:23.

because when times are tough, we in Plaid Cymru don't walk away from our

:25:24.:25:28.

rural communities, we stand with them.

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APPLAUSE Conference, it's fair to ask what

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happens when the Prime Minister and her Brexit team reject the Welsh

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position, when they confirm a hard Brexit which doesn't prioritise our

:25:53.:25:55.

membership of the single market? Plaid Cymru will continue to speak

:25:56.:26:00.

for Wales as the situation evolves. Signing up to the joint White Paper

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with the Welsh Government doesn't procollude us from developing our

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own proposals and doesn't mean we're tide to any party. We will produce

:26:10.:26:15.

our own contingency plans. I am not going to show our cards too early.

:26:16.:26:19.

Wales and Scotland are currently still negotiating with the UK

:26:20.:26:24.

Government. But what ever happens, Plaid Cymru is planning its vision

:26:25.:26:29.

for Wales in the world. We'll make sure that the idea that we've

:26:30.:26:35.

reached the end of Welsh nationhood is completely rejected, it won't

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happen. Those who might be happy for Wales as an entity to disappear are

:26:40.:26:47.

going to be very disappointed. And a Plaid Cymru Government, Wales will

:26:48.:26:50.

develop the full international presence enjoyed by Europe and the

:26:51.:26:54.

world's most powerful sub-state nations. Learning lessons from

:26:55.:27:03.

stateless nations like the Basque country, and Quebec. Wales will

:27:04.:27:06.

become more active on the international scene and we will

:27:07.:27:10.

retain substantial links with the rest of Europe. But even more

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importantly, Plaid Cymru will do everything in our power to secure

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Welsh nationhood. The days of settling for second best are long

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over and we say that any deal offered to Scotland over Brexit must

:27:28.:27:32.

also be available to Wales. When it comes to sustaining our nationhood

:27:33.:27:36.

and making our own decisions, the Wales bill that is now going through

:27:37.:27:40.

parliament is a grave disappointment. Plaid Cymru believes

:27:41.:27:45.

that it could lead to a Westminster power grab, that Welsh legislation

:27:46.:27:49.

and Welsh power could be undermined by the UK Government. That's why our

:27:50.:27:55.

team in Westminster will be launching a hands off our parliament

:27:56.:27:59.

campaign and I'd encourage everyone who wants greater control in Wales

:28:00.:28:05.

to get behind that campaign. When the so-called great repeal bill is

:28:06.:28:09.

tabled the party of Wales will ensure that there are political

:28:10.:28:14.

consequences for any Government or any party which tries to use that

:28:15.:28:19.

bill to strip powers away from Wales. I was part of the St Davids

:28:20.:28:24.

Day process, the Tories asked party leaders what we wanted to see in the

:28:25.:28:30.

Wales bill. It gives me no pleasure to say it was the worst way of

:28:31.:28:35.

drawing up legislation that I have ever witnessed. The Welsh

:28:36.:28:39.

Conservative leader veteod the devolution of policing even though

:28:40.:28:43.

policing powers were being transferred to Greater Manchester.

:28:44.:28:48.

Good enough for Manchester, but not apparently good enough for Wales.

:28:49.:28:53.

That was bad enough but at least no devolution of policing to Wales is

:28:54.:28:57.

Conservative policy. Labour MPs from Wales disagreed with their own

:28:58.:29:02.

policy and their own First Minister by joining in with that veto. We are

:29:03.:29:07.

stuck here again with a piece of legislation that doesn't give people

:29:08.:29:13.

the powers that they deserve. It is true we can partially devolve income

:29:14.:29:18.

tax and improve the electoral system but we strongly believe that our

:29:19.:29:22.

powers will be limited in other areas and that bill could lead to a

:29:23.:29:27.

Westminster power grab and that's why we refuse to give our consent to

:29:28.:29:34.

the Wales bill. The days of Plaid Cymru signing up to weak deals are

:29:35.:29:41.

over. Friends, there are at present other threats to our nationhood.

:29:42.:29:45.

Ukip has a presence in our National Assembly on the back of people's

:29:46.:29:50.

grievances. In the last election of the major parties Plaid Cymru and

:29:51.:29:57.

Ukip were the only two parties to see the vote share increase. This

:29:58.:30:00.

means there are two different options for Welsh voters who are

:30:01.:30:04.

disillusioned with Labour and the Conservatives. The Welsh nationalism

:30:05.:30:10.

of Plaid Cymru, a party rooted in Welsh communities, proudly standing

:30:11.:30:14.

up for Wales and believing in equality and justice for all,

:30:15.:30:19.

outward looking, welcoming, internationalist. Or, the nostalgic

:30:20.:30:26.

British nationalism of Ukip, looking for opportunities to sow division

:30:27.:30:31.

and questioning any move to make Wales more self-governing or more

:30:32.:30:37.

self-respecting. They are inward looking and isolationist. I wouldn't

:30:38.:30:42.

agree that Ukip has shaken up the Senaad, if anything they've settled

:30:43.:30:47.

in. They're deliberately holding back from proposing anything

:30:48.:30:50.

controversial and are happy to support the motions and ideas of

:30:51.:30:52.

other We should be wary about that.

:30:53.:31:03.

Especially at local level. We saw how Ukip tried to muscle in on the

:31:04.:31:07.

campaign against Welsh medium education. TRANSLATION: I and many

:31:08.:31:18.

other parents have chosen to give our children Welsh education as well

:31:19.:31:25.

as English medium education but it was a tragedy seeing Ukip

:31:26.:31:29.

politicians interfering and intervening, trying to stop more

:31:30.:31:39.

children from benefiting. As we saw a campaign in homes. It reminds us

:31:40.:31:43.

all to choose our friends carefully. It also reminds us of our

:31:44.:31:50.

responsibility, whatever party we may be, to tackle the decline in the

:31:51.:32:01.

language and also it remains other parties who support the aim of

:32:02.:32:07.

getting 1 million Welsh speakers, that empty words are not enough and

:32:08.:32:12.

that there is a need to act and there is a need to support the

:32:13.:32:18.

decisions of parents as one County Council did.

:32:19.:32:38.

People in Wales now that Plaid Cymru will work to secure the best

:32:39.:32:44.

possible deal for Wales as the negotiations to leave the EU take

:32:45.:32:49.

place. People now are our values and they expect us to stand up for

:32:50.:32:53.

Wales. They also know the business of the country of running the

:32:54.:33:00.

country will carry on regardless. Wales still needs the same changes

:33:01.:33:03.

are dead during the assembly elections last year. On May the

:33:04.:33:09.

force you will again go to the ballot box to a lecture local

:33:10.:33:18.

councillors. These should be about how Wales is governed at local

:33:19.:33:22.

level. People have an opportunity to send a message to Labour in Cardiff

:33:23.:33:26.

and to the Tories in Westminster Abbey will no longer stand by and

:33:27.:33:32.

allow our communities to be ignored as local services are downgraded,

:33:33.:33:37.

closed down or sold off. There are those who might not be convinced

:33:38.:33:42.

that Wales needs change. That Wales doesn't need to send some kind of

:33:43.:33:47.

message at these local elections. But the need for change is evident.

:33:48.:33:53.

Does anyone need reminding a quarter of Welsh people live in poverty? A

:33:54.:33:59.

third of Welsh children. In some councils senior officer P is way out

:34:00.:34:04.

of control while lower pay grades are just being unfrozen. In Labour

:34:05.:34:12.

led Caerphilly not far from here the peace candle cost ?4.5 million that

:34:13.:34:18.

could have been spent on local services -- pay scandal. There are

:34:19.:34:29.

cards in place on senior officer pay where Plaid Cymru has had influence.

:34:30.:34:34.

Wales has gone backwards when ministers promised improvement.

:34:35.:34:39.

Welsh workers are getting paid 10% less than the UK average. Waiting

:34:40.:34:45.

times in health like behind Scotland and England with 25% of Welsh

:34:46.:34:49.

patients waiting longer than six weeks for an MRI. I could go on.

:34:50.:34:58.

Wales cannot afford to keep the boarding a legacy of failure. Plaid

:34:59.:35:03.

Cymru is your local party. Your community party. We are on the side

:35:04.:35:08.

of the people not the political establishment or the bureaucratic

:35:09.:35:12.

elite. In an increasing number of places we are the people. We come

:35:13.:35:17.

from our communities and represent the people in them. I want this

:35:18.:35:22.

party to be rooted in the towns, villages and cities of Wales. I'm

:35:23.:35:27.

not interested in the party that speaks to people. Plaid Cymru speaks

:35:28.:35:35.

for people. With people. Our convent, conversations are a two-way

:35:36.:35:42.

dialogue not a broadcast. The tide is turning. Beneath the surface

:35:43.:35:47.

something is happening. In the last year Plaid Cymru gained more council

:35:48.:35:50.

seats in by-elections than any other party. Labour and the Conservatives

:35:51.:35:55.

went backwards. In Grangetown in Cardiff, and in Carmarthenshire,

:35:56.:36:04.

people backed our local Plaid Cymru teams, and I want to thank our

:36:05.:36:09.

community champions for securing victory.

:36:10.:36:23.

While citizens know that Plaid Cymru has a strong track record in local

:36:24.:36:32.

government. Where we lead the local authorities we are pushing ahead

:36:33.:36:37.

with improvements. Our priorities are strengthening our communities,

:36:38.:36:40.

caring for people with compassion and building affordable housing

:36:41.:36:45.

targeted at local need. In Carmarthenshire, shovels are already

:36:46.:36:50.

on the ground. The Plaid Cymru council is building some of the

:36:51.:36:54.

county's first council houses for many years. Carmarthenshire has

:36:55.:37:00.

risen up the league table for preventing homelessness. Since Plaid

:37:01.:37:02.

Cymru took over the Wales audit office has commended Carmarthenshire

:37:03.:37:08.

for delivering improved outcomes. Plaid Cymru is restoring the

:37:09.:37:13.

county's good name. Another council is spending the most money per pupil

:37:14.:37:17.

for education in the Hall of the country. Under the party of Wales it

:37:18.:37:23.

is in the top three councils for most all of the major education

:37:24.:37:29.

indicators. In the league table for people's perception of the quality

:37:30.:37:34.

of council services or four Plaid Cymru led authorities score above

:37:35.:37:37.

average with Plaid Cymru led council dropping the league. Gwynedd Council

:37:38.:37:44.

has been innovative in its compassion and care for local

:37:45.:37:52.

people. It has alleviated more than ?600,000 of bedroom tax payments,

:37:53.:37:56.

enough to protect 1409 households from the insidious Tory bedroom tax.

