WELSH politics is at a crossroads, our democracy has come of age and all major political parties are selecting new leaders.

As County Times readers will know, I am putting myself forward to become the first female leader of Welsh Labour.

I was brought up as a Vicar’s daughter on one of the largest council housing estates in Europe. I saw the injustices of modern life on a daily basis, the challenges for the have-nots, and the stress on those just getting by. Since then, I have campaigned to ensure that people can strive to fulfil their potential and contribute to society, irrespective of their background or abilities.

Very early on, the Labour Party became my family.

But I am acutely aware of the need for the party to change to retain the confidence of your readers to govern Wales in the interests of the many, not the few.

Never in my life time have we seen such depths of division between young and old, the city and countryside, the university educated and those with alternative skills, set against the fallout of the Brexit vote.

For me, under the Tories at Westminster, far too many people in Wales are living on a knife edge with too little to live on. Others simply disenfranchised from democracy because they don’t see politics as offering anything for them.

That is why I am putting myself forward to become the Leader of the Labour Party in Wales and our next First Minister. I am not interested in being a leader whose job is simply to manage. We have a proper job to do in confronting the challenges of poverty, inequality and climate change to protect our nation for future generations.

Labour’s achievements in Wales are many. We are making a difference by capping the cost of care at £80 a week, whereas there in no ceiling in England or by retaining the Education Maintenance Allowance, scrapped in England, or building 20,000 homes in Wales, whilst social housing has been cut by 90 per cent in England.

I believe in Wales and its people, but we can do so much more. I’ll be a Leader that reaches out to all of Wales and in Powys that means supporting our rural economy, providing decent jobs, decent pay and decent homes for everyone.

Over the last few months I have reached beyond the bubble of Cardiff Bay to listen to the views of people across our nation to develop a new, refreshed and radical vision for the whole of Wales. As the Welsh Labour Leadership contests begins, I look forward to sharing my vision with you and in the meantime hearing from you. Share your ideas at www.beyondthebubble.net