Julie James – Labour
I was born in Swansea but as my Dad was a miner our family moved around the world. Despite the moving around, I was the first person in my entire extended family to attend university. I spent my early career as a lawyer in London before moving back to Swansea with my husband to raise my three children and to be closer to family. I’m 63.
Like many lawyers who enter politics I was frustrated that I couldn’t change the law, only interpret it. I come from a political family, my Dad was a local councillor and staunch trade unionist.
I personally got into politics because I care deeply about justice for all, and I get angry when people are mistreated, or the system lets them down.
Much of my political anger was formed in the 80s watching Thatcher destroy our mining communities.
As a result, it’s been my life’s work to try to make the system work well for local people, whether that be through my work in Local Government, or now in my work as the Senedd Member for Swansea West and as Minister for Housing and Local Government.
What is the most important thing you think the Senedd should do in the next five years?
The most important thing the Senedd should do is to build on Welsh Labour’s record in Government, not least in building 20,000 affordable homes, ensuring more than 100,000 apprenticeships have been taken up, and maintaining free prescriptions, good concessionary travel rates and an excellent childcare offer.
Over the next five years, we will meaningfully tackle climate change, building green housing bringing much needed skills and a renewable supply chain and jobs along with it.
We will build a world class renewable energy system and ensure the long-term future of younger generations. As always Welsh Labour will do this in social partnership, working alongside our local communities and ensuring a strong local influence on policy affecting all our daily lives.
What will you do for your constituency if elected?
I will continue to work closely with the local council in delivering fantastic rejuvenation projects like the digital arena, and state of the art affordable housing across Swansea.
I will continue to ensure a strong voice for Swansea in the Senedd and to be involved with the many people and groups across my constituency that it has been a privilege to serve for the last ten years. I will continue to speak up for our jobs and our housing, for our businesses and our community organisations. I will, as always, be proud of Swansea and of Wales.