:37:57.:38:16.

Plaid Cymru councils are innovating and leading Wales in areas as

:38:17.:38:23.

diverse as social housing, education and clean streets that we can all be

:38:24.:38:28.

proud of. All of us in this conference hall can be proud of our

:38:29.:38:34.

excellent Plaid Cymru councils. They make the case for there to be more

:38:35.:38:37.

Plaid Cymru control light across the country. Friends, control over our

:38:38.:38:45.

communities is in our hands. Cast your minds back to last year's

:38:46.:38:50.

elections when we said Plaid Cymru was the change Wales needs. We know

:38:51.:38:55.

from the Wales election study that most people who saw the election we

:38:56.:38:59.

had the best campaign. They also thought that we did the best in the

:39:00.:39:05.

TV debates and yes, that study says that we had the best candidate for

:39:06.:39:07.

First Minister. But the same data showed that most

:39:08.:39:22.

people did not watch the coverage at all. In recent weeks we have seen a

:39:23.:39:29.

continued decline in Welsh newspaper sales and a far lower investment in

:39:30.:39:33.

BBC Wales than Scotland is going to receive. There is no short cut

:39:34.:39:40.

around the Welsh media deficit. In the last election people voted for

:39:41.:39:44.

Plaid Cymru in the greatest numbers where we were the most active on the

:39:45.:39:49.

ground. That is where we can make a difference. It is as simple as that.

:39:50.:39:55.

To everyone who wants to see a Plaid Cymru community Champion standing up

:39:56.:40:00.

for their local patch, I say, get out there and support your local

:40:01.:40:03.

Plaid Cymru candidates. There is still the time to make a difference

:40:04.:40:10.

and you can make it. Let's demonstrate that the party of Wales

:40:11.:40:13.

is on the up, that the Welsh nation is moving forward stronger, and

:40:14.:40:22.

let's show people that our team is a winning team. To all of the people

:40:23.:40:26.

who make up this wonderful nation avers, I say, we do not have to keep

:40:27.:40:34.

accepting second best. We do not have to keep putting up with neglect

:40:35.:40:38.

with the same political parties who have let people down time and time

:40:39.:40:45.

again. We do not have to put up with dirty streets, downgraded services,

:40:46.:40:48.

young people struggling to find opportunities. This is an

:40:49.:40:53.

opportunity for your community and for your country. Do not let Wales

:40:54.:41:00.

be ignored. Send that message that we exist, that the matter. Stand up

:41:01.:41:06.

for your interests and for your own control. Just like the chartists did

:41:07.:41:14.

all those years ago. Give your backing to Plaid Cymru. Join with us

:41:15.:41:17.

as we put in place the building blocks of a successful, more equal

:41:18.:41:23.

and outward looking Wales. Building a strong nation starts in your

:41:24.:41:28.

street. Building the new Wales starts with us and with you. The

:41:29.:41:44.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood speaking yesterday about

:41:45.:41:47.

geographical inequalities, saying there was an overheated centre at

:41:48.:41:50.

the expense of everywhere else, even talking about wanting to see the

:41:51.:41:59.

next Admiral based in the max else. A lot of politicians talk about

:42:00.:42:03.

redistributing wealth. It is difficult. It is. Do you use your

:42:04.:42:09.

major cities as the wider economic driver? Or do you try to attract and

:42:10.:42:19.

Admiral elsewhere? It seems a huge debt. What Leanne Wood is trying to

:42:20.:42:27.

do is cash in on a sentiment that exists in Wales very strongly in

:42:28.:42:34.

north-east and north-west Wales and Swansea and Newport, this idea that

:42:35.:42:38.

Cardiff gets everything. To an extent that exists in every single

:42:39.:42:41.

country that they think the capital city gets too much. It is a potent

:42:42.:42:47.

message particularly when you are running against Labour in a large

:42:48.:42:54.

number of local authorities. It is a race with Labour. Is there a danger

:42:55.:43:00.

that could be viewed as anti-Cardiff? This is where the

:43:01.:43:04.

concentration of people is and most of the money is. I thought the

:43:05.:43:09.

speech was clever. Cardiff has a contentious local development plan

:43:10.:43:12.

which is pretty unpopular in large parts of the city. Being fought

:43:13.:43:17.

aggressively by Plaid Cymru councillors. What she was trying to

:43:18.:43:22.

say, whether it would work politically or not was, this would

:43:23.:43:25.

take the heat off of Cardiff, helping these other places would

:43:26.:43:28.

mean you would not have to put up with increased traffic congestion,

:43:29.:43:33.

green fields being built on. Quite cleverly tailored, the message. How

:43:34.:43:40.

politically realistic it would be as a government policy is another

:43:41.:43:45.

matter. As an electoral message it is pretty well tailored. Before the

:43:46.:43:49.

conference Leanne Wood said people on the doorstep were more concerned

:43:50.:43:59.

with Borg mess than Brexit. We heard quite a bit about Brexit. Is Leanne

:44:00.:44:04.

Wood conceding that she is not going to see a lot of the things in the

:44:05.:44:09.

Brexit negotiations she would want to see, namely membership of the

:44:10.:44:13.

single market? She has to be in that position. Reason she would say she

:44:14.:44:17.

is in that position is because Labour is not fighting for those

:44:18.:44:24.

things. Labour at a UK level, Welsh level is different, seems to more or

:44:25.:44:27.

less have conceded that it will be some form of hard Brexit. People

:44:28.:44:33.

within the Labour Party, some of them are not happy about that. There

:44:34.:44:40.

is an interesting group of voters. Myths about the way people voted in

:44:41.:44:44.

the referendum. Two thirds of people who voted Labour in 2015 voted to

:44:45.:44:50.

remain. Yet they feel the Labour Party has become obsessed with the

:44:51.:44:53.

one third of Labour voters who voted to leave and has been accepting the

:44:54.:44:59.

Conservatives Brexit strategy because of that third. The Liberal

:45:00.:45:03.

Democrats have spotted that group of voters and Plaid Cymru have and the

:45:04.:45:08.

evidence of that labour voters who voted remain feel far more strongly

:45:09.:45:16.

about that than Labour voters who voted Brexit feel about Brexit. The

:45:17.:45:22.

St Anthony Labour voters that Plaid Cymru are going after. --

:45:23.:45:25.

disenchanted. Let's turn to two people who will be

:45:26.:45:39.

talking a lot about the local election campaign. You will both be

:45:40.:45:42.

standing, two councillors, somebody standing for the first time and

:45:43.:45:45.

somebody who is more experienced. Not standing for the first time,

:45:46.:45:50.

stood a couple of times before. You are standing for Carmarthenshire

:45:51.:45:54.

County Council for the first time, why now is the time to stand? I

:45:55.:45:59.

think basically I have grown up with the idea that young people don't get

:46:00.:46:03.

into politics, we see especially - often you see a lot of grey hair and

:46:04.:46:09.

not many young people. I think if I can just locally prove that young

:46:10.:46:14.

people do have a place in politics, if that can get somebody else

:46:15.:46:18.

involved in politics at a young age I will be happy. Was there anything

:46:19.:46:22.

that was a trigger, you didn't see anything, we talk about Brexit all

:46:23.:46:26.

the time, it wasn't anything specific, it's just you want more

:46:27.:46:30.

young people into politics? That's the main thing, obviously when you

:46:31.:46:36.

see the mess under Labour's rule, it makes you angry and want to make a

:46:37.:46:39.

difference, since Plaid Cymru has taken over a difference has been

:46:40.:46:42.

made, that's why I would be happy to join that team and be that

:46:43.:46:47.

progressive change. We heard on Friday, yesterday, Leanne Wood

:46:48.:46:50.

saying on the doorstep Brexit isn't coming up often, people are keen to

:46:51.:46:54.

talk about dog mess, is that what you are finding, are people more

:46:55.:46:57.

interested in not necessarily dog mess, but local things and bins and

:46:58.:47:03.

recycling, rather than Brexit? I think definitely, I think our role

:47:04.:47:07.

as councillors or candidates is to ensure that local people get local

:47:08.:47:11.

issues sorted. You have MPs who can deal with the constitutional issues.

:47:12.:47:15.

But they need people they can trust, at a local level to deal with local

:47:16.:47:20.

issues who have time and energy to deal with those, those are issues I

:47:21.:47:28.

have come across. How are things looking in your council area, I am

:47:29.:47:31.

expecting you to say good things there, but on a Wales-wide basis? We

:47:32.:47:36.

are working hard, I think Labour are on their uppers by the look of it

:47:37.:47:41.

with a split between the Corbynists and the Blairites, I suppose they

:47:42.:47:46.

would call themselves. We have a good chance of taking control in

:47:47.:47:50.

Carmarthenshire, for example. I am hoping we will in my council, as

:47:51.:47:54.

well, although we have only one Labour member. I think if you look

:47:55.:48:00.

down at councils where, down to South Wales where we have held

:48:01.:48:08.

councils before, in Caerphilly we will be knocking on the doors down

:48:09.:48:11.

there quite hard in order to get that control back. Presumably, given

:48:12.:48:16.

as you were saying, that the Labour Party is facing some troubles at the

:48:17.:48:20.

moment, let's just say that, if it's not - if the time isn't right now

:48:21.:48:26.

for Plaid Cymru to make big gains and breakthrough, presumably when

:48:27.:48:30.

will be a better time? We are hoping this will be a time when we can

:48:31.:48:34.

regain the strength we had at the beginning of the millennium,

:48:35.:48:39.

actually. There's work going on all over Wales to strengthen. We heard

:48:40.:48:43.

this afternoon Powys beginning to awake to the fact they need Plaid

:48:44.:48:47.

