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The Llanelli constituency is located in south west Wales. The constituency extends from Hendy in the east down to the coast and then along the coast to Kidwelly in the west. It reaches up the Gwendraeth valley to Tumble and across to Tycroes. There are approximately 60,000 people living in the constituency. Carmarthenshire County Council is the local authority for the Llanelli constituency.

 

Nia’s vision for Llanelli

 

Politics for me is about getting involved in practical, positive ways to improve life in our communities.

I intend to seek to influence policy at national and international level. Politics is all about working together, listening to each other, taking into consideration our different viewpoints and finding workable ways to enhance the quality of life for all in our communities. Whilst it would be impossible to mention my views on every issue, my guiding principles are to:

a) Ensure that Labour’s economic success reaches our poorest communities, safeguarding and creating sustainable, quality jobs.

b) Extend opportunity and prosperity for all through better school facilities, more vocational courses, apprenticeships, workplace training and affordable childcare.

c) Maintain investment in the NHS, strengthening Prince Philip Hospital and improving primary care and community services.

d) Ensure dignity and security in old age, through proper pension provision and high quality social care.

e) Improve the quality of our environment with sensitive development of Llanelli town centre and the Gwendraeth Valley.

f) Support the fight against crime, clamping down on drug dealing and antisocial behaviour, and building on the 30% reduction in crime since Labour took office in 1997.

g) Contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gases through more energy efficient homes, more microgeneration such as solar panels, better recycling facilities and environmentally friendly transport initiatives.

 

History of the Llanelli constituency

 

Nia’s predecessors include three distinguished Labour parliamentarians.

They held the seat uninterruptedly for Labour since 1922: the Hon. Dr. J. H. Williams, who served the constituency for 14 years, the Right Hon. Jim Griffiths, who served for 34 years, and the Right Hon. Denzil Davies, who served for 35 years.

Dr. J. H. Williams: Dr Williams, who was the first Labour MP for Llanelli, was well known for his efforts to win fair compensation for mine-workers. When elected in 1922, he was one of only three Labour members from South Wales who were not themselves miners.

The Rt Hon James Griffiths: Dr Williams was followed by the Rt Hon James (Jim) Griffiths who also took up the cause of miners’ compensation. In the autumn of 1945 he was the driving force behind the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1946, with its provisions based on his experience as compensation secretary for the south Wales miners.

He is however perhaps best known for his work as Minister of National Insurance, with the introduction of the National Insurance Bill in 1948, which he described as “a unified and comprehensive scheme covering the whole nation”. Less well known, perhaps, is the fact that Jim Griffiths introduced the first system of family allowances.

Already in the 1940s Jim was also campaigning — ahead of many of his parliamentary colleagues — for recognition of Wales as a distinct political unit and the establishment of a Wales Office. Eventually, he influenced opinion and was instrumental in devising Labour’s Welsh policy to that effect during the 1959 election. He pledged a future Labour Government to the inclusion of a Secretary of State for Wales in the Cabinet, and to specifying the devolution of administration.

When that future Labour Government was eventually elected in 1964, Jim Griffiths became the first Secretary of State for Wales and set up the Wales Office in Cardiff and London. In the 1970s—again, somewhat ahead of his time—he favoured a democratically elected national assembly, but he also wanted Wales to remain an integral part of the UK and to be represented at the highest level in Cabinet by its own Secretary of State. Jim would have been proud to see the recent Government of Wales Bill, which reflects the growing confidence that people in Wales have in the Assembly Government.

The Rt Hon Denzil Davies: Jim Griffiths was followed by the Right Hon. Denzil Davies, who was elected in 1970 and served the constituency of Llanelli for 35 years, until he stood down at the 2005 election.

After graduating with a first class honours degree in law from Pembroke College, Oxford, Denzil lectured in Chicago and Leeds Universities. He was called to the bar in 1964, practised as a barrister and became a Privy Counsellor in 1978.

His brilliance was soon recognised in Parliament and in 1974 he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Morris, Secretary of State for Wales. He was soon promoted in 1975 to serve as Minister of State in the Treasury, where he served in both the Wilson and Callaghan governments.
When Labour then went into opposition, he served as a Front Bench Opposition spokesman on Treasury and Economic affairs, on Foreign and Commonwealth affairs and on Defence and Disarmament.

Throughout his time as an MP, he was known both in Parliament and in the constituency for his immense ability, wit and eloquence.