|Llais Gwynedd Official Website|
|Politics of Wales
Llais Gwynedd or Voice of Gwynedd is a small regionalist political party based in Gwynedd in North Wales. The party formed following the Plaid Cymru executive's proposal to more than halve the number of primary schools in Gwynedd by closing rural schools, many of the members being former members of Plaid. The campaign was initially known as Llais y Bobl, or "People's Voice", but the name was changed due to there being another party by that name in Blaenau Gwent.
The party won twelve seats on Gwynedd Council in the 2008 UK Local Elections, ending overall control of the council by Plaid Cymru. They won 7 seats in Dwyfor, 3 in Meirionnydd and 2 in Arfon. Llais Gwynedd won another seat in Blaenau Ffestiniog in June (the poll had been postponed due to the death of the Labour candidate) giving them a total of 13 seats on Gwynedd Council. They declined to form a coalition with Plaid. They tried to gain the post of chair of the children and young persons committee, but Labour councillors voted with Plaid.
Gwilym Euros Roberts, a Llais Gwynedd councillor, was due to stand against the National Assembly of Wales presiding officer Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas in 2011 in the Welsh Assembly constituency of Dwyfor Meirionnydd. However, in July 2010 Roberts was jailed for four and a half years at Caernarfon Crown Court for wounding his wife with intent; he had stood down from his post that May.
Llais Gwynedd held the Diffwys and Maenofferen ward in the by-election on 15 July 2010. Their candidate Richard Owen Lloyd Jones won by 185 votes to 181 for Plaid.
In the National Assembly for Wales election, 2011 the party fielded Louise Hughes as their candidate in Dwyfor Meirionnydd. She received 3,225 votes or 15.5% of the vote, taking most of her support from the Plaid Cymru candidate.
However 2011 proved to be a difficult year for Llais Gwynedd: despite moderate success in the National Assembly Elections in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Llais Gwynedd failed to produce a candidate for Arfon. They also lost the second Diffwys and Maenofferen by-election to Plaid Cymru, and failed to field candidates in other by-elections, which allowed their main rivals, Plaid Cymru, to regain their majority on Gwynedd County Council. Furthermore, in February 2012, Councillor Chris Hughes (who beat Dafydd Iwan in the 2008 local government elections) left the Llais Gwynedd group and joined Plaid Cymru.
According to the party's online manifesto their key policies are:
- Gwynedd has particular needs which were not being met by the Plaid Cymru governing council of Gwynedd
- Stop school closures unless there is a consensus within a particular locality in support of such a measure.
- Stop local people being sent for specialist care out of Gwynedd
- Opposes the North West Wales Spatial Development Strategy which focused most investment in Gwynedd to the Menai coastal strip
- Supports tourism, but is opposed to the sort of tourism which has a negative impact on "Gwynedd's unique social, linguistic and cultural fabric"
- Create local employment to stop young people leaving Gwynedd to look for work elsewhere
- In favour of removing restrictions on housing developments to allow local people to build on their own land
- Enthusiastically supports the Welsh language
- Proposes extra measures to protect Welsh-speaking rural communities in Gwynedd
- Hywel Trewyn (May 6, 2008). "Triumphant Llais Gwynedd chooses its leader". Daily Post North Wales. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
- Parri, Ian (9 May 2008). "Llais Gwynedd - Rebels with a cause". North Wales Daily Post. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "School group takes Gwynedd seat". BBC News. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Bodden, Tom (26 January 2008). "Silenced: Voice of the People". North Wales Daily Post. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Plaid loses majority in Gwynedd". BBC News. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Llais Gwynedd group's no to Plaid". BBC News. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Plaid keeps Gwynedd school roles". BBC News. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Llais Gwynedd unveil election candidate". Caernafon Herald. 5 October 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Ex-Gwynedd councillor jailed for wounding wife". BBC News. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- BBC News, Election 2011, Wales
- Gwynedd.gov.uk election results