04/03/2017 Plaid Cymru Conference

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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


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


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


our Spring party conference programmes. We will be bringing you


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


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


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


expecting from today from Plaid Cymru leading up to the local


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


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


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


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


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


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


particularly well which leaves an opening for Plaid Cymru although


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


suspended as a Plaid Cymru assembly member while the investigation is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


will remember that iconic mural in John Frost Square commemorating the


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


developers while building a shopping centre.


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


that local councils do more to protect our heritage and history


when development takes place. New developments should not erase


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


consider matters of equality, especially income inequality and


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


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


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


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


defend our country, extend our democracy, protect our environment


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


nation, for taking more responsibility whether in the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


treatments for rare diseases especially cancer. A policy that was


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


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


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


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


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


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


childcare, apprenticeships, local government, mental health services


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


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


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


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


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


message to people in those communities is that Plaid Cymru will


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


for places which are not getting their fair share.


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


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


problems we have got transport infrastructure. Too many people are


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


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


neglect in different places. Challenging those geographic


inequalities is vital. At Westminster under the Tories wealth


and opportunity is being redistributed in the wrong way.


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


government is recreating the problem here where there is an overheated


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rebalancing Wales with the new Welsh revenue authority. Wrexham and


others were overlooked despite having 400 existing tax workers


between them. The revenue authority will be a relatively small


organisation with just 40 posts initially but that number of jobs


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


bringing that project closer to reality. When completed Plaid Cymru


will have secured the most significant railway in Wales since


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


that delivered. In south-east Wales we are pushing


for the City Deal to include guaranteed investment in former


coalfield communities and specifically designated role for


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


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


which sucks people and even more traffic into Cardiff where Plaid


Cymru councillors have been campaigning against ingestion and


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


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


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


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


housed somewhere which other regional policy which creates viable


communities connected to it. A thriving Cardiff and a prosperous


land. Plaid Cymru has maximised our


advantage to wrestle concessions from Government. You have seen our


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Look at the ideas and the determination coming out of that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Cymru who stood up for them and voted against this Conservative


Westminster Government. APPLAUSE


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


the Welsh national interest during the months ahead as the UK


Government begins the process of leaving the European Union. Scotland


has a confident and strong Government standing up for their


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


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


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


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


rule out participation in the European economic area or the


European free trade association? Having criticised Labour for that


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


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


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


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


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


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


In that paper, single market participation is the priority for


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


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


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


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


to workers' rights, consumer rights and protecting our precious


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


ensured cleaner beaches and seas, helping to transform the coastline


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


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


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


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


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


endorse any Brexit which weakens our public services or stops our


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


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


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


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


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


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


welcome. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


United States has seen travellers from a host of majority Muslim


countries put under instant suspicion and the suspicion is now


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE In case there was any doubt at all,


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE Conference, I want to reaffirm today


that Plaid Cymru will not accept any negotiation which undermines our


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


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


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


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


expect a fair financial deal for Welsh agriculture and we expect


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


would then use that policy to control and prioritise the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rural communities, we stand with them.


APPLAUSE Conference, it's fair to ask what


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Wales and Scotland are currently still negotiating with the UK


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


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


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


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


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


develop the full international presence enjoyed by Europe and the


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


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


become more active on the international scene and we will


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


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


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


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


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


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


parliament is a grave disappointment. Plaid Cymru believes


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


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


team in Westminster will be launching a hands off our parliament


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


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


tabled the party of Wales will ensure that there are political


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


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


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


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


drawing up legislation that I have ever witnessed. The Welsh


Conservative leader veteod the devolution of policing even though


policing powers were being transferred to Greater Manchester.


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


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


Conservative policy. Labour MPs from Wales disagreed with their own


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


means there are two different options for Welsh voters who are


disillusioned with Labour and the Conservatives. The Welsh nationalism


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


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


outward looking, welcoming, internationalist. Or, the nostalgic


British nationalism of Ukip, looking for opportunities to sow division


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


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


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


in. They're deliberately holding back from proposing anything


controversial and are happy to support the motions and ideas of


other We should be wary about that.


