Tag Archives: jane dodds

Reprise: What Jane Dodds wants for the Welsh Liberal Democrats

This is a re-run of the article Jane Dodds wrote for us during the Welsh Lib Dems’ leadership campaign, setting out her hopes for the party.

I have to start by saying that I am not that happy to be standing against Liz Evans, a colleague for whom I have enormous respect.  My only comfort is that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will have a Welsh speaking woman from mid-Wales as their next leader.

I believe that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have the talent, the drive, the enthusiasm and the ambition to start winning again, but we need to rebuild the party.  We need more members, more councillors and to win seats in the Welsh Assembly elections in 2021 and in the next Parliamentary elections.  The Welsh party needs to work with the Federal Party to forge a relationship that helps us to transform ourselves.  And Wales needs the Welsh Liberal Democrats to offer real, meaningful, and Liberal solutions to the deep seated inequalities people face.

Progress has been too slow.  As a social worker, I have seen at first hand the inequalities in our society and the hardship suffered by people as they face a lack of good quality homes and a paucity of well-paid and full time employment. People in Wales have health services which are well below the standards in England, and we need improved access to mental health provision.  We need to sustain our support to our Education Cabinet Secretary in Kirsty Williams as she continues to deliver progressive policies to improve educational standards for Welsh children.

We need an economic plan that breathes life back in to Wales, and to put green policies and renewable energy developments at the forefront of our strategy. We need to be an outward looking Wales – welcoming refugees and helping those in need, as well as joining Vince and all other Liberal Democrats in challenging Brexit.  

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Jane Dodds is the new leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

Congratulations to Jane Dodds on her election today as Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. She won 53.15 of the vote over Ceredigion’s Liz Evans.

Jane tweeted:

Jane told the County Times:

It is an honour to have been elected as the next leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats – to focus my energy on bringing like minded people together to rebuild our party and to re-establish the Welsh Liberal Democrats as the radical, progressive force of Welsh politics.

“I’d like to thank Liz Evans for running an excellent campaign and giving members a vital opportunity to discuss our next steps as a party.

I”’d also like to pay tribute to Mark Williams and Kirsty Williams for their unwavering commitment to our party.

“Wales needs the Welsh Liberal Democrats now more than ever.

Wales needs the progressive, pragmatic, and reforming voice of Welsh Liberal Democrats in the Assembly and in Westminster to give us an exit from Brexit, a fresh look on creating more and better paid jobs, protecting our environment, and delivering on Kirsty Williams’ education reforms.

“We have been down, but we aren’t out, and I’m confident of what lies ahead for my party.”

Good wishes have been coming in:

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Welsh Lib Dems’ Leadership: Jane Dodd writes “I want to lead a party that is radical and reforming”

I have to start by saying that I am not that happy to be standing against Liz Evans, a colleague for whom I have enormous respect.  My only comfort is that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will have a Welsh speaking woman from mid-Wales as their next leader.

I believe that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have the talent, the drive, the enthusiasm and the ambition to start winning again, but we need to rebuild the party.  We need more members, more councillors and to win seats in the Welsh Assembly elections in 2021 and in the next Parliamentary elections.  The Welsh party needs to work with the Federal Party to forge a relationship that helps us to transform ourselves.  And Wales needs the Welsh Liberal Democrats to offer real, meaningful, and Liberal solutions to the deep seated inequalities people face.

Progress has been too slow.  As a social worker, I have seen at first hand the inequalities in our society and the hardship suffered by people as they face a lack of good quality homes and a paucity of well-paid and full time employment. People in Wales have health services which are well below the standards in England, and we need improved access to mental health provision.  We need to sustain our support to our Education Cabinet Secretary in Kirsty Williams as she continues to deliver progressive policies to improve educational standards for Welsh children.

We need an economic plan that breathes life back in to Wales, and to put green policies and renewable energy developments at the forefront of our strategy. We need to be an outward looking Wales – welcoming refugees and helping those in need, as well as joining Vince and all other Liberal Democrats in challenging Brexit.  

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Liz Evans and Jane Dodds meet in Welsh Lib Dem leadership hustings

Lib Dem Voice is always neutral in leadership elections of any sort and so we will be for the Welsh Liberal Democrat Leadership election which culminates in 2 weeks’ time. The two candidates are former Assembly candidate for Ceredigion and local Councillor Liz Evans and former candidate for Montgomery Jane Dodds.

