09/12/2009

Elin Jones wins AM of the Year award... and Rhodri's reflections on Ceredigion

Ceredigion's Assembly Member Elin Jones won the Assembly Member of the Year Award during a ceremony in Cardiff last night.
She received the recognition during the annual Welsh Yearbook Awards, "for developing into a Plaid Cymru heavyweight through her highly competent running of a department not usually seen as an obvious portfolio for a woman" (what on earth can they mean?).

Elin responded,
“I’m privileged to receive this award in recognition of my work as the Assembly Member for Ceredigion and the Minister for Rural Affairs. The people of Ceredigion are demanding and challenging of their politicians, and that's exactly how it should be. They keep me on my toes everyday in the Assembly and in Ceredigion”.

Shortly afterwards Elin paid tribute to Rhodri Morgan following his formal resignation as the Assembly's First Minister earlier this week,
“Rhodri Morgan has made a great contribution to Wales during the past decade and, under his leadership, our political process in the Senedd has become mature and stable. I wish him well now that he has decided to resign as First Minister and I hope that he will have more free time to spend on having restful holidays at his caravan in Mwnt”.

During his final address to the Senedd as First Minister, Rhodri Morgan had highlighted his fondness for spending time at his caravan in Mwnt, just north of Cardigan. He also expressed his gratitude to Ceredigion residents for their continued warm welcome and for respecting the fact that he was on holiday during his periods in the area,
“In the future, of course, Julie and I and the family—especially Julie and I—will have more time to spend a few extra weekends in Mwnt. Mwnt has been extremely important and I would like to convey my thanks to the very kind people of Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire, and especially the people of Cardigan, Aberporth and Mwnt, where we have the caravan. It has been an eye-opener for me to see how considerate people are in thinking, if the First Minister is on holiday for two or three weeks over the summer, that you should not bother him with your personal problems or your own political ideas.

"To be honest, everyone has always respected that. For 10 years running, no-one from Ceredigion, Aberporth or Cardigan has bothered me while I'm on holiday. That is quite incredible and it means that I, Julie and the family can spend three weeks of genuine holiday time without the need for some entourage to protect me from the people because they are so considerate. They understand that anyone who shoulders the burden of being First Minister is under strain. It is as if they think, 'Leave him alone—he's on holiday’. On occasions, I've heard people saying that when someone is perhaps thinking of approaching me on the beach or when I'm out walking”.

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