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


campaign against Welsh medium education. TRANSLATION: I and many


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


as English medium education but it was a tragedy seeing Ukip


politicians interfering and intervening, trying to stop more


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


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


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


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


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


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


decisions of parents as one County Council did.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Wales has gone backwards when ministers promised improvement.


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


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


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


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


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


of the people not the political establishment or the bureaucratic


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


community champions for securing victory.


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


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


with improvements. Our priorities are strengthening our communities,


caring for people with compassion and building affordable housing


targeted at local need. In Carmarthenshire, shovels are already


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


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


risen up the league table for preventing homelessness. Since Plaid


Cymru took over the Wales audit office has commended Carmarthenshire


for delivering improved outcomes. Plaid Cymru is restoring the


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


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


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


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


of council services or four Plaid Cymru led authorities score above


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


has been innovative in its compassion and care for local


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


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


Plaid Cymru councils are innovating and leading Wales in areas as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


First Minister. But the same data showed that most


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


young people struggling to find opportunities. This is an


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood speaking yesterday about


geographical inequalities, saying there was an overheated centre at


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


message particularly when you are running against Labour in a large


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


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


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


speech was clever. Cardiff has a contentious local development plan


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


aggressively by Plaid Cymru councillors. What she was trying to


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


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


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


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


politically realistic it would be as a government policy is another


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


conference Leanne Wood said people on the doorstep were more concerned


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conservatives Brexit strategy because of that third. The Liberal


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


coalition in London way back whenever it was under David Cameron


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


difficult for a younger person to take tough decisions than somebody


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


other political parties over the next few conferences. For the


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


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


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


what she had to say to the conference.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


communities we strengthen and build our nation. Disaffection and


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


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


communities benefitted most from EU membership financially. I was born


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


were multicultural and multilingual. They were and still are close


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


must give control to people in Wales, encouraging and supporting


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


should have an enlightened and inclusive and a progressive path.


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


justice for Kurdish people, for Palestinian people, whether


protesting against wars on nuclear weapons for the peace movement but


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


local campaign to close the notorious landfill site in the


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


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


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


small protest because of the nuisance from the flies and the


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


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


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


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


ignored and they were fobbed off with answers and people kept


complaining and more people complained and the problems got


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


politics soon became experts on certainly how the local authority


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


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


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


the help of a petition to the European Parliament and using


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


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


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


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


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


the European Union, then anything is possible.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


your speech yesterday focused on what to call our geographical


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


want to see wealth and prosperity spread to every community throughout


this country. We are community champions. Community is very


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about the need for regional development and we have different


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


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


those local communities, and future expenditure should be considered on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


discussion Plaid Cymru will be putting forward the case for the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


negotiation after the local elections. I am confident Plaid


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


elections so far would not instil confidence in your activists looking


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


conference but there have been negative pressure guarding one of


your assembly members and councillors, Neil McEvoy, after the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


place, the party chairman has decided alongside the steering


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


doctors and nurses, management of waiting lists, diagnosis and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


incident. We will be told you are attacking


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


performance is still as bad today with those promises quietly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


such as spending hundreds of millions of pounds on agency staff


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


including the establishment of medical education in the north. We


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


cancer diagnosis, that cancer charities themselves want and that


the Welsh Government continues to deny are needed to improve survival


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


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


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


enough. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


for Wales. APPLAUSE


The Plaid Cymru health spokesperson addressing delegates there. Vaughan,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


they have an outside chance of taking outright control.


