Today, the experienced campaigner, Heledd Fychan, Plaid Cymru’s Director of Policy and Political Education, announced that she will be seeking the party's nomination in the Arfon constituency for the 2016 Assembly election. This follows the decision of the current AM, Alun Ffred Jones, to retire at the next election.
Heledd said:“ Arfon is a beautiful constituency. Surrounded by the dramatic landscape of Snowdonia and the stunning Menai Straits, it is in many ways idyllic. It is also one of the heartlands of the Welsh language, where you can hear it being spoken as an everyday language.
“But, we also face a number of challenges. Without jobs to keep our young people in the area, and to allow them to return to raise their families, our communities and the bilingual nature of those communities, will deteriorate further. We must transform the local economy, and create greater opportunities. Small businesses are the backbone of the constituency, and they must be supported rather than punished. When in Government, Plaid Cymru reduced the business rate. This support must continue.
“An Assembly Member has a duty to put constituents first, and this is my promise to the people of Arfon – to listen to them, offer support, give backing to and lead local campaigns, work hard to strengthen the economy, and ensure Arfon's voice is heard in the Assembly in Cardiff.
"I have a lifetime of service to offer the people of Arfon, along with experience and energy. There is a great deal of hard work ahead to provide greater opportunities for people living in the area, and I very much hope that I will have the opportunity to represent the whole community.”
Originally from Anglesey, Heledd has been a member of the Plaid Cymru branch in Caernarfon since 1996. She was second on the North Wales regional list for Plaid Cymru in the 2011 Assembly election, and narrowly missed out on being elected. She also challenged Lembit Opik for the Montgomeryshire seat in the 2010 Westminster election, and increased Plaid Cymru’s vote.
Heledd is currently on maternity leave, after giving birth to Tomos Geraint last month. She usually works for a national institution across Wales, and prior to that, worked for Plaid Cymru in Westminster and was a National Students Union Officer in Ireland after graduating in History and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin.