THE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR CLWYD WEST
This website highlights the achievements and policies of Rt Hon David Jones, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Clwyd West as on Mar 2017. This is NOT the official website. Please visit www.davidjonesmp.co.uk for latest updates.
Born on 22 March 1952, David Ian Jones grew up as a military child of a father who served as a British officer before retiring to run a group of pharmacies in the Wrexham region of Wales. After graduating from Chester College of Law, Jones started his own law practice where he practiced law until the opportunity arose for him to enter into local politics in the Conwy region.
His first endeavor into politics came in 1997 when he made a run at the Conwy Assembly seat, only to finish second. In 1999, he became involved in the Welsh assembly after taking a vacated seat for the North Wales region in 2002. Making good on a promise, he only stayed in the assembly one year, leaving in 2003 to set his sights on making a run at a seat in Parliament.
After two prior attempts to unseat sitting MPs, Jones finally broke through in 2005 when he unseated sitting Labour Party MP Gareth Thomas for the right to represent the people of Clwyd West. His margin of victory in that election was a scant 133 votes. Throughout his first 5-year term with Parliament, he has served in a variety of very important positions. His most notable involvement can as a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, as Shadow Minister for Wales and as part of the conservative faction of Homeland Security.
His efforts were rewarded in May of 2010 when he won re-election, this time by a very wide margin. During the next 5 years, he would continue his ascension as a Welsh representative by serving as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Wales Office. He was removed from the position by Prime Minister Davide Cameron in 2014, only to be recently appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union by newly elected Prime Minister Theresa May, following Cameron's resignation in late 2016.
Throughout his political career, Jones has been unable to avoid controversy. Among the most notable issues were comments he made publicly related to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in February of 2013. In 2014, he was accused by another member of Parliament of being a primary contributor to the often controversial "Thoughts of Oscar" blog.
Jones operates out of his office in Colwyn Bay where he lives with his wife Sara. He is the father of two sons and an avid European football fan, who fancies Liverpool F.C.
In 1997, Clwyd West (Northeast part of Wales) became a formal constituency for the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was designated through the combination from the seats of Clwyd South West and Clwyd North West areas.
During the first two elections (1997, 2001), the seat was won by the Labour Party's Honorable Gareth Thomas, who won both elections by the slimmest of margins. He finally lost the seat in 2005 by 133 votes to the Conservative Party's Honorable David Jones, as stated above. Jones won the subsequent elections (2010 and 2015) by increasingly larger margins.
Here's a glimpse of the results for the past three elections, all won by David Jones:
General Election 2005:
Jones (12,909 votes), Thomas (12,776), all others (9,929)
General Election 2010:
Jones (15,833 votes), Hutton (9,414), all others (12,864)
General Election 2010:
Jones (16,463 votes), Thomas (9,733), all others (11,832)
Consistently, 62% to 65% of the electorate has gone to the polls in Clwyd West. That calculates out to right around 38,000 voters every election. With only one Parliamentary seat available for the region, the contention runs deep between the country's two primary political parties, Conservatives and Labour.
Based on information provided by Wikipedia, Clywd West comprises two counties: Conwy County Borough and Denbighshire County.
The following wards are included in the Conwy County Borough region: Abergele Pensarn, Betws yn Rhos, Colwyn, Eirias, Gele, Glyn, Kinmel Bay, Llanddulas, Llandrillo yn Rhos, Llanfair Talhaiarn, Llangernyw, Llansannan, Llysfaen, Mochdre, Pentre Mawr, Rhiw, Towyn, Uwchaled.
The following wards are included in the Denbighshire County region: Efenechtyd, Llanarmon-yn-Ial/Llandegla, Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd/Llangynhafal, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd/Gwyddelwern, Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, Ruthin.
Prior to the development of this new seat, the area was renowned for being conservative by nature. For the most part, the Conservative Party had a lot of influence in the region. It was a bit of a surprise that the first two elections went to Thomas of the Labour Party. It's not clear why the political landscape changed in the region, but Jones was and has been successful in returning the region to its political roots. It's notable that the Welsh Assembly constituency has been held by Conservative Party representative Darren Miller since 2007. He was also successful in defeating a Labour Party incumbent.
As a outspoken member of Parliament, Jones has weighed in on a number of very important issues over the years. Here's a look six policies where he made notable comments.
Throughout the world, Internet banking has had a great influence on how banks handle operations and customer service. While dealing with the prospects of two local banks looking to close branches in Conwy, Jones had this to say: "I have spoken to officials of the HSBC and National Westminster. Both banks are keen to explain that alternative provisions will be made to serve the needs of customers. However, no matter how good the new arrangements, they will not be as convenient as having a dedicated branch in town." The closure of these branches would result in local banking customers having no access to an actual branch office.