Carmarthenshire is one of the biggest local authorities in Wales


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


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


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


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


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


voter in working class constituencies, people is enchanted


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


otherwise to crash out of all the European arrangements and just


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that and the other. I don't think that's how it is. I think there


should be an opportunity to think carefully. There isn't that much


clarity it seems to me, you are more than likely to correct me, doesn't


seem clarity in terms of what's your settled view now on immigration,


what should the model be after Brexit? Well, clearly the


immigration is very good for us in Wales, we have skills shortages and


shortages of people in social care and in health. Obviously as an - we


would want to control the level of immigration and sort of imgrags or


have agreement as we have had with the EU for free movement. We are not


in that position at the moment. We can say what our aspirations and


principles are. You are not saying what you want to see after Brexit


now under the current circumstances, without Wales being an independent


country. It's virtually impossible to do that. We don't know what the


proposed... What do you want to see? We would like to see our membership


for the markets and if that's contingent, if that is dependent on


having freer movements than is envisaged we would be happy. You can


say and I guess with some justification that voters didn't


know whether or not single market membership was going to continue. I


think you can say to a greater degree of certainty immigration and


controlling immigration was a big issue for a lot of people in Wales


to vote to leave. Aren't you therefore going against that element


of that vote? We started this conversation talking about my


student going to be thrown out. As many people have come up to me,


yesterday I walked across the road and five people stopped me and said


what a good thing it was she was allowed to stay. At least one of


those I know is an ardent Ukip supporters. Don't you think people


voted to regain control and immigration does have that sense of


belonging to elements of the debate? I can see that as I said in my


speech this afternoon I think there are people on both sides of the


debate who have mixed views and there are good people, I would say


it's a good majority of people on both sides of the debate who


certainly don't want to go into the narrow sort of exit that MrsMay


seems to be proposing and if that fails, she's proposing to launch us


into the perilous waters of world trade without any guarantees at all.


If that happens and that's the threat, that unless the European


counterparts, the remaining 27 countries play ball, she will walk


away and go for a low corporation tax, lower regulation economy. If


she does that, under those circumstances you would say you


would have to have a general election before she would be allowed


to carry on with that. She has to to have approval of some sort. She is a


Prime Minister who hasn't been approved by a general election. From


what I understand from her she doesn't want to go before 2020


either. Would you be happy MPs have a said on that or is that a


fundamental shift in the UK's economy that you would say that has


to go to the British people for a vote? My personal view I have to say


is that a general election would decide this on a UK basis, we would


have to see about voters in Wales. On the whole, MPs should be having a


vote. I have to say I am against the referendum, because on the whole,


they're not about the question on the ballot paper, so often. If you


look at the reasons why people voted for or against, there are all kinds


of reasons and I think we really need to confirm whatever the terms


are. Lastly, looking at the debate over Brexit and the votes that we


have seen in the House of Commons, in parliament, House of Commons and


House of Lords, isn't it showing the need to have a non-elected appointed


second chamber in the UK that can look more dispassionately at things


like Brexit without the pressure of having to seek election? Well, if we


had an elected second chamber they wouldn't... They wouldn't have been


able to speak freely. Depends what the term is. It's one of the things


offered. So you have a people with a certainty of tenure but can't stand


for re-election, then you have that degree of independence but also the


degree of legitimacy in terms of election. Would you get the


expertise, would leading figures in science and academia want to ever


stand for election, isn't it showing that what you have is a revising


chamber full of experts, a few hereditaries as well, they can look


dispassionately at Brexit? And Bishops. You forgot Bishops. When we


had a vote about eight years ago, you could have 80% elected and 20%


appointed or systems in Ireland where a large proportion are elected


but then sectors of the economy nominate their own people. There is


lots of ways of doing this apart from having a Prime Minister


appointing who he or she likes or who they have donated most to the


party, if I may say so. Speaking of difficult decisions for party


leaders, you will be aware a lot of talk has been about the future of


Neil McEvoy. I will ask you the question is he an asset or a


liability? On that basis he is a very effective


and very industrious assembly member and counsellor. Anybody like that is


an asset. One has to concede there is a down and said -- downside in


that he has had this hearing and we take this seriously. No party would


like to have this judgment against them and I am not sure what Neal


will be doing if he can do anything to contest that. In the meantime


while there is this uncertainty, investigations, should he be


suspended? As two assembly members have said to me today. I understand


that if the position for the chairman who is going to be taking


the investigation forward. In some cases I would be calling for Arlene


Foster to stand back while the investigation is ongoing and that is


not unreasonable. It is not my decision. You say that maybe he


should be suspended? It is to be considered. I do not know the


details of the case. It is something we take incredibly seriously. We


need a quick investigation because he has work to do as we all have.


