Plaid Ifanc block at the independence march, Cardiff
As 2019 draws to a close, Plaid Ifanc’s NEC would like to thank all our members and supporters who’ve helped make this year a successful one for our movement. As ever it has been a year of highs and lows, but without the hard work and dedication of all our members our work wouldn’t be possible.
We started our year in Aberystwyth for a young candidate’s workshop which offered support and training to our members and encouraged them to put themselves forwards as candidates in elections. Since, we’ve seen many Plaid Ifanc members selected as candidates for elections at all levels.
This year we proved again that Plaid Ifanc can have a positive influence on the larger direction of the party when two motion passed at our national conference in April were adopted by the party as a whole. These two motions calling for free school meals and for learning disability test funding have now become Plaid Cymru policy. In addition to this, the Plaid Cymru conference was big hit again for us with a successful stall, Ifanc members taking to the main stage to present motions, and hosting packed fringe event on the effects of plastic pollution.
Plaid Cymru Councillor and Candidate for Wrexham, Carrie Harper, addresses Plaid Ifanc’s session on plastic
In May we were proud to support and campaign for one of our members, Carmen Smith, and the other Plaid Cymru candidates in the European Elections. Despite the election’s short notice we campaigned hard and helped ensure a historic result for Plaid Cymru, where we beat the Labour Party in a national election for the first time ever in our history.
Another big feature of the year was the All Under One Banner marches for Welsh Independence held over the summer. In Cardiff, Caernarfon and Merthyr Plaid Ifanc flags were visible to all; our vision of Cymru Rydd tied to our values of tolerance, inclusion and equality clear for everyone to see.
Of course, as the year came to an end we were faced with the General Election. It was inspiring to see Plaid Ifanc members standing up for their communities as candidates. In a difficult political landscape the a Party succeeded in holding onto our four seats, and Plaid Ifanc played it’s part in the success by concentrating efforts in marginal constituencies. In Ceredigion, our youngest MP Ben Lake increased his majority from 104 to 6,329. Despite the disappointing result at a UK level, Plaid Ifanc remain determined to fight for what is right in the face of increasing hostility from the Conservative government in Westminster.
We wish all our members a happy new year and look forward to hitting the ground running in 2020. With the Senedd elections in 2021 fast approaching, Plaid Ifanc will be campaigning hard for Plaid Cymru’s candidates across Wales in order to ensure Plaid Cymru becomes the party of government in 2021. This would enable us to start tackling the issues facing our society, such as rising poverty and the housing crisis, as well as putting us firmly onto the path towards a just and equal independent country.
To kick us off we’ll be holding our Winter School in Pontypridd on the 1st February. Sessions are built for new and old members; an introduction to active politics, and broadening opportunities for those already involved. Please come along, and let’s see what we can achieve in 2020 and beyond together.
Ben Lake MP on the Plaid Ifanc stall during Aberystwyth University Freshers.