The only thing I will say is that having met both Jane and Liz, I think that they are both absolutely amazing and either would be a worthy successor to Kirsty Williams who has resumed the leadership temporarily. This election is unusual in that it is being fought between two non parliamentarians. The Welsh Party’s constitution was changed earlier this year to allow this because of the unfortunate circumstances in which it found itself.

The Welsh Party has, despite some spirited campaigning and inspiring leadership from Kirsty for most of the last decade, suffered huge setbacks in the last couple of years. The coalition legacy and the rise of UKIP has cost the party dear. While they have the one Lib Dem Cabinet minister in the country at the moment, she is their only parliamentarian. Unfortunately Mark Williams lost his Ceredigion seat by a heartbreaking 150 votes in the General Election in June.

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Poll boosts for Kirsty Williams and Eluned Parrott in Wales

The only poll that actually matters is the one that happens 8 days from today, but there is encouraging news from key Welsh marginals. The caveat is that it’s based on extrapolations from a uniform national swing, but it is a sign that the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Kirsty are having a good impact with their campaign calling for improvements in health, education, housing and the economy, all of which are suffering under Labour rule.

Wales Online looks at a number of seats including two of particular interest to Liberal Democrats:

Brecon and Radnorshire

The constituency was won comfortably by the Conservatives in last year’s general election.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams is on 40.4% with Tory Gary Price on 27.4%.

Cardiff Central

In Cardiff Central, where Labour took the seat from the Liberal Democrats in last year’s general election with a comfortable majority, the party’s Jenny Rathbone, who narrowly won it in 2011, is said to be trailing the Lib Dems’ Eluned Parrott by 35.1% to 28.6%.

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Lib Dems: Lambing here

We’re kind of used to invitations to Lib Dem action days containing a hint of a reward for turning up to help. I’ve seen organisers promising all sorts of things to motivate people to deliver that extra 100 leaflets or knock on more doors. I certainly have some interesting photos of a particular candidate to release as a treat for spectacular action day performance. There have been promises of chilli (Tom Utting’s in Edinburgh Western is legendary), cake and all manner of treats to keep the army marching on its stomach.

I have to say that candidate for the Welsh Assembly seat of Montgomeryshire, Jane Dodds, has come up with the mother of all action day fun: a visit to a hill-top farm for food and frolic with little lambs.

Montgomeryshire Action Weekend

It would be great if you could join us for campaigning (and frolics with lambs) at the Montgomeryshire Action Weekend in Welshpool -On Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March – If you can make it please let me know by RSVP'ing to the event here -https://www.facebook.com/events/769949056466276/Thank you!

Posted by Jane Dodds for Montgomeryshire on Monday, 8 February 2016

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Baroness Jenny Randerson writes…Optimism and determination of Welsh campaign teams is impressive

When I am travelling around Wales I take every opportunity as to go out campaigning with our Welsh MPs. Last week I was out knocking doors with Mark Williams and his team in Lampeter. I am a seasoned Ceredigion campaigner- I don’t think I have missed an election there in the last 15 years. So I know what to expect, and the atmosphere hasn’t changed. Mark is known by almost everyone and regarded with huge respect for his constant hard work in a constituency where local issues are particularly important.

In Brecon and Radnor the “Williams Team” are equally well known and Roger is particularly well established in the farming community. Campaigning in such a sparsely populated area is never easy and elections in B and R are not for the faint hearted. But once again we have the benefit of a well-liked and respected candidate and a strong local party able to support him.

Cardiff Central is about as big a contrast as you can imagine: it is geographically the smallest Welsh constituency but, as an inner city seat it has a big turnover of population. I live in the area so it is no surprise that I campaign there regularly. As a Labour facing seat it will obviously be very closely fought and Jenny Willott’s Labour opponent is particularly well funded as she is a Trade Union lawyer. Jenny and our team are working as hard as it is possible to do and, once again, her name is well known and her reputation for hard work is frequently mentioned. Labour infighting on the Council and their plans to close libraries and reduce bin collections have persuaded a lot of local people that they cannot be trusted. The core Lib Dem team in Central are experienced, tough campaigners, but there are also a lot of new members, many of them young, for whom this is their first general election as activists.

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