That is the last of the contributions from the conference


floor. Neil McEvoy. You said he was able to


reach the parts not many members of Plaid Cymru unable to reach. How


difficult a position are the party in with this one? It is a difficult


position because it is so close to the local elections. Any sort of


suspension, were it for more than a month that he has been suspended


for, by the tribunal, would be difficult. It also raises a question


of double jeopardy in that this ruling was a ruling by the body


about the code of conduct for councillors. It was something he did


as a counsellor not as an assembly member. He was not an assembly


member at the time. It would be a question whether it would be a


double punishment. Not so much of it was the party punishing him but if


it was the assembly gets. That is why I am surprised that assembly


members were talking about this because he was not an assembly


member. If the assembly group were to take action that would be very


problematic. Is it also a problem because he has a very large fan


base? Within the party but also amongst people who year has managed


to entice from other parties especially where he lives locally.


They might be disenfranchised perhaps if further action was taken


against him? If your McEvoy walked away from Plaid Cymru a lot of


people would leave them. There is no sign as far as I can see that he has


any intention of doing that. We have seen people tweeting that they are


more convinced than ever that Neil McEvoy will one day be the leader of


Plaid Cymru. He is a more might personality and within the context


of the assembly group, quite a small group of people, ten people, there


are people who like Neil McEvoy and people who hate him. That is the


difficulty. That is lively and we these people keep going on about


process it could so easily become about personality and that is what


they are trying to avoid. Policy, hoping to hear from Adam Price


before the end of this programme. He is going to be talking about the


possibility of raising tax in Wales, putting a penny on the basic rate of


income tax. A very brave politician who talks about raising taxes. In


this context wheels would be the highest taxed part of the UK. Yes.


It is politically not always stupid. You remember Paddy Ashdown ran a


successful campaign based on a penny on income tax to spend on education.


Abstract talk about a tax increase can be quite effective in terms of


the voters. The difficulty is in Wales the tax base is tiny. An extra


penny on income tax in Wales would not bring in very much money at all.


It is not something that would transform health or education. It


strikes me as being... Symbolic? If you wanted to be kind you would call


it symbolic and if not you might call it a gimmick in that the amount


of money it would bring in would not really be transformational for the


Welsh government or public spending. Are they on a sticky wicket? Adam


Price was advocating lowering the top rate of tax in 2014. Since then


the money the Welsh government has been spending especially on health


has gone up quite considerably. It is hard to see why they were


advocating a tax cut before 2014 and now spending on health has gone up


and they are advocating a tax rise. Yes, Adam Price is an interesting


politician and sometimes he is in politician mode, like when he is


talking about a tax increase, and sometimes he is in deep thinker


Maud, and what he was seeing a few years ago was the point that was


made by the Economist who frequently advises the Welsh government which


is the one of the most effective thing she can do to try to increase


the wealth of Wales... Would be to bring in the big earners. If you


paid less tax if you chose to live in one part rather than in the


Cotswolds. That is an academic argument. Adam Price with his


student had on he might make that argument. Very difficult argument


for a politician to make. Let us hear from him. He is walking out on


stage. Adam Price. Talking about tax and other things. TRANSLATION: I had


the privilege of being in the city


during my 20s and getting to know the vitality of its culture and its


warmth. The warmth of its people. It is great to revisit and reconnect


and make my home here over the few days of conference. A full


generation has passed since this nation of ours decided to place its


future in our hands. This was not just a decision to replace one group


of men and women with another. This was a decision to create a new


Wales. A Wales in which poverty of ambition and circumstance were


abolished and a new era of leadership, purposeful,


inspirational, transformational, was placed at the very heart of our


Constitution. And the public life of our nation. We wanted for our


country, so long a land of wasted potential, to be instead a land of


opportunity. Our hopes, demands for our country, were by no means


radical. By all prevailing standards they were modest. That our children


could grow up three of poverty, that the education of our young and our


care for elderly was at least on a par with our nearest neighbours.


