Plaid Cymru’s new leader Leanne Wood says her leadership could help broaden the party’s appeal in Cardiff at next month’s council elections.
Ms Wood was in Cardiff today with deputy council leader Neil McEvoy – also leader of the city’s Plaid Cymru group – to talk about the party’s policies on sustainable transport.
The pair visited Cardiff Cycle Tours in Cardiff Bay, taking part in an hour-long ride around the waterfront.
Speaking to yourCardiff, Ms Wood said she hoped her election, and the fact she is not a a fluent Welsh speaker, would see more people consider the party when they go to the polls on May 3.
She said: “There’s a perception issue that Plaid Cymru is mainly for Welsh speakers. That’s a myth. I’m hoping now, with me as a Welsh learner, I hope we can bust that myth.
“I hope that my election will enable people to think about Plaid Cymru in a way they might not have thought about us in the past.”
She added that Plaid Cymru had a strong record in Cardiff, and its councillors had demonstrated they are “real community champions”.
“They stand on a good record and a very strong record. There is organisation at grass roots level in communities who have never had representation at all. I think the party is growing in strength in Cardiff.”
Coun McEvoy said Plaid Cymru’s campaign was being well received on the doorstep so far.
He said: “It’s the first time we can look people in the face and say, this is what we’ve done.”
He added that when it came to sustainability, Plaid Cymru had more than doubled spending on cycle lanes and infrastructure in Cardiff and launched a new park and ride scheme in the city.
He said: “A total of £21m secured by Plaid has led to bus improvements, expanded pedestrianisation and the development of the Pont-y-Werin Bridge linking the international sports village with Penarth.”
If re-elected, he said Plaid would introduce an expanded cycle hire scheme, as well as developing car sharing schemes.
Ms Wood said councils had an important role to play in making sure Wales has a transport system that meets the economic and social needs of the nation, and reduced carbon emissions.
She said: “Plaid Cymru councillors are local champions, determined to use the tools at their disposal to make a difference to their communities. We are determined to do the work that is needed to improve our transport systems in order to stimulate economic growth and to stop social exclusion and isolation.”