Cymru councillors there, as well, to help lead. Isn't therein a danger,

:48:48.:48:51.

what we have seen from Plaid Cymru in the last couple of elections is

:48:52.:48:55.

inertia, the 2015 general election didn't really make big gains, other

:48:56.:49:00.

than Leanne Wood in the Rhondda last year, didn't really make big gains,

:49:01.:49:04.

how much of a pressure is on Plaid Cymru now to make - to show there is

:49:05.:49:08.

momentum there? I hope there will be momentum. I am fairly confident we

:49:09.:49:12.

will see momentum this time. I think people are just fed up. The cuts

:49:13.:49:17.

that we have had to suffer instigated by a Tory and Lib Dem

:49:18.:49:24.

coalition in London way back whenever it was under David Cameron

:49:25.:49:30.

and that's been continually year after year and I have seen since I

:49:31.:49:36.

have become leader a cut of 25% in the revenue budget, well, that's not

:49:37.:49:40.

sustainable if we want to keep good services in our schools and with our

:49:41.:49:47.

older people. We need proper funding and that's my fight. Also, economic

:49:48.:49:53.

development going forward because as I say, lots - there is a danger now

:49:54.:49:57.

with Brexit that we will lose ?55 million that's come in to the

:49:58.:50:01.

farmers and structural funds. If that's not replaced from London,

:50:02.:50:09.

then we are going to be really badly off. You have just heard all the

:50:10.:50:15.

problems that councillors are facing there, cuts, Brexit, everything that

:50:16.:50:20.

may or may not come. Why do you want to go into that? Do you want to

:50:21.:50:29.

cancel your candidacy live! That's why we need as many Plaid Cymru

:50:30.:50:41.

councillors. We have had a Plaid - the cuts will come from the Tories

:50:42.:50:45.

and Labour, that's why we need at a local level Plaid Cymru. Is it more

:50:46.:50:50.

difficult for a younger person to take tough decisions than somebody

:50:51.:50:54.

who's got more life experience, do you think? I think that is

:50:55.:51:00.

definitely a view shared by many, but what I say is that because you

:51:01.:51:03.

are young you have to prove yourself and that's what I will be hoping to

:51:04.:51:06.

do and those decisions, some might be mistakes but you learn from those

:51:07.:51:10.

mistakes and that's what I am hoping to do and strive on that. I said

:51:11.:51:17.

earlier that the party wants to talk about Brexit, council elections, dog

:51:18.:51:20.

mess. Actually a lot of people here are talking about the future of Neil

:51:21.:51:24.

McEvoy, suspended now as a Cardiff councillor. What do you make of it,

:51:25.:51:28.

two Assembly members have told me he should be suspended from the party

:51:29.:51:31.

while there are investigations going on about his future, what do you

:51:32.:51:35.

make of it? As a member who is also bound by the code of conduct, and

:51:36.:51:42.

have been since I became an elected member in 99 we all have to keep to

:51:43.:51:49.

the code of conduct. It would seem that this external panel that has

:51:50.:51:51.

looked into the case has seen that there was a case to answer. Now,

:51:52.:51:55.

whether the chairman of the party wishes to look into that more

:51:56.:51:59.

closely, well, that's up to him and I am not chair of the party at this

:52:00.:52:03.

point, I have been in the past, I have had to deal with difficult

:52:04.:52:07.

situations then. So I am sure he will in due course have to look at

:52:08.:52:11.

this case, as well. But you are a prominent Plaid Cymru member. If you

:52:12.:52:19.

were in that position now and we know that - do you think he should

:52:20.:52:24.

be suspended? He has been suspended as a councillor for a month anyway.

:52:25.:52:28.

We need to cool it a bit and step back and look closely at what

:52:29.:52:32.

actually happened, from a party political point of view. As I say, I

:52:33.:52:37.

have every confidence in the present chair to do that on our behalf. I

:52:38.:52:43.

don't know how many conferences you have been coming to but there is

:52:44.:52:47.

quite a buzz around this one mainly because of the discussions around

:52:48.:52:51.

Neil McEvoy's future. As a conference, how do you think it's

:52:52.:52:55.

been going so far? It's been great, it's different to the last few, we

:52:56.:52:59.

have council leaders talking and that brings home this is a grass

:53:00.:53:03.

roots party, we haven't the big money of Tory and Labour, we need

:53:04.:53:08.

these people and local councillors to come to the conference and speak

:53:09.:53:13.

up and make sure that not only do MPs hear our problems, but that we

:53:14.:53:17.

can make sure that our voices are heard at a local level. You have

:53:18.:53:20.

shared it with the party and the BBC, as well. Thank you both. That's

:53:21.:53:24.

the voice for local Government and we will be sharing more from the

:53:25.:53:28.

other political parties over the next few conferences. For the

:53:29.:53:32.

moment, back to the studio. Thank you very much. Brexit is at

:53:33.:53:36.

the top of the political agenda these days. Let's get the view from

:53:37.:53:41.

the European Parliament now. Jill Evans is Plaid Cymru's MEP. Here's

:53:42.:53:45.

what she had to say to the conference.

:53:46.:53:51.

I am confident after yesterday and hearing our fantastic team of local

:53:52.:53:56.

council candidates speaking here on the platform and in the hall that

:53:57.:54:03.

they offer people a real voice in shaping the future of their

:54:04.:54:08.

communities. It's been a massive honour and responsibility to have

:54:09.:54:13.

been your voice, Plaid Cymru's voice and Wales' voice in Europe for many

:54:14.:54:19.

years now. It's a great feeling to have been able to raise Wales'

:54:20.:54:25.

profile and help people in however small a way and I know from my years

:54:26.:54:30.

as a councillor and today I still see changes that I could achieve as

:54:31.:54:36.

a councillor but the only way any of us can do those things is by working

:54:37.:54:42.

with people in the community because the people who live in those

:54:43.:54:46.

communities know what is needed to improve them. By strengthening our

:54:47.:54:53.

communities we strengthen and build our nation. Disaffection and

:54:54.:54:59.

alienation are two of the factors that led to the rejection of EU

:55:00.:55:03.

membership by some communities in Wales. As we know, some of those

:55:04.:55:10.

communities benefitted most from EU membership financially. I was born

:55:11.:55:14.

in the Rhondda and I have always lived there. The name is famous

:55:15.:55:18.

around the world because of the coal industry. It produced enormous

:55:19.:55:23.

wealth but not for the people of the Rhondda. The money was exported with

:55:24.:55:30.

the coal. It's the same story, isn't it, in our communities up and down

:55:31.:55:36.

the country. Those communities were, by their nature, immigrant

:55:37.:55:39.

communities, people came from all over Wales, from the UK and other

:55:40.:55:44.

parts of the world to work in those heavy industries. The communities

:55:45.:55:52.

were multicultural and multilingual. They were and still are close

:55:53.:55:55.

communities, well-known for the warmth and generosity of the people

:55:56.:56:03.

and I know that growing up in one of those communities it certainly

:56:04.:56:07.

enriched my life. Today, few people move into our communities to work

:56:08.:56:11.

because there are few jobs to come for. Young people are more likely to

:56:12.:56:17.

leave, taking their skills and talents with them. So things have to

:56:18.:56:22.

change. We can not allow that to continue. But neither can we go

:56:23.:56:29.

back. We have to take this opportunity to rethink, to reengage

:56:30.:56:35.

and to revitalise our politics. We can not leave it as a people, we

:56:36.:56:43.

must give control to people in Wales, encouraging and supporting

:56:44.:56:47.

community action. And we have to take the responsibility for that. We

:56:48.:56:52.

have to work against hate crime and racism. Our language is positive and

:56:53.:57:00.

our message is hopeful. As Leanne said yesterday, we welcome everyone

:57:01.:57:03.

who has chosen to make Wales their home, whether for just a few years

:57:04.:57:09.

to study or to learn new languages, or whether permanently to raise a

:57:10.:57:13.

family or to retire. It's uplifting to me to see people from all over

:57:14.:57:20.

the world who have come to live in Wales identify strongly with our

:57:21.:57:25.

nation and want to play their full part in building its future. We

:57:26.:57:32.

should have an enlightened and inclusive and a progressive path.

:57:33.:57:38.

I've been involved in many campaigns over the years, whether working for

:57:39.:57:43.

justice for Kurdish people, for Palestinian people, whether

:57:44.:57:47.

protesting against wars on nuclear weapons for the peace movement but

:57:48.:57:51.

one of the most memorable campaigns that I have been involved in was the

:57:52.:57:59.

local campaign to close the notorious landfill site in the

:58:00.:58:03.

Rhondda. This polluting rubbish tip was on top of the mountain right

:58:04.:58:08.

opposite my home, so I didn't just smell it, but every morning when I

:58:09.:58:14.

got up and opened the curtains I could see it. What started as a

:58:15.:58:19.

small protest because of the nuisance from the flies and the

:58:20.:58:27.

smells in the local community, grew into a real huge community action.

:58:28.:58:32.

It became a permanent camp on the site blockading the road to the tip.

:58:33.:58:37.

Because what had happened, people complained of course to the local

:58:38.:58:42.

council in the beginning about the nuisance from the tip. And they were

:58:43.:58:47.

ignored and they were fobbed off with answers and people kept

:58:48.:58:50.

complaining and more people complained and the problems got

:58:51.:58:54.

worse and worse and worse. People wrote letters. We had meetings. We

:58:55.:59:03.

had protests at the council offices. But people stood there hold placards

:59:04.:59:09.

that were not only ignored by the council but the people were ignored

:59:10.:59:13.

and weren't believed. So people realised that they had to take a

:59:14.:59:19.

different type of action. When the camp was set up at the entrance to

:59:20.:59:28.

the site it became a real microcosm of the community because older

:59:29.:59:31.

retired men would go up there first thing in the morning to light the

:59:32.:59:36.

fire, young parents would turn up after taking the children to school

:59:37.:59:39.

and then they would go back and bring the children back with them.

:59:40.:59:44.

Local shops and food and hot drinks, everybody played a part. Women and

:59:45.:59:50.

men of all ages and all backgrounds who had never been involved in

:59:51.:59:55.

politics soon became experts on certainly how the local authority

:59:56.:00:01.

works, but also the dangers of toxic waste, the dangers of landfill,

:00:02.:00:06.

about EU environmental law and much, much more. Of course when Plaid

:00:07.:00:12.

Cymru took control of the council in Rhondda we did close the tip, with

:00:13.:00:18.

the help of a petition to the European Parliament and using

:00:19.:00:22.

European environmental laws on waste. Now why am I saying this, do

:00:23.:00:27.

you think? It's several years ago now. I wouldn't for a minute wish

:00:28.:00:38.

that on any other community. But if we can mobilise that kind of

:00:39.:00:42.

enthusiasm and strength of feeling to work for the good of our

:00:43.:00:48.

communities and for the good of Wales against the dangers of leaving

:00:49.:00:51.

the European Union, then anything is possible.

:00:52.:01:00.