That we gave the best chances we could do people at the start of life


and the best care possible at the end. 1997 was, to use that phrase,


sometimes on the most curious of lips, a vote for change. Not change


for change's sake but change for a purpose, the founding purpose of any


democracy, to lift up the people by the people's hand. It was not a new


state we wanted to build. So much as a new society. Distinguished by


social justice, economic dynamism and cultural achievement. Yes,


tolerance, kindness and love. 1997 ended 18 years of Conservative rule


and that was undoubtedly a liberation. But much more than that,


it ended the studied disdain of distance, social and geographic,


that flowed from 500 years of being ruled not by our peers, not by our


own people, but by the gilded mansions of another nation.


Self-government for Alice has never been an end in itself. It was the


means to self-advancement, self-improvement,


self-determination, to prise ourselves not individually but


collectively out of the rut of poverty, ignorance and disease into


which accident at birth had cast generation after generation.


Government by our own people meant for us government for the people


above all else, a new Wales, a new chance. I could hear the sentiments


of a young man who fought for his country's freedom but never enjoyed


its roots, Michael Collins. He more than any would have been celebrating


that headline then -- from yesterday, Unionists lose majority


for the first time in the Northern Ireland assembly. Unionists, or


their real title British nationalists, if they can do it, so


can we. I was surprised to see a political hero being named the other


day with some half baked analogy between the Irish free states treaty


and the Wales bill. I guess they both sparked a civil war although in


the latter did was confined to the Labour Party. One thing Michael


Collins would never have done is to join the Conservative Party. A short


while before he was killed he gave one last speech on building up our


land. Setting out his vision for the future of his country -- Ireland.


And such is its engineering power, this is what he said. The growing


wealth of Ireland well, we hope, be diffused through all of our people,


all sharing in the growing prosperity, each receiving according


to what each contributes in the making of that prosperity so that


the wealth of all is a sure. How are we to increase the wealth of Ireland


and ensure that all producing it shall share in it? That is the


question that will engage the attention of the new government.


What we must aim at is the building up of a sound economic life in which


great discrepancies cannot occur. We must not have the destitution of


poverty at one end and at the other an excess of riches in the


possession of a few. That was Ireland on the cusp of freedom over


90 years today. Over 90 years ago. When we look at the Wales of today,


we are more connected through technology than ever before but we


have an epidemic of loneliness. We have a wealth of opportunity. This


single device has more computing power within it than the Apollo


spacecraft that was used 50 years ago. To escape from Earth's orbit


and returned safely from the moon. Yet we are continually confronted by


evidence of sell your to solve the most basic problems of everyday


life. We have the highest proportion of children living in poverty of any


nation in the UK, one in three. 200,000 lives blighted right at the


very beginning. We have had in Wales since 2010 a statutory commitment to


eradicate child poverty by 2020. While poverty in Scotland and the


north-east of England has been going down it has increased here compared


to ten years ago. It is said to increase even further. What is the


Welsh government policy response? To end our biggest anti-poverty


programme communities first and put nothing in its place. 25 years ago I


wrote this report for a major conference on the future of the


valleys, rebuilding our communities, with Professor Kevin Morgan who went


on to lead the 1997 Yes campaign. The depressing fact is that or an


rereading this report it is just as relevant now as it was then because


nothing much fundamentally has changed.


In this report we quoted David Markwint, who was then a member of


the Labour Party and has subsequently left to join us and he


is here in the room with his wife, as well.