Over the years, the Autumn Statement has been used to announce economic and proposed tax changes within country and given regions. As Chancellor Philip Hammond was making his first and last Autumn Statement announcement, several provisions were deemed to have a potential effect on Conwy. Jones stated in reference to £400 million in transport infrastructure allocations: "I would also strongly suggest that a good proportion of that money should be spent in North Wales. South Wales is already benefitting from a planned upgrade of the M4 near Newport and a significant improvement to the Heads of the Valleys road. Here in North Wales, the A55 is creaking and a major upgrade is long overdue."
Following the Parliament's vote to leave the EU in 2016, Prime Minister David Cameron immediately resigned his position. As Jones contemplated the contest for the vacated Prime Minister's position, he had this to say about recently elected Prime Minister Theresa May: "Theresa May was not a supporter of the Leave campaign; however, as an ardent Leave campaigner, I have no hesitation in saying that I regard her as the person most outstandingly qualified to be our next Prime Minister." This comment was made based on his past dealings with May.
In reference to why he supported leaving the EU, Jones gave five reason:
- Membership in the EU is too expensive for the UK, coming in at approximately GBP 10 billion a year after rebates.
- The EU is failing economically due to unemployment issues.
- It would free the UK up to trade without interference with the world's leading trade partners, including China, India and the United States.
- The demand from the EU that members offer refuge to refugees and immigrants is hurting the economy.
- The UK would be able to regain its status as a true democracy.
With the ongoing improvements along the Promenade area at the seafront in Colwyn Bay, the Borough Council was set to begin looking at the possibility of charging parking fees along the coast. This charge to residents and tourists was met with some opposition, especially from Jones. Citing what he believed to be reasonable assertions by the council, he simply believed that mid 2016 was not the right time and place to look at making these kinds of changes. He felt more time was necessary to determine the potential impact to local residents and merchants.
Among all of the things mentioned in the 2016 budget, two provisions stood out in the eyes of MP Jones. First, he was delighted to see a new proposed tax provision on the amount of sugar content that is being included in soft drinks. With the UK population being adversely affected by health issues, this sugar provision was aimed at controlling sugar intake. Additionally, Jones was very happy to see the announcement of a North Wales Growth Deal. Under the terms of the deal, the region would see an influx of monies designated to help with the repair and further development of the region's infrastructure.
As a means of replying to questions and concerns from constituents, Jones has provided the following campaign answers.
After a number of inquiries about the status of the refugee children from France's Calais Refugee Camp, Jones responded by say operations were already underway for the UK to accept as many of the children as possible. He gave his assurance the government would remain diligent in these efforts, making sure the children would successfully reunited with family, when possible. He also let it be known that healthcare and care providers were being administered on an as needed basis.
After an announcement by the Fisheries Minister in August of 2016, there was great concern about the diminishing population of seabass in the area. In reference to these concerns, Jones told his constituents that monthly limits were being placed on commercial fishing enterprises throughout the EU. For recreational anglers, the limit was set at 3 fish per day. Commercial fishermen were to be restricted to weight and size limitations of the conservation reference size of 42cm. Jones also made clear the situation would remain under monitoring until such time as the seabass population was abundant.
Addressing the state of the educational system in England, not Wales, Jones talked about the score differentials between faith evolved schools and non-faith schools. Based on the data, it was clear that faith-based were consistently outscoring other grammar school throughout the country. Of the nation's 163 grammar schools, at least one-third are faith-based with 67% of those evolved from the Church of England and another 29% of them being catholic institutions. Based on the report, efforts are underway to address issues with inadequacy in the public school arena.
In his address to his constituents, Jones began by describing the complicated nature of issues in Yemen related to the Sunni and Shia populations. Further complicating the problem are human right issues related to some of the countries becoming involved in the dispute. Jones stressed that the sale of arms within the region was being handled on a case-by-case basis. Only after there has been a full investigation and assessment of the request for UK arms will the government rubber-stamp a sale and permit the weapons and materials to be exported.
Addressing concerns related to a diminishing bee population due to the use of some pesticides, Jones responded by saying that the governments decision to allow farmers in four English regions to use oilseed rape seeds treated with one of two neonicotinoid pesticides as a means of protecting their crops to be a temporary situation. According to him, "I agree that the apparent decline in the size and health of the bee population is a matter of grave concern. However, I also believe that care is required when considering restrictions or prohibitions on the use of a given category of pesticides, not least because the use of such chemicals is one factor that enables civilization to produce such a large amount of food."
Addressing constituent concerns over the development of a new nuclear weapon system to replace the Trident system, Jones maintained his support for the government;s contention that maintaining and nuclear system would be in the country's best interest. He sited the instability of far too many countries in close proximity to the UK as being the primary reason why the UK government needed to remain diligent about its defense systems.