In the words of the often quoted Williams, I have quoted them many

:01:01.:01:08.

times, because I can often find something in the books to guide and

:01:09.:01:13.

inspire me, he wrote, the Welsh have danced among these giant cog wheels

:01:14.:01:19.

before. Welsh other people have lived by and remaking themselves in

:01:20.:01:26.

generation after generation. That is the challenge that faces us. In the

:01:27.:01:32.

aftermath of the EU referendum we have to create a new Wales. A new

:01:33.:01:38.

Wales in Europe. Because we always have been and we still are a

:01:39.:01:44.

European nation. We are not defined by the vote to leave the EU as a

:01:45.:01:48.

people or party. We need to understand that and we need to show

:01:49.:01:53.

people in Wales what drives as other party. We exist to protect and

:01:54.:02:02.

promote the interests of all the people in every part of Wales. Our

:02:03.:02:08.

interest are best served by working hand-in-hand with the rest of Europe

:02:09.:02:13.

and beyond. We want Wales to take its place on the international stage

:02:14.:02:21.

and perform with enthusiasm. Our role as a proud and confident nation

:02:22.:02:26.

of strong and vibrant communities. A force for good and a voice for peace

:02:27.:02:32.

and justice. We are ambitious. Because the people of Wales deserve

:02:33.:02:36.

nothing less than a party with vision and drive. A party on a

:02:37.:02:48.

mission. And we are. Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans. I much longer she or any

:02:49.:02:55.

other MEP will be there is anyone's guess. I am joined by Leanne Wood

:02:56.:02:59.

the leader of Plaid Cymru. Good afternoon. Good afternoon. Lots of

:03:00.:03:07.

your speech yesterday focused on what to call our geographical

:03:08.:03:11.

inequalities in Wales. You talked about an overheated centre at the

:03:12.:03:15.

expense of everywhere else in Wales. Do you think these issues have been

:03:16.:03:18.

there since the start of devolution and if so what did you do about it

:03:19.:03:23.

in your time when you were power-sharing? I was not in

:03:24.:03:30.

government as you know. I have been the leader of Plaid Cymru for five

:03:31.:03:34.

years and we were in coalition government prior to that. Labour has

:03:35.:03:37.

led the government in years for 18 years. We have seen inequalities

:03:38.:03:45.

grow and it is unacceptable that in the north of our country 21% of the

:03:46.:03:51.

people live there and 17% of capital investment is spent in the north. We

:03:52.:03:56.

want to see wealth and prosperity spread to every community throughout

:03:57.:04:01.

this country. We are community champions. Community is very

:04:02.:04:06.

important to us, strengthening our communities will be our top phrase

:04:07.:04:10.

for the local elections. That is why in my speech yesterday I made a

:04:11.:04:15.

pitch to all communities in Wales and said that under a Plaid Cymru

:04:16.:04:21.

government we would look out for everyone. If you are to redistribute

:04:22.:04:26.

wealth across Wales it would mean you would have to move something

:04:27.:04:31.

from Cardiff or south-east Wales to another part of the country. What

:04:32.:04:38.

would you move from the economic centre? You are making an

:04:39.:04:42.

assumption. We are talking about future expenditure. We have talked

:04:43.:04:46.

about the need for regional development and we have different

:04:47.:04:49.

needs in different parts of the country. We believe that economic

:04:50.:04:54.

development should be done on a regional basis, meeting the needs of

:04:55.:05:08.

those local communities, and future expenditure should be considered on

:05:09.:05:37.

an all Wales basis. We have an overheating south-east and future

:05:38.:05:39.

investment is planned for a year which is great and obviously our

:05:40.:05:42.

capital city is very important to us. But the city region deal that is

:05:43.:05:48.

on the cards we want to make sure that the places furthest away from

:05:49.:05:50.

the centre for example with a metal are started first so that those

:05:51.:05:54.

areas that are most deprived tend up getting some investment. You talked

:05:55.:05:56.

about wanting to see the next Admiral based in a town in the

:05:57.:05:59.

valleys. How could you make sure that would happen if you were First

:06:00.:06:01.

Minister? There are things that government can do. If you had a

:06:02.:06:02.

regional industrial plant. The government we have now does not have

:06:03.:06:04.

one. Take the Welsh revenue authority. That is going to be set

:06:05.:06:06.

up in Treforest ten miles north of Cardiff. There will be 40 jobs

:06:07.:06:10.

initially. You could say not many. That can make a huge impact will

:06:11.:06:13.

stop good news for your constituents. Well, it would be

:06:14.:06:20.

excellent news for my constituents if those jobs were going to be from

:06:21.:06:25.

the local area. When I asked the First Minister about this he said

:06:26.:06:32.

that we do not have the skills in Wales for those tax jobs apparently,

:06:33.:06:38.

even though he is responsible for those skills. Those jobs are going

:06:39.:06:43.

to be filled by experts from London. That is outrageous that shows lack

:06:44.:06:47.

of ambition on the part of the First Minister who is responsible for

:06:48.:06:50.

skills. He knew really be having tax-raising powers at some point and

:06:51.:06:54.

it should've been up for him to make sure have people in Wales with the

:06:55.:06:59.

skills to do though is very important jobs. Looking to the local

:07:00.:07:03.

elections, before the conference you said people on the doorstep were

:07:04.:07:06.

more concerned with dog mess than Brexit. Do you believe that? That

:07:07.:07:15.

was in response to a question that you asked me I think which was how

:07:16.:07:21.

much is Brexit coming up on the doorsteps? It is not in great

:07:22.:07:26.

number. People are more concerned about local issues, local services,

:07:27.:07:32.

and dog mess is coming up a lot. Your version of Brexit, you are

:07:33.:07:38.

losing the battle, you want to see membership of the single market,

:07:39.:07:41.

would you concede that argument has long gone? We lost the battle on

:07:42.:07:50.

June 23 if you like. We are trying, while accepting the result, we know

:07:51.:07:55.

we are going to leave the EU, what is important is how we leave. And

:07:56.:08:00.

the manner, the type of Brexit, hard or soft, whether retaining

:08:01.:08:05.

membership of the single market or not, these are questions still up

:08:06.:08:09.

for debate and discussion and as long as they are up for debate and

:08:10.:08:12.

discussion Plaid Cymru will be putting forward the case for the

:08:13.:08:17.

best interests of Wales and we have said all along that it is jobs and

:08:18.:08:23.

the economy that are at the top of the agenda for us and that is why

:08:24.:08:26.

our continued membership of the single market is so important. What

:08:27.:08:30.

are your hopes for the local elections? What have your council

:08:31.:08:36.

leaders -- one of your council leaders said Labour are on their

:08:37.:08:42.

uppers. If so, we can expect Plaid Cymru to gain overall control, can

:08:43.:08:48.

we? We are in control in four councils already. We would be

:08:49.:08:52.

looking to maintain that of course and I think this election is going

:08:53.:08:56.

to be an interesting one. We are looking to make gains in a host of

:08:57.:09:01.

communities throughout the country and I would like to see Plaid Cymru

:09:02.:09:05.

and control in more than the four we hold. This is not just don't Plaid

:09:06.:09:10.

Cymru's election results. We have to see how the other parties do and

:09:11.:09:15.

which parties we could work with, which we could have similar

:09:16.:09:19.

manifestos. There is going to be quite a bit of discussion and

:09:20.:09:22.

negotiation after the local elections. I am confident Plaid

:09:23.:09:28.

Cymru will put in a good show. Would you concede your track record in

:09:29.:09:34.

elections so far would not instil confidence in your activists looking

:09:35.:09:37.

ahead to the local elections? You to over just after the last set of

:09:38.:09:42.

local elections and since then you lost councillors, you haven't gained

:09:43.:09:48.

MEP or MP, you gained one assembly member and there has been a

:09:49.:09:52.

defection. It is not an inspiring record. Is it? You put this point to

:09:53.:09:59.

me every conference. My members are very positive in a strong mid-and I

:10:00.:10:07.

think we are confident of making gains in the local elections. I have

:10:08.:10:12.

said clearly to my activists time and again the way we win votes in

:10:13.:10:16.

Plaid Cymru is to connect with people in their communities and that

:10:17.:10:21.

is why the doorstep to be conversations has been so important.

:10:22.:10:25.

It is down to the members on the ground to deliver the results in me

:10:26.:10:28.

and we have everything else in place, it is about the local

:10:29.:10:31.

activity and I am going to be looking to my members to make sure

:10:32.:10:39.

they put in the graft. There has not been a Thomas spoiler to this

:10:40.:10:43.

conference but there have been negative pressure guarding one of

:10:44.:10:48.

your assembly members and councillors, Neil McEvoy, after the

:10:49.:10:53.

judgment in the tribunal yesterday. Do you believe that Neil McEvoy is a

:10:54.:11:00.

bully? Let me tell you, we take bullying very seriously in Plaid

:11:01.:11:05.

Cymru, but we also take process very seriously. This is a matter that has

:11:06.:11:11.

been referred to the party chairman. There is a process being undertaken

:11:12.:11:15.

and I respect that process and it is important that all of us respect

:11:16.:11:20.

that process. One of your fellow Plaid Cymru members said on social

:11:21.:11:23.

media that the leadership should not let someone speak the day after this

:11:24.:11:29.

result, we cannot condone this behaviour and ignore in our own

:11:30.:11:37.

ranks. Is she right? I have a lot of sympathy with what better than

:11:38.:11:41.

Jenkins has said and I listened to all of my members and I take on

:11:42.:11:45.

board all of their views very seriously but there is a process in

:11:46.:11:50.

place, the party chairman has decided alongside the steering

:11:51.:11:53.

committee that the conference as plant will go ahead, but the

:11:54.:11:57.

conversations will take place next week in terms of the process and

:11:58.:12:02.

that has to be stuck to. I cannot add anything further. Would you like

:12:03.:12:08.

to see him suspended as an assembly member? I am not going to comment on

:12:09.:12:14.

that. There is a process in place. I take process is extremely seriously

:12:15.:12:20.

as I do accusations of bullying. This will be dealt with according to

:12:21.:12:25.

the connect processes. Do you think Neil McEvoy is an asset or

:12:26.:12:33.

liability? I have a lot of members in my party. They do a lot of work

:12:34.:12:38.

for Wales and for their communities and many of them will be standing

:12:39.:12:42.

for election in May and I am supportive of my members' activity

:12:43.:12:48.

on the ground. That is all I want to say. After the hearing your McEvoy

:12:49.:12:55.

continued to refer to the process as a sham, kangaroo court. He said it

:12:56.:12:59.

was politically motivated. Do you agree? I am not going to comment on

:13:00.:13:06.

the further illness. There is a process in place and I am going to

:13:07.:13:10.

dear the process. Thank you, Leanne Wood. The conference has heard from

:13:11.:13:19.

all of Plaid Cymru's leading figures, amongst them the health

:13:20.:13:27.