APPLAUSE I think all four of us, I suspect,


are natural co-operators, progressive pluralists by


inclination, striving to find the Common Ground which can often be our


best chance for change. Kevin and I ended our report then with these


words, if the unpretentious claims of the Valleys for decent jobs, for


better public services, and for a clean environment are to be met, we


simply must come to terms with the fact that what we have in common is


far more enduring than what divides us here in South Wales. It's that


characteristically Welsh motivation, the disposition to co-operate for


the common good that brought us together under one banner in 1997 in


Yes for Wales and ten years later in One Wales. It's why we work where we


can, even now in opposition, through the Welsh National White Paper on


the withdrawal from the European Union, for example, to embody the


politics of the united front, not that of a broken and divided nation.


But the problem, and I say this in regret as much as in reproach, the


problem in all this is glaringly obvious, it's called the Labour


Party. This is a party born from the struggle for social change which now


prop gates in our country at least the mindset of social inertia. The


First Minister, by temperament and belief, is about as far as possible


as is possible to be, from embodying the radical urgency of now. There


was a time when stung by my criticism of his bad political


posture, he started standing up straight at that elect turn in First


Minister's questions. -- lecturn. But now he is slouched back into the


slow and easy complacency of unchallengeable supremacy. A session


at FMQs is like being inrolled at a poor quality university, being


lectured at but learning nothing. A few weeks ago, he proudly told us,


arm resting on his rostrum, how he had come up with the idea for the


South Wales Metro at a rugby club. Sometimes if I close my eyes I can


hear him saying to strangers at the bar in the rugby clubs of his


retirement, I used to run a country once.


LAUGHTER Labour in Wales is failing and it


will fall. The only question is who will be there to pick up the pieces?


For the future of our nation at this time there can only be one answer to


that question. It has to be us. Not us in the narrow sense of this


party, but us in the collective sense, represented by this party of


our taking responsibility for our own problems, the solutions to which


as we hold up a mirror to the state of our nation, are quite literally


staring us in the face. That task of moving from


complainants to controllers of our own fate, authors of our destiny,


shapers of our future, begins with a local elections in May. Wales will


not be liberated by a mass march in Cardiff or even a match in Cardiff.


It's those small steps we take down a farmyard lane, up and down a


Valleys terrace, the time you take to listen that will liberate Wales.


Brick by brick, the new Wales will be built up - built from the blessed


ground up. Governing locally is how we demonstrate to people nationally


that there is a better way, that we don't have to accept the


inevitability of poverty, disadvantage and decline. That


another Wales is not just possible, but the urgent imperative of the


times in which we live. We have underinvested for generations in the


skills of our young and the care of our elderly. The new tax powers give


us new possibilities and we as a nation must now decide on our


priorities so we as a party will ask the people of Wales over the summer


how these new powers should be utilised. Should we raise a penny


for a purpose dedicated to transforming our beleaguered NHS?


?200 million for our schools and colleges could close the gaping


chasm of funding for students between Wales and our neighbours. We


could, if we choose to, build a health and education system that was


equal to the best. We could become the test bed nation for solving the


societal challenges of the next generation. And it's in that spirit


I am pleased to announce we as a group in the National Assembly are


about to create an ideas lab focussing on new ideas for our


economic transformation which given our guiding inspiration is that new


Wales, we have a restless desire to build we will call Novacambria, it


was the first attempt to create a new Welsh homeland in south America,


some 15 years before in Brazil, led by the visionary Thomas Phillips.


The community failed when many of its members, some of whom were


Colliers from the old County of Gwent decided to work in nearby


mines owned by others, rather than attempt to grow their own cotton.


