|Member of the Welsh Assembly
6 May 1999
|Preceded by||New Assembly|
22 January 1942 |
|Political party||Welsh Labour|
|Spouse(s)||Morgan J. Thomas (1939-2013)|
|Portfolio||Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services|
|Website||Gwenda Thomas AM|
Gwenda Thomas AM (born 22 January 1942 in Neath) is the Labour Assembly Member for Neath. Mrs Thomas was first elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999 and re-elected in 2003, having almost doubled her majority. She is a fluent Welsh speaker. She is a member of the GMB Union.
She was re-elected as Welsh Labour's Assembly Member for Neath on 3 May 2007 for a third 4 year term in office, with a majority reduced from 4,946 to 1,944 - despite the actual number of votes for Labour only reducing by 398 votes from the 2003 Assembly election. In the 2011 Assembly election, Gwenda was re-elected again to the Neath seat, she increased her majority to 6,390; also incurring a 10% increase in the voting share from the previous 2007 election.
Responsibilities in the Assembly
She was Chair of the Assembly's Equality of Opportunity Committee and was appointed in December 2003 by the First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan AM, to chair a review into Safeguarding Vulnerable Children in Wales. The review's report - Keeping Us Safe - was published on 3 May 2006. She was also a member of the Local Government and Public Services, Voluntary Sector Partnership, South Wales West Regional, and Standards committees in the National Assembly.
In the Third Assembly she was appointed as Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services (31 May 2007). She has special responsibility for social services. She retained the position of Deputy Minister for Social Services when the coalition government of Labour and Plaid Cymru was announced on 19 July.
In the Fourth Assembly, she holds the position of Deputy Minister for Children & Social Services, with her responsibilities amongst others being childcare, child trust funds and parenting programmes.
In the first Assembly (1999-2003), she was Chair of the Local Government and Housing committee.
Mrs Thomas served on West Glamorgan County Council as Chair of the Social Services Committee - the first female councillor to chair a such a major committee. She later served in the same position on Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council following local government reorganisation in 1995.
Educated at Pontardawe Grammar School, she worked in the County Courts Division of the Lord Chancellor's Department and at the Benefits Agency as an Executive officer for many years.
Mrs Thomas is a campaigner for carers' rights and a past member of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee. Her interests include health, social services, children's issues, local government and the voluntary sector.
Gwenda was educated at Pontardawe Grammar School, she currently lives in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen. Gwenda was married to her late husband Morgan (1939-2013) for nearly 50 years and they have one son together, Geraint.
|National Assembly for Wales|
|Assembly Member for Neath
|Deputy Minister for Social Services