Guzman. -- spokesperson. To me it says a lot that the promise of

:13:28.:13:35.

health spending, the ?350 billion for the NHS, was so influential in

:13:36.:13:39.

the EU referendum. Its influence came from the fact that the promise

:13:40.:13:44.

that played on a matter that is so important to people. The future of

:13:45.:13:54.

the NHS. It was here in Gwent that inspiration was found, strength to

:13:55.:14:04.

go on and established the NHS. Here likened the rest of Wales there is a

:14:05.:14:10.

realisation that his vision is being held back from its potential. There

:14:11.:14:13.

is excellent in the NHS in Wales. Devoted skilled staff second to

:14:14.:14:17.

none. We are lucky to have them and we cannot thank them enough. They

:14:18.:14:24.

are being asked to do more and more. Through lack of government support

:14:25.:14:31.

to deliver the impossible. Since I became Plaid Cymru shadow secretary

:14:32.:14:37.

for health and social care I noticed a pattern of behaviour whenever it

:14:38.:14:40.

comes to an issue on which Labour has a poor record. Several issues

:14:41.:14:46.

where Labour should be running the NHS in a better way, recruitment of

:14:47.:14:51.

doctors and nurses, management of waiting lists, diagnosis and

:14:52.:14:55.

treatment and preparing for the pressures of winter. We talk about

:14:56.:15:00.

that every year as if winter comes as a surprise. People do not want to

:15:01.:15:09.

lose the hope that the NHS really can deliver on the original vision.

:15:10.:15:14.

Labour's approach to the issues raised about the NHS's performance

:15:15.:15:19.

often go through a process similar to what we might recognise as the

:15:20.:15:23.

responses to a loss, the five stages of grief. Denial of the problem.

:15:24.:15:28.

Comments like those figures cannot be compared. That was an isolated

:15:29.:15:31.

incident. We will be told you are attacking

:15:32.:15:41.

hard working staff, they might even say that the media isn't getting it

:15:42.:15:46.

right. What does that sound familiar? But when the issue we are

:15:47.:15:51.

raising won't go away, Labour will then move on to the third stage,

:15:52.:15:57.

bargaining. They'll announce a new initiative perhaps to tackle the

:15:58.:16:02.

problem, they'll offer the patients who are concerned about performing

:16:03.:16:06.

or about performance a review on the way forward and they'll promise, as

:16:07.:16:10.

in the chamber in the Assembly, that things will be better by this time

:16:11.:16:15.

next year. When my predecessor as Shadow health Minister first raised

:16:16.:16:21.

the issue of cancer waiting targets being repeatedly missed, both the

:16:22.:16:25.

then health Minister and the First Minister made a promise to the

:16:26.:16:30.

Assembly. They promised the targets would be hit by October. October

:16:31.:16:38.

2013. It's now March 2017 and those targets still haven't been met and

:16:39.:16:46.

performance is still as bad today with those promises quietly

:16:47.:16:50.

forgotten. But when we continue to highlight poor performance after the

:16:51.:16:55.

bargaining we then see depression. We'll be told that Wales is just too

:16:56.:17:00.

ill compared to others. Which is sort of an echo of of the argument

:17:01.:17:07.

that we're too poor, to self-govern, it's about as accurate, as well, it

:17:08.:17:11.

was dispelled by the audit office several years ago. We will be told

:17:12.:17:14.

the Barnett formula is unfair and Labour doesn't have the resources to

:17:15.:17:20.

fully meet the needs of Wales. I am sorry, but the extra funds that we

:17:21.:17:26.

do need simply don't explain the performance gap. Particularly when

:17:27.:17:31.

we can point to examples of incompetence, of financial waste,

:17:32.:17:34.

such as spending hundreds of millions of pounds on agency staff

:17:35.:17:38.

because of the failure to plan the workforce properly. And of course

:17:39.:17:43.

they'll blame patients for being too ill. They'll blame high attendance

:17:44.:17:52.

at A on people who should have gone to the GP. They'll blame the

:17:53.:17:57.

high rates of obesity and smoking, they're blaming obesity and smoking

:17:58.:18:02.

in Wales as if everybody in Scotland and England live perfectly healthy

:18:03.:18:08.

lifestyles. It's made to seem as if poor performance is inevitable. What

:18:09.:18:14.

can they do, they've only been in Government running the Welsh NHS for

:18:15.:18:21.

18 years? Then of course there is the 5th stage. Acceptance. Sadly

:18:22.:18:29.

this hasn't happened yet. We still haven't seen Labour accepting that

:18:30.:18:34.

our health service can and should do better for Wales. Genuinely. Plaid

:18:35.:18:39.

Cymru does accept that and that's why we have focussed on solving

:18:40.:18:46.

problems, not denying them and not deciding they're somehow inevitable.

:18:47.:18:50.

We will train and recruit doctors we need for all parts of Wales,

:18:51.:18:54.

including the establishment of medical education in the north. We

:18:55.:18:59.

do want to retain the nurse bursary, we will set ambitious targets for

:19:00.:19:03.

cancer diagnosis, that cancer charities themselves want and that

:19:04.:19:07.

the Welsh Government continues to deny are needed to improve survival

:19:08.:19:13.

rates. And we will focus on making our NHS as good as anywhere in the

:19:14.:19:17.

world and not just breathe a sigh of relief when new figures aren't quite

:19:18.:19:22.

as bad as they could be or were expected to be. That's not good

:19:23.:19:30.

enough. APPLAUSE

:19:31.:19:36.

Is finance a problem for health, like the rest of the public service

:19:37.:19:43.

in Wales? Of course it is. Wales has been starved of funding by Tory

:19:44.:19:48.

austerity. Just like it was by Labour's refusal to change funding

:19:49.:19:56.

form lass. Remember that. But it's a pretty grim mix that we have now.

:19:57.:20:04.

The resolute austerity of the Tories and the resolute left edge of

:20:05.:20:09.

Labour, seeking to run Wales like managers. Don't get me wrong, a good

:20:10.:20:18.

manager can work wonders. But Labour isn't managing, isn't coping.

:20:19.:20:24.

Frankly, we don't need just management, we need vision, we need

:20:25.:20:30.

leadership, that's what Plaid Cymru is offering. It's time for Wales to

:20:31.:20:36.

say we can do better. It's time for Wales to say let's aim higher. It's

:20:37.:20:43.

time for Wales to unite in search of a new way of doing things. It's time

:20:44.:20:53.

for Wales. APPLAUSE

:20:54.:20:56.

The Plaid Cymru health spokesperson addressing delegates there. Vaughan,

:20:57.:21:01.

we haven't talked about the Plaid campaign looking ahead to the local

:21:02.:21:05.

elections and the seats that they and the councils they might look to

:21:06.:21:13.

win. Which are they? Well, you have, if you like, the traditional Plaid

:21:14.:21:18.

Heartlands, Gwynedd is a council they normally hope to control, also

:21:19.:21:23.

Conway they lead at the moment, that's leading at a disparate group

:21:24.:21:26.

of councillors. Then the big prize for them this time I think would be

:21:27.:21:30.

Carmarthenshire. That's a council they never controlled outright. They

:21:31.:21:34.

lead it at the moment in alliance with independents. They do think

:21:35.:21:37.

they have an outside chance of taking outright control.

:21:38.:21:40.

Carmarthenshire is one of the biggest local authorities in Wales

:21:41.:21:48.

so that would be a major prize. Elsewhere, Caerphilly and Rhondda,

:21:49.:21:50.

traditionally very good places for the party. The party's controlled

:21:51.:21:56.

them before. But they're working a pretty hard face there, a

:21:57.:22:01.

particularly if you get Ukip candidates coming in, as well.

:22:02.:22:04.

Ironically enough, Ukip and Plaid Cymru attract a similar sort of

:22:05.:22:09.

voter in working class constituencies, people is enchanted

:22:10.:22:12.

with Labour who want to give the local Labour Party a kicking and

:22:13.:22:17.

Cardiff I think, you were talking about Neil McEvoy, the truth is the

:22:18.:22:23.

quandry for Plaid Cymru is at times Neil McEvoy embarasses them but he

:22:24.:22:26.

is also the man who reaches the part no other Plaid politician has ever

:22:27.:22:31.

managed to reach before. He has an appeal in Cardiff which is something

:22:32.:22:33.

that Plaid have been searching for, for the best part of 50 years. So it

:22:34.:22:38.

will be interesting to see how they manage that. That's the local level.

:22:39.:22:46.

I think now we can speak to someone who represents the party on a

:22:47.:22:48.

national level. Yes, thank you. Joining me now is

:22:49.:22:54.

the member of parliament, thank you for joining us. A lot of our viewers

:22:55.:23:01.

will have seen on the news a student who was debe deported to Sri Lanka

:23:02.:23:05.

months before the end of her degree, what's the latest you can tell us

:23:06.:23:13.

about that? I saw it on Thursday, she's extremely relieved to be back

:23:14.:23:16.

and her mother, and is getting on with her studies. She's been

:23:17.:23:20.

allowed, I think, this is the terms she's been allowed to do her exams,

:23:21.:23:24.

but we will have to fight the case for a more permanent solution but

:23:25.:23:29.

she's now got a very good legal representation. What's the hope in

:23:30.:23:33.

the longer term, that she will be allowed to remain here? She's been

:23:34.:23:39.

here since she was 12. In some ways she comes from Bangor now but she is

:23:40.:23:43.

a Londoner, lived there since she was 12. I should imagine that any

:23:44.:23:47.

sensible Government would see she's such an asset. She's doing a degree,

:23:48.:23:52.

she's going to get a first. It's an area where there is a huge skills

:23:53.:23:55.

shortage. We would be crazy to send her back. One of the other issues

:23:56.:24:00.

discussed a lot by you in Westminster over the last few days,

:24:01.:24:06.

weeks, months, is Brexit. Isn't Plaid Cymru on the wrong side of the

:24:07.:24:11.

debate, aren't you losing the debate looking at keeping full membership

:24:12.:24:15.

and access, full membership of the single market, do you get the sense

:24:16.:24:18.

this is an argument you are losing? I get the sense the Government isn't

:24:19.:24:22.

listening and they're determined to get either a minimal deal or

:24:23.:24:28.

otherwise to crash out of all the European arrangements and just

:24:29.:24:31.

taking a chance and I think that would be disastrous for the UK but

:24:32.:24:38.

specifically for Wales. We have our position which we think would be

:24:39.:24:42.

advantageous for us and would expect us to argue for anything else and I

:24:43.:24:49.

hope the Government will see sense. Doesn't your position become more

:24:50.:24:52.

difficult when you consider that Wales as a whole voted to leave the

:24:53.:24:57.

