The Welsh Conservatives have selected Leighton Rowlands to contest the Cardiff South & Penarth seat in next year’s Senedd elections.
Leighton has lived in the Vale of Glamorgan all his life and knows Penarth and Cardiff very well. As someone who frequents Penarth and Cardiff Bay he knows the issues at the heart of the community.
He said: “I am delighted to have been selected. I am passionate about Cardiff South & Penarth and know what matters to voters. I will be their voice and campaign hard on the issues that affect them.”
Leighton, who was elected as the youngest County Mayor for the Vale in 2018, he has raised many issues relating to Penarth like attempts to sell the Kymin, the demand to preserve Penarth's Victorian streetlights, raised concerns about the delays to much-needed upgrades to Penarth Leisure Centre.
Leighton has a plan for Cardiff South & Penarth
He said “I would like to improve the NHS here in Wales. Wales is the only part of the UK that has ever seen health spending cut in real terms. Labour have failed the NHS: they’ve cut spending, they’ve made it harder for patients to access vital cancer drugs; and they’ve made waiting lists for routine treatment so long that health outcomes in Wales are significantly worse than in the rest of the UK. I’ll fight for proper funding of the Welsh NHS, and make sure that Cardiff South & Penarth residents get access to the care they need and deserve”.
He wants to stop the Trowbridge Incinerator. He said “The Welsh Labour Government have a habit of burying their heads when confronted by communities opposing an incinerator in their local area. One example is the Barry Incinerator, where the Labour Welsh Government has not decided whether to require an environmental impact assessment.”
“These incinerators should not be built near communities. That’s why I would push for the Trowbridge incinerator to be stopped immediately.”
“We should be investing in low-emission technology and infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and introduce a clean air act.”
Leighton would also be on the side of local businesses. He said: “Cardiff south & Penarth should have Business Rate-Free Zones, where all businesses would be free from paying for up to three years. Outside of these zones, businesses with rateable values under £15,000 should be exempt from paying.”
On education, Leighton has pledged to hold the Welsh Labour Government to account for failing our children. He wants to see the Welsh Baccalaureate scrapped, so that pupils can focus on courses that get them where they want to go.
Leighton says it is vital young people are helped onto the housing ladder. The re-introduction of the Right-to-Buy scheme, and the scrapping of the Land Transaction Tax for first time buyers on properties up to £250,000 would help.
Promoting accountability in the Welsh Parliament is a key aim for Leighton, who would champion an Office of Government Resilience and Efficiency – to scrutinise police and promote value for money.
During his time as a councillor, Leighton has worked alongside colleagues to deliver on a number of projects – including extensive road surfacing, securing a new park, completing the upgrading of council houses and pushing for an air-raid shelter to be upgraded into a museum.