The Welsh Conservatives have selected their lead candidate for the Mid & West Wales region ahead of May’s Senedd elections.
A Welsh speaker, originally from Ceredigion, Tomos Dafydd Davies is a former student of Aberystwyth University, where he completed his postgraduate studies. A senior adviser to three Secretaries of State for Wales, he has twice stood for parliament, most recently in Dwyfor Meirionnydd at the 2019 General Election.
Commenting on his selection, Tomos said:
From Bala to Brecon, from Carmarthen to Caersws, Mid & West Wales is a region blessed with thriving communities, beautiful landscapes and a proud and distinct people. Sadly, this region has all too often been neglected by our politicians in Cardiff.
Building on our excellent general election result across the region, I look forward to hitting the ground running with our outstanding team of activists to communicate a positive message ahead of May’s Senedd election and to put Mid & West Wales at the forefront of political debate.”
His priorities include backing Welsh farming, promoting Welsh exports and unlocking investment in the local economy by improving connectivity and access to rural broadband. He also supports calls to eliminate Business Rates for small, family, and locally owned businesses, which are the backbone of the rural economy, as part of a post-COVID economic recovery plan. Tomos commented:
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on the best of society– from the countless acts of compassion and volunteerism in our local communities to the selfless public service of our NHS and key workers.
But the events of the past few months have also highlighted the fragility of the Welsh economy. Now, more than ever, we require a relentless focus from the Welsh Government on growing the economy and backing small, local businesses.
Mid & West Wales is home to many small, family and local owned businesses, and we must ensure that we create a climate in which they can re-bound, invest and hire new staff, as we emerge from this wretched pandemic in 2021.”
Upon being unveiled as the Conservative Party’s candidate, Tomos published his post-COVID economic recovery plan for Mid & West Wales, which calls on the Welsh Government to:
- Abolish business rates altogether for small businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000.
- Establish a £250 million Coronavirus Community Recovery Fund to support communities and high streets hardest hit across Mid & West Wales.
- Extend its financial support package for the hospitality and tourism sectors, which have particularly been hit hard across Mid & West Wales, until June 2021.
- Double the funding made available to re-train and upskill young people who have lost a job during the pandemic across Mid & West Wales.
A father-of-two, education is another key priority of his. Commenting, Tomos said:
I want every parent to have the peace of mind that comes from providing their child with a great education and the best possible start in life. Sadly, the Welsh Government continues to severely underfund rural schools, whilst educational attainment continues to lag other regions.
I will campaign to tackle the disparity between per-pupil funding and fight for a fair deal for rural schools across Mid & West Wales.”
Tomos is a former trustee of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, a former lay council member of Bangor University, and is a trustee of the London Welsh Centre. In his spare time, he enjoys following the Welsh rugby team, playing cricket - as well as being a dad.