EU, knowing more than likely that would involve or could involve

:24:58.:25:03.

leaving the single market as well? Well, I didn't hear anybody before

:25:04.:25:07.

the debate - before the vote saying they'll crash out of the markets and

:25:08.:25:10.

will have to take a chance on the world stage. I didn't hear a single

:25:11.:25:14.

farmer saying we hope to export a lot of lamb to New Zealand. It would

:25:15.:25:19.

be crazy to say those things. The Government are now ascribing all

:25:20.:25:23.

kinds of things to the voters saying it was about immigration and this

:25:24.:25:26.

that and the other. I don't think that's how it is. I think there

:25:27.:25:30.

should be an opportunity to think carefully. There isn't that much

:25:31.:25:35.

clarity it seems to me, you are more than likely to correct me, doesn't

:25:36.:25:40.

seem clarity in terms of what's your settled view now on immigration,

:25:41.:25:43.

what should the model be after Brexit? Well, clearly the

:25:44.:25:48.

immigration is very good for us in Wales, we have skills shortages and

:25:49.:25:53.

shortages of people in social care and in health. Obviously as an - we

:25:54.:26:01.

would want to control the level of immigration and sort of imgrags or

:26:02.:26:06.

have agreement as we have had with the EU for free movement. We are not

:26:07.:26:11.

in that position at the moment. We can say what our aspirations and

:26:12.:26:14.

principles are. You are not saying what you want to see after Brexit

:26:15.:26:18.

now under the current circumstances, without Wales being an independent

:26:19.:26:21.

country. It's virtually impossible to do that. We don't know what the

:26:22.:26:25.

proposed... What do you want to see? We would like to see our membership

:26:26.:26:29.

for the markets and if that's contingent, if that is dependent on

:26:30.:26:34.

having freer movements than is envisaged we would be happy. You can

:26:35.:26:38.

say and I guess with some justification that voters didn't

:26:39.:26:41.

know whether or not single market membership was going to continue. I

:26:42.:26:44.

think you can say to a greater degree of certainty immigration and

:26:45.:26:47.

controlling immigration was a big issue for a lot of people in Wales

:26:48.:26:51.

to vote to leave. Aren't you therefore going against that element

:26:52.:26:56.

of that vote? We started this conversation talking about my

:26:57.:27:00.

student going to be thrown out. As many people have come up to me,

:27:01.:27:04.

yesterday I walked across the road and five people stopped me and said

:27:05.:27:07.

what a good thing it was she was allowed to stay. At least one of

:27:08.:27:13.

those I know is an ardent Ukip supporters. Don't you think people

:27:14.:27:19.

voted to regain control and immigration does have that sense of

:27:20.:27:23.

belonging to elements of the debate? I can see that as I said in my

:27:24.:27:27.

speech this afternoon I think there are people on both sides of the

:27:28.:27:30.

debate who have mixed views and there are good people, I would say

:27:31.:27:33.

it's a good majority of people on both sides of the debate who

:27:34.:27:37.

certainly don't want to go into the narrow sort of exit that MrsMay

:27:38.:27:42.

seems to be proposing and if that fails, she's proposing to launch us

:27:43.:27:47.

into the perilous waters of world trade without any guarantees at all.

:27:48.:27:52.

If that happens and that's the threat, that unless the European

:27:53.:27:55.

counterparts, the remaining 27 countries play ball, she will walk

:27:56.:28:01.

away and go for a low corporation tax, lower regulation economy. If

:28:02.:28:04.

she does that, under those circumstances you would say you

:28:05.:28:07.

would have to have a general election before she would be allowed

:28:08.:28:14.

to carry on with that. She has to to have approval of some sort. She is a

:28:15.:28:20.

Prime Minister who hasn't been approved by a general election. From

:28:21.:28:22.

what I understand from her she doesn't want to go before 2020

:28:23.:28:27.

either. Would you be happy MPs have a said on that or is that a

:28:28.:28:30.

fundamental shift in the UK's economy that you would say that has

:28:31.:28:33.

to go to the British people for a vote? My personal view I have to say

:28:34.:28:39.

is that a general election would decide this on a UK basis, we would

:28:40.:28:44.

have to see about voters in Wales. On the whole, MPs should be having a

:28:45.:28:48.

vote. I have to say I am against the referendum, because on the whole,

:28:49.:28:52.

they're not about the question on the ballot paper, so often. If you

:28:53.:28:59.

look at the reasons why people voted for or against, there are all kinds

:29:00.:29:04.

of reasons and I think we really need to confirm whatever the terms

:29:05.:29:08.

are. Lastly, looking at the debate over Brexit and the votes that we

:29:09.:29:11.

have seen in the House of Commons, in parliament, House of Commons and

:29:12.:29:16.

House of Lords, isn't it showing the need to have a non-elected appointed

:29:17.:29:22.

second chamber in the UK that can look more dispassionately at things

:29:23.:29:25.

like Brexit without the pressure of having to seek election? Well, if we

:29:26.:29:31.

had an elected second chamber they wouldn't... They wouldn't have been

:29:32.:29:37.

able to speak freely. Depends what the term is. It's one of the things

:29:38.:29:43.

offered. So you have a people with a certainty of tenure but can't stand

:29:44.:29:46.

for re-election, then you have that degree of independence but also the

:29:47.:29:50.

degree of legitimacy in terms of election. Would you get the

:29:51.:29:54.

expertise, would leading figures in science and academia want to ever

:29:55.:29:58.

stand for election, isn't it showing that what you have is a revising

:29:59.:30:06.

chamber full of experts, a few hereditaries as well, they can look

:30:07.:30:11.

dispassionately at Brexit? And Bishops. You forgot Bishops. When we

:30:12.:30:18.

had a vote about eight years ago, you could have 80% elected and 20%

:30:19.:30:23.

appointed or systems in Ireland where a large proportion are elected

:30:24.:30:26.

but then sectors of the economy nominate their own people. There is

:30:27.:30:30.

lots of ways of doing this apart from having a Prime Minister

:30:31.:30:36.

appointing who he or she likes or who they have donated most to the

:30:37.:30:40.

party, if I may say so. Speaking of difficult decisions for party

:30:41.:30:44.

leaders, you will be aware a lot of talk has been about the future of

:30:45.:30:49.

Neil McEvoy. I will ask you the question is he an asset or a

:30:50.:30:51.

liability? On that basis he is a very effective

:30:52.:31:01.

and very industrious assembly member and counsellor. Anybody like that is

:31:02.:31:07.

an asset. One has to concede there is a down and said -- downside in

:31:08.:31:15.

that he has had this hearing and we take this seriously. No party would

:31:16.:31:18.

like to have this judgment against them and I am not sure what Neal

:31:19.:31:23.

will be doing if he can do anything to contest that. In the meantime

:31:24.:31:28.

while there is this uncertainty, investigations, should he be

:31:29.:31:33.

suspended? As two assembly members have said to me today. I understand

:31:34.:31:38.

that if the position for the chairman who is going to be taking

:31:39.:31:44.

the investigation forward. In some cases I would be calling for Arlene

:31:45.:31:49.

Foster to stand back while the investigation is ongoing and that is

:31:50.:31:55.

not unreasonable. It is not my decision. You say that maybe he

:31:56.:32:02.

should be suspended? It is to be considered. I do not know the

:32:03.:32:08.

details of the case. It is something we take incredibly seriously. We

:32:09.:32:10.

need a quick investigation because he has work to do as we all have.

:32:11.:32:16.

That is the last of the contributions from the conference

:32:17.:32:22.

floor. Neil McEvoy. You said he was able to

:32:23.:32:31.

reach the parts not many members of Plaid Cymru unable to reach. How

:32:32.:32:37.

difficult a position are the party in with this one? It is a difficult

:32:38.:32:42.

position because it is so close to the local elections. Any sort of

:32:43.:32:47.

suspension, were it for more than a month that he has been suspended

:32:48.:32:51.

for, by the tribunal, would be difficult. It also raises a question

:32:52.:32:59.

of double jeopardy in that this ruling was a ruling by the body

:33:00.:33:02.

about the code of conduct for councillors. It was something he did

:33:03.:33:07.

as a counsellor not as an assembly member. He was not an assembly

:33:08.:33:12.

member at the time. It would be a question whether it would be a

:33:13.:33:16.

double punishment. Not so much of it was the party punishing him but if

:33:17.:33:21.

it was the assembly gets. That is why I am surprised that assembly

:33:22.:33:24.

members were talking about this because he was not an assembly

:33:25.:33:28.

member. If the assembly group were to take action that would be very

:33:29.:33:32.

problematic. Is it also a problem because he has a very large fan

:33:33.:33:38.

base? Within the party but also amongst people who year has managed

:33:39.:33:42.

to entice from other parties especially where he lives locally.

:33:43.:33:47.

They might be disenfranchised perhaps if further action was taken

:33:48.:33:52.

against him? If your McEvoy walked away from Plaid Cymru a lot of

:33:53.:33:56.

people would leave them. There is no sign as far as I can see that he has

:33:57.:34:03.

any intention of doing that. We have seen people tweeting that they are

:34:04.:34:06.

more convinced than ever that Neil McEvoy will one day be the leader of

:34:07.:34:13.

Plaid Cymru. He is a more might personality and within the context

:34:14.:34:16.

of the assembly group, quite a small group of people, ten people, there

:34:17.:34:23.

are people who like Neil McEvoy and people who hate him. That is the

:34:24.:34:27.

difficulty. That is lively and we these people keep going on about

:34:28.:34:32.

process it could so easily become about personality and that is what

:34:33.:34:36.

they are trying to avoid. Policy, hoping to hear from Adam Price

:34:37.:34:40.

before the end of this programme. He is going to be talking about the

:34:41.:34:46.

possibility of raising tax in Wales, putting a penny on the basic rate of

:34:47.:34:52.

income tax. A very brave politician who talks about raising taxes. In

:34:53.:34:56.

this context wheels would be the highest taxed part of the UK. Yes.

:34:57.:35:03.

It is politically not always stupid. You remember Paddy Ashdown ran a

:35:04.:35:08.

successful campaign based on a penny on income tax to spend on education.

:35:09.:35:15.

Abstract talk about a tax increase can be quite effective in terms of

:35:16.:35:19.

the voters. The difficulty is in Wales the tax base is tiny. An extra

:35:20.:35:26.

penny on income tax in Wales would not bring in very much money at all.

:35:27.:35:30.

It is not something that would transform health or education. It

:35:31.:35:39.

strikes me as being... Symbolic? If you wanted to be kind you would call

:35:40.:35:43.

it symbolic and if not you might call it a gimmick in that the amount

:35:44.:35:47.

of money it would bring in would not really be transformational for the

:35:48.:35:53.

Welsh government or public spending. Are they on a sticky wicket? Adam

:35:54.:35:57.

Price was advocating lowering the top rate of tax in 2014. Since then

:35:58.:36:03.

the money the Welsh government has been spending especially on health

:36:04.:36:07.

has gone up quite considerably. It is hard to see why they were

:36:08.:36:13.

advocating a tax cut before 2014 and now spending on health has gone up

:36:14.:36:18.

and they are advocating a tax rise. Yes, Adam Price is an interesting

:36:19.:36:22.

politician and sometimes he is in politician mode, like when he is

:36:23.:36:27.

talking about a tax increase, and sometimes he is in deep thinker

:36:28.:36:32.

Maud, and what he was seeing a few years ago was the point that was

:36:33.:36:37.

made by the Economist who frequently advises the Welsh government which

:36:38.:36:41.

is the one of the most effective thing she can do to try to increase

:36:42.:36:45.

the wealth of Wales... Would be to bring in the big earners. If you

:36:46.:36:51.

paid less tax if you chose to live in one part rather than in the

:36:52.:36:56.

Cotswolds. That is an academic argument. Adam Price with his

:36:57.:37:00.

student had on he might make that argument. Very difficult argument

:37:01.:37:06.

for a politician to make. Let us hear from him. He is walking out on

:37:07.:37:16.

stage. Adam Price. Talking about tax and other things. TRANSLATION: I had

:37:17.:37:27.

the privilege of being in the city

:37:28.:37:36.

during my 20s and getting to know the vitality of its culture and its

:37:37.:37:41.

warmth. The warmth of its people. It is great to revisit and reconnect

:37:42.:37:48.

and make my home here over the few days of conference. A full

:37:49.:37:56.

generation has passed since this nation of ours decided to place its

:37:57.:38:02.

future in our hands. This was not just a decision to replace one group

:38:03.:38:08.

of men and women with another. This was a decision to create a new

:38:09.:38:16.

Wales. A Wales in which poverty of ambition and circumstance were

:38:17.:38:21.

abolished and a new era of leadership, purposeful,

:38:22.:38:30.

inspirational, transformational, was placed at the very heart of our

:38:31.:38:35.

Constitution. And the public life of our nation. We wanted for our

:38:36.:38:41.

country, so long a land of wasted potential, to be instead a land of

:38:42.:38:49.

opportunity. Our hopes, demands for our country, were by no means

:38:50.:38:55.

radical. By all prevailing standards they were modest. That our children

:38:56.:39:02.

could grow up three of poverty, that the education of our young and our

:39:03.:39:09.

care for elderly was at least on a par with our nearest neighbours.

:39:10.:39:13.

That we gave the best chances we could do people at the start of life

:39:14.:39:20.

and the best care possible at the end. 1997 was, to use that phrase,

:39:21.:39:30.

sometimes on the most curious of lips, a vote for change. Not change

:39:31.:39:35.

for change's sake but change for a purpose, the founding purpose of any

:39:36.:39:41.

democracy, to lift up the people by the people's hand. It was not a new

:39:42.:39:50.

state we wanted to build. So much as a new society. Distinguished by

:39:51.:39:57.

social justice, economic dynamism and cultural achievement. Yes,

:39:58.:40:08.

tolerance, kindness and love. 1997 ended 18 years of Conservative rule

:40:09.:40:11.

and that was undoubtedly a liberation. But much more than that,

:40:12.:40:18.

it ended the studied disdain of distance, social and geographic,

:40:19.:40:23.

that flowed from 500 years of being ruled not by our peers, not by our

:40:24.:40:30.

own people, but by the gilded mansions of another nation.

:40:31.:40:36.

Self-government for Alice has never been an end in itself. It was the

:40:37.:40:42.

means to self-advancement, self-improvement,

:40:43.:40:48.

self-determination, to prise ourselves not individually but

:40:49.:40:52.

collectively out of the rut of poverty, ignorance and disease into

:40:53.:41:02.

which accident at birth had cast generation after generation.

:41:03.:41:06.

Government by our own people meant for us government for the people

:41:07.:41:12.

above all else, a new Wales, a new chance. I could hear the sentiments

:41:13.:41:21.

of a young man who fought for his country's freedom but never enjoyed

:41:22.:41:27.

its roots, Michael Collins. He more than any would have been celebrating

:41:28.:41:32.

that headline then -- from yesterday, Unionists lose majority

:41:33.:41:36.

for the first time in the Northern Ireland assembly. Unionists, or

:41:37.:41:47.

their real title British nationalists, if they can do it, so

:41:48.:41:55.

can we. I was surprised to see a political hero being named the other

:41:56.:41:58.

day with some half baked analogy between the Irish free states treaty

:41:59.:42:04.

and the Wales bill. I guess they both sparked a civil war although in

:42:05.:42:07.

the latter did was confined to the Labour Party. One thing Michael

:42:08.:42:13.

Collins would never have done is to join the Conservative Party. A short

:42:14.:42:18.

while before he was killed he gave one last speech on building up our

:42:19.:42:25.

land. Setting out his vision for the future of his country -- Ireland.

:42:26.:42:33.

And such is its engineering power, this is what he said. The growing

:42:34.:42:38.

wealth of Ireland well, we hope, be diffused through all of our people,

:42:39.:42:44.

all sharing in the growing prosperity, each receiving according

:42:45.:42:48.

to what each contributes in the making of that prosperity so that

:42:49.:42:54.

the wealth of all is a sure. How are we to increase the wealth of Ireland

:42:55.:42:58.

and ensure that all producing it shall share in it? That is the

:42:59.:43:01.

question that will engage the attention of the new government.

:43:02.:43:06.

What we must aim at is the building up of a sound economic life in which

:43:07.:43:13.

great discrepancies cannot occur. We must not have the destitution of

:43:14.:43:19.

poverty at one end and at the other an excess of riches in the

:43:20.:43:24.

possession of a few. That was Ireland on the cusp of freedom over

:43:25.:43:31.

90 years today. Over 90 years ago. When we look at the Wales of today,

:43:32.:43:36.

we are more connected through technology than ever before but we

:43:37.:43:44.

have an epidemic of loneliness. We have a wealth of opportunity. This

:43:45.:43:49.

single device has more computing power within it than the Apollo

:43:50.:43:55.

spacecraft that was used 50 years ago. To escape from Earth's orbit

:43:56.:44:02.

and returned safely from the moon. Yet we are continually confronted by

:44:03.:44:06.

evidence of sell your to solve the most basic problems of everyday

:44:07.:44:13.

life. We have the highest proportion of children living in poverty of any

:44:14.:44:18.

nation in the UK, one in three. 200,000 lives blighted right at the

:44:19.:44:26.

very beginning. We have had in Wales since 2010 a statutory commitment to

:44:27.:44:33.

eradicate child poverty by 2020. While poverty in Scotland and the

:44:34.:44:37.

north-east of England has been going down it has increased here compared

:44:38.:44:41.

to ten years ago. It is said to increase even further. What is the

:44:42.:44:50.

Welsh government policy response? To end our biggest anti-poverty

:44:51.:44:52.

programme communities first and put nothing in its place. 25 years ago I

:44:53.:45:06.

wrote this report for a major conference on the future of the

:45:07.:45:11.

valleys, rebuilding our communities, with Professor Kevin Morgan who went

:45:12.:45:16.

on to lead the 1997 Yes campaign. The depressing fact is that or an

:45:17.:45:22.

rereading this report it is just as relevant now as it was then because

:45:23.:45:26.

nothing much fundamentally has changed.

:45:27.:45:31.

In this report we quoted David Markwint, who was then a member of

:45:32.:45:38.

the Labour Party and has subsequently left to join us and he

:45:39.:45:45.

is here in the room with his wife, as well.

:45:46.:45:51.

APPLAUSE I think all four of us, I suspect,

:45:52.:45:58.

are natural co-operators, progressive pluralists by

:45:59.:46:01.

inclination, striving to find the Common Ground which can often be our

:46:02.:46:07.

best chance for change. Kevin and I ended our report then with these

:46:08.:46:12.

words, if the unpretentious claims of the Valleys for decent jobs, for

:46:13.:46:17.

better public services, and for a clean environment are to be met, we

:46:18.:46:23.

simply must come to terms with the fact that what we have in common is

:46:24.:46:30.

far more enduring than what divides us here in South Wales. It's that

:46:31.:46:37.

characteristically Welsh motivation, the disposition to co-operate for

:46:38.:46:41.

the common good that brought us together under one banner in 1997 in

:46:42.:46:47.

Yes for Wales and ten years later in One Wales. It's why we work where we

:46:48.:46:53.

can, even now in opposition, through the Welsh National White Paper on

:46:54.:46:57.

the withdrawal from the European Union, for example, to embody the

:46:58.:47:02.

politics of the united front, not that of a broken and divided nation.

:47:03.:47:09.

But the problem, and I say this in regret as much as in reproach, the

:47:10.:47:16.

problem in all this is glaringly obvious, it's called the Labour

:47:17.:47:22.

Party. This is a party born from the struggle for social change which now

:47:23.:47:29.

prop gates in our country at least the mindset of social inertia. The

:47:30.:47:34.

First Minister, by temperament and belief, is about as far as possible

:47:35.:47:41.

as is possible to be, from embodying the radical urgency of now. There

:47:42.:47:45.

was a time when stung by my criticism of his bad political

:47:46.:47:50.

posture, he started standing up straight at that elect turn in First

:47:51.:47:54.

Minister's questions. -- lecturn. But now he is slouched back into the

:47:55.:48:01.

slow and easy complacency of unchallengeable supremacy. A session

:48:02.:48:07.

at FMQs is like being inrolled at a poor quality university, being

:48:08.:48:12.

lectured at but learning nothing. A few weeks ago, he proudly told us,

:48:13.:48:16.

arm resting on his rostrum, how he had come up with the idea for the

:48:17.:48:24.

