Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Welsh Labour Conference Speech
February 2016
Ambition and Learning

Working class people both here in Wales and England have ambition, aspiration
and a burning desire to learn.
Aspiration should not and cannot be the preserve of the middle classes because
ordinary working class people do not have the money to pay for education.

It was Nelson Mandela who said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world.’ So take note David Cameron and Andrew RT Davies – Mandela didn’t mention that access to education will
depend on an individual’s ability to pay!

My family is privileged, and I mean that -  Privileged to live, work and
be educated in Wales as opposed to England. My two younger sons aged nearly
18 and 17 are both products of a fantastic Welsh educational system. Both are in
6th form studying A levels and both receive Education Maintenance Allowance
at £30 per week to help them cope with the cost of books,
and essentials. If we were living in England they wouldn’t get EMA…the
Tories abolished it in 2010.

Hope, ambition and aspiration to achieve the desired A level results renewed again in my sons.

And once they go to university again, unlike England, where students pay up to
nine thousand pounds per year, my sons won’t have to pay more than £3800 in tuition fees
…thanks to Welsh Labour!

This week we visited Aberystwyth university, home to the fantastic National
Library – and I’d defy anyone not to be impressed with this place of learning!

I too have a burning ambition to learn.

I also have an ambition to gain political representation for those whose voices
aren’t heard by this Tory Westminster government;

the full time carers and the increasingly persecuted disabled.

This Tory government learnt their politics in the debating halls and playing
fields of Eton. I learnt mine through my union, Unite.
They have given me the skills and confidence to challenge the Tories.

I am passionate about Adult education
It should never be the Cinderella service in our education system.
Adults have aspirations too!

Knocking on doors, talking and listening to people
Getting our message across
Has never been more important.

I know we hear Labour has been in power for some timeBut its thanks to having a Welsh Labour government that we have
the successes we do! It’s time to go out on the doorsteps and passionately
spread the message of what we have done and what we intend to do for our kids and for our future –

Under Welsh Labour we have:

·        Flying Start in our disadvantaged areas from aged 2!

·        Free school breakfasts for many of our children.

·        Education Maintenance Allowance for our 6th formers

·        University Tuition fees capped.

·        Maintenance grants at university for poorer and disabled students

·        Record successes last year in our GCSE RESULTS

·        100,000 New apprenticeships announced for this year for ALL AGES!

·        And should you fall ill at any time Free Prescriptions.

Welsh Labour is ambitious for the Welsh people.
Ambition and Learning go hand in hand for ALL.
Let’s get that message out loud and proud to voters.
Together for Wales!