There is something of a metaphor there for the Welsh predictment, I


think. STUDIO: Just as dam Price was --


Adam Price was taking us down memory lane we will leave him there and


turn to our political editor. Good afternoon. What's it been like


there today, has this saga surrounding Neil McEsri overshadowed


everything? -- McEvoy? I think so. Broadly, this is actually my fourth


spring conference I have been to for Plaid. I think it's been quite flat,


admittedly I am comparing it with the Assembly campaign and dmreks,


maybe it's a reflection of where we are in the electoral cycle. We have


council elections coming up, but it's difficult to characterise those


and get your head around those because they're 22 separate battles,


so many local factors. So I think that was the backdrop with which the


McEvoy circus arrived today. A bit of breaking news. In the cafe behind


me the talks between the party's chair and Neil McEvoy have broken up


in which they were going to discuss that decision from the panel


yesterday. Having spoken to Alan Jones today, he said he is not going


to revisit that panel and kind of repeat all the decision-making


process that went on, which would suggest that they are going to


accept the findings and that would suggest then that it would be a


logical extension, this is speculation, that some kind of


action would be taken. The problem for the party clearly is that this


is an independent official panel that has upheld a complaint of


bullying and particularly for Leanne Wood I think, who has been a high


profile campaigner against bullying herself, that's the pressure she


will come under some pressure. On the flip side, Neil McEvoy, as no


doubt you have been reflecting so far, has come out fighting and we


have all seen what a one-man publicity machine as a politics he


can be. On the policy front we were hearing from Adam Price talking


about this penny for a purpose, a penny on the basic rate of income


tax. It's a bold thing to be putting out, isn't it? Yeah, it is. You


know, it's not particularly going to be attractive to a lot of voters you


would have thought talking about tax rises. It's that early first firing


gun, isn't it, to these powers that are coming down the track in terms


of the devolved financial powers and in that sense I think it is


interesting. No one's going to want to see any increase in income tax.


The calculation the party is making is to raise income tax for


specifically the NHS and public services, then that could be a


different matter. So, that is what they were looking to capitalise on.


Of course, I think it will potentially lead to some real


differents in the future, the Conservatives are talking openly


about this, about their plan to proprocess reductions in tax. Welsh


Labour don't want to touch it, they don't want to bring in any


difference between Wales and England. Plaid, if they go down this


route, we are looking at a potential increase. We will have to see how


that goes. Elsewhere in terms of the economic policies, the one big thing


Leanne Wood talked about was focussing on this imbalance, the


inequality, geographically and regionally, you could argue she is


dusting down an old policy here, the kick Cardiff routine which the party


are at strains to say is not the case, they just want a greater


regional spread in terms of economic development, to be fair to them, I


think it will a policy that will go down well on the doorstep and over


the weeks that's what they need, particularly when it comes to local


council elections. Finally, quickly on Brexit. Leanne Wood's political


friend is Nicola Sturgeon, they're singing from the same hymn sheet in


terms of membership of the single market but the two things Leanne


Wood doesn't have that Nicola Sturgeon has is that Wales voted to


leave and she doesn't have this threat up her sleeve of an


independence referendum, how weak a hand does Leanne Wood have? Well,


that's the point, isn't it? At the same time, though, I think what you


have a sense of today and yesterday is that because the party is wedded


to the remain side of things and it is worth pointing out that really it


was the Highpoint in terms of Leanne Wood's speech was the applause when


she talked about immigration and the Brexit-related matters, quite


clearly that is what everyone has got worked up about. The party


cannot change its tune. It is too far on one side and I think the


calculation again is that it will represent the numbers of people who


voted to remain, even though the majority voted to leave in Wales.


Thank you very much indeed. The final word to Vaughan before we


leave. How much of a factor do you think


Brexit will be in the local elections, we heard Leanne Wood and


discussed how much people are talking about dog mess according to


Leanne Wood on the doorstep, do you think Brexit will be a case of


revisiting the referendum vote again? No, I don't think Brexit will


be a huge issue in terms of Brexit being an issue. I think what will be


an issue and will affect the campaign is the disarray in the


Labour Party. The disunity that was caused, well, it's begun with Corbyn


but everything that's happened in the Labour Party since the


referendum, the lack of clarity, you know, that's where the opening for


Plaid Cymru is. It's the problems the Labour Party faces, because in


urban Wales the seats Plaid Cymru can hope to win by and large are


Labour seats. Not long to go now until everybody goes to the polls.


Vaughan, thank you very much. Our time is up for today. Don't forget


you can follow all the latest on Twitter.


Next Saturday, it's the turn of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. For now,


thank you for watching. Goodbye. # You can shake an apple


off an apple tree # Shake-a, shake-a, sugar


but you'll never shake me