South Wales Metro at a rugby club. Sometimes if I close my eyes I can

:48:25.:48:28.

hear him saying to strangers at the bar in the rugby clubs of his

:48:29.:48:33.

retirement, I used to run a country once.

:48:34.:48:41.

LAUGHTER Labour in Wales is failing and it

:48:42.:48:46.

will fall. The only question is who will be there to pick up the pieces?

:48:47.:48:53.

For the future of our nation at this time there can only be one answer to

:48:54.:49:00.

that question. It has to be us. Not us in the narrow sense of this

:49:01.:49:07.

party, but us in the collective sense, represented by this party of

:49:08.:49:12.

our taking responsibility for our own problems, the solutions to which

:49:13.:49:17.

as we hold up a mirror to the state of our nation, are quite literally

:49:18.:49:23.

staring us in the face. That task of moving from

:49:24.:49:28.

complainants to controllers of our own fate, authors of our destiny,

:49:29.:49:34.

shapers of our future, begins with a local elections in May. Wales will

:49:35.:49:40.

not be liberated by a mass march in Cardiff or even a match in Cardiff.

:49:41.:49:47.

It's those small steps we take down a farmyard lane, up and down a

:49:48.:49:54.

Valleys terrace, the time you take to listen that will liberate Wales.

:49:55.:49:58.

Brick by brick, the new Wales will be built up - built from the blessed

:49:59.:50:04.

ground up. Governing locally is how we demonstrate to people nationally

:50:05.:50:10.

that there is a better way, that we don't have to accept the

:50:11.:50:14.

inevitability of poverty, disadvantage and decline. That

:50:15.:50:19.

another Wales is not just possible, but the urgent imperative of the

:50:20.:50:25.

times in which we live. We have underinvested for generations in the

:50:26.:50:29.

skills of our young and the care of our elderly. The new tax powers give

:50:30.:50:38.

us new possibilities and we as a nation must now decide on our

:50:39.:50:42.

priorities so we as a party will ask the people of Wales over the summer

:50:43.:50:47.

how these new powers should be utilised. Should we raise a penny

:50:48.:50:54.

for a purpose dedicated to transforming our beleaguered NHS?

:50:55.:50:59.

?200 million for our schools and colleges could close the gaping

:51:00.:51:04.

chasm of funding for students between Wales and our neighbours. We

:51:05.:51:09.

could, if we choose to, build a health and education system that was

:51:10.:51:15.

equal to the best. We could become the test bed nation for solving the

:51:16.:51:20.

societal challenges of the next generation. And it's in that spirit

:51:21.:51:27.

I am pleased to announce we as a group in the National Assembly are

:51:28.:51:31.

about to create an ideas lab focussing on new ideas for our

:51:32.:51:38.

economic transformation which given our guiding inspiration is that new

:51:39.:51:45.

Wales, we have a restless desire to build we will call Novacambria, it

:51:46.:51:52.

was the first attempt to create a new Welsh homeland in south America,

:51:53.:52:02.

some 15 years before in Brazil, led by the visionary Thomas Phillips.

:52:03.:52:06.

The community failed when many of its members, some of whom were

:52:07.:52:14.

Colliers from the old County of Gwent decided to work in nearby

:52:15.:52:19.

mines owned by others, rather than attempt to grow their own cotton.

:52:20.:52:23.

There is something of a metaphor there for the Welsh predictment, I

:52:24.:52:27.

think. STUDIO: Just as dam Price was --

:52:28.:52:33.

Adam Price was taking us down memory lane we will leave him there and

:52:34.:52:36.

turn to our political editor. Good afternoon. What's it been like

:52:37.:52:43.

there today, has this saga surrounding Neil McEsri overshadowed

:52:44.:52:50.

everything? -- McEvoy? I think so. Broadly, this is actually my fourth

:52:51.:52:54.

spring conference I have been to for Plaid. I think it's been quite flat,

:52:55.:53:00.

admittedly I am comparing it with the Assembly campaign and dmreks,

:53:01.:53:03.

maybe it's a reflection of where we are in the electoral cycle. We have

:53:04.:53:08.

council elections coming up, but it's difficult to characterise those

:53:09.:53:12.

and get your head around those because they're 22 separate battles,

:53:13.:53:16.

so many local factors. So I think that was the backdrop with which the

:53:17.:53:24.

McEvoy circus arrived today. A bit of breaking news. In the cafe behind

:53:25.:53:33.

me the talks between the party's chair and Neil McEvoy have broken up

:53:34.:53:38.

in which they were going to discuss that decision from the panel

:53:39.:53:43.

yesterday. Having spoken to Alan Jones today, he said he is not going

:53:44.:53:48.

to revisit that panel and kind of repeat all the decision-making

:53:49.:53:52.

process that went on, which would suggest that they are going to

:53:53.:53:58.

accept the findings and that would suggest then that it would be a

:53:59.:54:02.

logical extension, this is speculation, that some kind of

:54:03.:54:08.

action would be taken. The problem for the party clearly is that this

:54:09.:54:12.

is an independent official panel that has upheld a complaint of

:54:13.:54:16.

bullying and particularly for Leanne Wood I think, who has been a high

:54:17.:54:21.

profile campaigner against bullying herself, that's the pressure she

:54:22.:54:25.

will come under some pressure. On the flip side, Neil McEvoy, as no

:54:26.:54:31.

doubt you have been reflecting so far, has come out fighting and we

:54:32.:54:36.

have all seen what a one-man publicity machine as a politics he

:54:37.:54:41.

can be. On the policy front we were hearing from Adam Price talking

:54:42.:54:46.

about this penny for a purpose, a penny on the basic rate of income

:54:47.:54:51.

tax. It's a bold thing to be putting out, isn't it? Yeah, it is. You

:54:52.:54:57.

know, it's not particularly going to be attractive to a lot of voters you

:54:58.:55:01.

would have thought talking about tax rises. It's that early first firing

:55:02.:55:07.

gun, isn't it, to these powers that are coming down the track in terms

:55:08.:55:13.

of the devolved financial powers and in that sense I think it is

:55:14.:55:16.

interesting. No one's going to want to see any increase in income tax.

:55:17.:55:21.

The calculation the party is making is to raise income tax for

:55:22.:55:25.

specifically the NHS and public services, then that could be a

:55:26.:55:32.

different matter. So, that is what they were looking to capitalise on.

:55:33.:55:37.

Of course, I think it will potentially lead to some real

:55:38.:55:41.

differents in the future, the Conservatives are talking openly

:55:42.:55:45.

about this, about their plan to proprocess reductions in tax. Welsh

:55:46.:55:51.

Labour don't want to touch it, they don't want to bring in any

:55:52.:55:53.

difference between Wales and England. Plaid, if they go down this

:55:54.:55:57.

route, we are looking at a potential increase. We will have to see how

:55:58.:56:03.

that goes. Elsewhere in terms of the economic policies, the one big thing

:56:04.:56:07.

Leanne Wood talked about was focussing on this imbalance, the

:56:08.:56:11.

inequality, geographically and regionally, you could argue she is

:56:12.:56:15.

dusting down an old policy here, the kick Cardiff routine which the party

:56:16.:56:19.

are at strains to say is not the case, they just want a greater

:56:20.:56:22.

regional spread in terms of economic development, to be fair to them, I

:56:23.:56:27.

think it will a policy that will go down well on the doorstep and over

:56:28.:56:30.

the weeks that's what they need, particularly when it comes to local

:56:31.:56:35.

council elections. Finally, quickly on Brexit. Leanne Wood's political

:56:36.:56:40.

friend is Nicola Sturgeon, they're singing from the same hymn sheet in

:56:41.:56:44.

terms of membership of the single market but the two things Leanne

:56:45.:56:48.

Wood doesn't have that Nicola Sturgeon has is that Wales voted to

:56:49.:56:54.

leave and she doesn't have this threat up her sleeve of an

:56:55.:56:59.

independence referendum, how weak a hand does Leanne Wood have? Well,

:57:00.:57:06.

that's the point, isn't it? At the same time, though, I think what you

:57:07.:57:11.

have a sense of today and yesterday is that because the party is wedded

:57:12.:57:15.

to the remain side of things and it is worth pointing out that really it

:57:16.:57:19.

was the Highpoint in terms of Leanne Wood's speech was the applause when

:57:20.:57:26.

she talked about immigration and the Brexit-related matters, quite

:57:27.:57:30.

clearly that is what everyone has got worked up about. The party

:57:31.:57:34.

cannot change its tune. It is too far on one side and I think the

:57:35.:57:39.

calculation again is that it will represent the numbers of people who

:57:40.:57:42.

voted to remain, even though the majority voted to leave in Wales.

:57:43.:57:46.

Thank you very much indeed. The final word to Vaughan before we

:57:47.:57:50.

leave. How much of a factor do you think

:57:51.:57:55.

Brexit will be in the local elections, we heard Leanne Wood and

:57:56.:57:58.

discussed how much people are talking about dog mess according to

:57:59.:58:02.

Leanne Wood on the doorstep, do you think Brexit will be a case of

:58:03.:58:05.

revisiting the referendum vote again? No, I don't think Brexit will

:58:06.:58:10.

be a huge issue in terms of Brexit being an issue. I think what will be

:58:11.:58:15.

an issue and will affect the campaign is the disarray in the

:58:16.:58:19.

Labour Party. The disunity that was caused, well, it's begun with Corbyn

:58:20.:58:23.

but everything that's happened in the Labour Party since the

:58:24.:58:27.

referendum, the lack of clarity, you know, that's where the opening for

:58:28.:58:32.

Plaid Cymru is. It's the problems the Labour Party faces, because in

:58:33.:58:36.

urban Wales the seats Plaid Cymru can hope to win by and large are

:58:37.:58:42.

Labour seats. Not long to go now until everybody goes to the polls.

:58:43.:58:45.

Vaughan, thank you very much. Our time is up for today. Don't forget

:58:46.:58:49.

you can follow all the latest on Twitter.

:58:50.:58:53.

Next Saturday, it's the turn of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. For now,

:58:54.:58:54.

thank you for watching. Goodbye. # You can shake an apple

:58:55.:59:00.

off an apple tree # Shake-a, shake-a, sugar

:59:01.:59:13.

but you'll never shake me

:59:14.:59:17.