Jonathan Clark

Candidate for Newport West

Jonathan Clark - Newport West

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Tell us about yourself

I am married to Maria and live in Newport, the city of my birth. I was born (in 1966) and brought up in Newport and educated at St Julian’s Comprehensive School, Newport before moving on to study in University in Lampeter, Newport and Cardiff.

A former shop steward, I have been actively involved in every Plaid campaign in Newport and the South East Wales region.

I am a keen hill walker and long-time supporter of Newport County AFC (since 1978/79) and The Newport Gwent Dragons, and have a keen interest in archaeology, politics and history and in dog walking.

Since 2016, I worked in recruitment in Cardiff, previously working in Marketing and IT at the former University of Newport (from 1998 until 2015) before its demise. Before that I worked for the Metropolitan Police Service press office - the Directorate of Public Affairs and Internal Communication.

What is the most important thing you think the Senedd should do in the next five years?

The Senedd needs to put in place a sustainable all Cymru / Wales housing policy that actually serves the needs of all our communities rather than developers. The lack of affordable housing impacts all our communities whether they are in our cities, large and small towns and in our rural areas. For the life of me, I have never seen any positives for Cymru / Wales simply to be an adjunct to England, or Newport being a simple dormitory town for Bristol.

I have never, and never will subscribe to the Severnside agenda, no matter how many times it gets rebranded and relaunched. In our south east, along the coastal belt and in and around Newport and Torfaen (not to mention around Cardiff and Caerphilly) and across Monmouthshire the last thirty years we have seen a significant if not spectacular growth in the amount of housing, a significant percentage of which of late has never quite been aimed to fulfil local housing needs.

Side by side with the housing problem comes the transport or perhaps the lack of transport problem. Elsewhere in Europe where significant housing developments are planned the infrastructure - often railway stations, tram stops and transport hubs - are constructed first before any houses are built - but just not here. We need a real commitment from the new Senedd government in May 2021 to prioritise the addition of infrastructure before any approval for proposed housing developments is given.

What will you do for Newport West if elected?

In the Senedd I will work hard to help Newport tap its potential. The river Usk has one of the highest rise and fall of tides in Wales, and with its history of manufacturing and heavy industry, should be well placed to benefit from the development of tidal lagoons to the west and the east of the city and the harnessing of some of the tidal energy potential of the Severn estuary - with a combination of tidal turbines, wave power, off shore wind and solar power.