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Helping to serve your community, Chris Evans MP Help Shape Britains Progressive Future

Biography

Chris Evans MPEarly Life

As someone born and raised in the South Wales valleys, it is an honour to be elected to represent the community of Islwyn in Parliament.

I was brought up in Wattstown, a small village in the Rhondda Fach. I attended Aberllechau Primary School and Porth County Comprehensive School before studying for my ‘A’ Levels at Pontypridd College. Later, I graduated from Trinity College, Carmarthen with a history degree, a subject I am still very much interested in.

Working Life

After university, like other members of my family, I worked in betting shops spending three years with Jack Brown Bookmakers.

From there, I became a Personal Account Manager with Lloyds TSB before moving on again. First for a short stint at the University of Glamorgan and then again in 2004 when I was appointed an Area Secretary with the Union of Finance staff, based in Cheltenham.

Representing finance workers gave me a sense of helping people and a realisation that collective action could really make a difference as we managed to save a number of jobs from being relocated to call centres overseas.

Following this, I felt immensely proud to have worked for Don Touhig, my predecessor as MP for Islwyn, as a parliamentary researcher. I look back on my years working with Don as a real master class in how to be an MP and made some great friends.

Political Life

My interest in politics began when I was given a book about JFK, when I was 13. This eventually led to me joining the Labour Party at 15 and since then I have held positions at every level of the party, from Youth Officer to Ward Secretary. I stood for my first Council seat at the age of 21.

Growing up in the Thatcher years and seeing the devastation as family and friends lost their jobs I felt politics was the best way of bringing about change.

In April 2004, I was selected as the Labour candidate in Cheltenham for the following year’s General Election. On Election Day, I held the vote up on a very bad night for Labour. I thoroughly enjoyed being on the campaign trail, meeting so many people and hearing their stories. This opportunity reaffirmed to me that politics can really make a difference.

When Don Touhig decided to stand down, I had the privilege of replacing him as the Labour candidate for the General Election in 2010. It meant a lot to be selected as Don’s replacement in a constituency I knew so well through my work over the years.

I was elected as the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Islwyn on May 6th with a majority of 12,215.

My Campaigns

My maiden speech focused on pay day lending. Loan sharks and providers of high interest credit have been a sad feature of Valleys communities for many years. It is my belief that everyone should have access to affordable financial services. That is why I have continued this campaign throughout my time as a Member of Parliament and in March 2012 I tabled a 10 minute rule bill calling for the introduction of legislation to tackle the problem of financial exclusion. 

I was also pleased to discover that I was the first person to raise the issue of Inflammatory Bowel Disease when I led a Westminster Hall debate on employment opportunities for people with the illness. I called for the debate after being shocked to learn just how many people suffer in silence; too embarrassed or afraid to speak openly about a condition which affects every aspect of their day to day life.

Another issue I have been heavily involved in is the campaign against fuel poverty. As energy prices rocketed and more and more of my constituents faced the heartbreaking choice between heating and eating I called for a Westminster Hall debate on fuel poverty.

To see my latest questions and speeches please click on the In Parliament page.

The Islwyn Work Experience Programme

Since becoming the Member of Parliament for Islwyn in 2010, my major concern has been youth unemployment.

To me, it is a tragedy when someone becomes unemployed. Skills go to waste and society loses out. I believe everyone should have an opportunity to develop their talents to the fullest.

However, whenever I ask any young person about the barriers to getting a job the answer often seems to be the same – a lack of experience.

Without work experience it is difficult for young people to get on the job ladder. That is why I have teamed up with local employers from across the constituency to launch the Islwyn Work Experience Programme.

The scheme offers 18-24 year olds the opportunity to gain experience by undertaking an 8 week placement with a local employer.

Not only will this provide a young person with practical experience of a workplace but it will have no impact on their Jobs Seekers Allowance – enabling them to continue to look for permanent work.

While work experience can never be a substitute for a full time job, the programme seeks to ensure that young people will be able to get a feel of the world of work.

For more information on the scheme, contact my constituency office on 01495 231 990

Outside Politics

Although I enjoy politics I believe it is important to have outside interests. In my spare time, I enjoy running. You can read more about this by clicking here

Further to this, I enjoy reading as well as being an avid sports fan.

Click Here to View GalleryNews Archive

19.08.16 - Islwyn MP hails long service of local Labour stalwart. read more

18.08.16 - Islwyn MP calls out ‘excessively optimistic’ Green Deal scheme. read more

17.08.16 - Islwyn MP says rail fares force people to pay to work. read more

16.08.16 - ‘Quit smoking to help avoid serious health problems’ says Islwyn MP. read more

15.08.16 - ‘Explore First World War history with a grant’, says Islwyn MP. read more

12.08.16 - ‘Simple tips can help prevent costly payment mistakes’, says Islwyn MP. read more

29.08.16 - ‘Spending cuts could once again put HMRC customer service under threat,’ says Islwyn MP. read more

21.08.16 - Islwyn MP calls for regional plan in place of LDP. read more

20.07.16 - Islwyn MP calls out ‘excessively optimistic’ Green Deal scheme. read more

14.07.16 - Islwyn MP says Indian restaurant has done Wales proud. read more

13.07.16 - Islwyn MP demands funding for Welsh renewable energy projects. read more

12.07.16 - Islwyn MP slams service family accommodation providers. read more

06.07.16 - Islwyn MP encourages constituents to volunteer for people with MND. read more

05.07.16 - Islwyn MP presses Government to take action on antibiotic resistance. read more

04.07.16 - ‘Banks must act to stop vulnerable customers being left out’ says Islwyn MP. read more

24.06.16 - Islwyn MP calls for unity as the public votes to leave the EU. read more

22.06.16 - Islwyn MP praises cub scouts for teaching life skills read more

20.06.16 - Islwyn MP backs concussion campaign after running Caerphilly 10k. read more

15.06.16 - ‘Development aid must focus on tackling corruption and improving education’ says Islwyn MP. read more

15.06.16 - ‘Development aid must focus on tackling corruption and improving education’ says Islwyn MP. read more

14.06.16 - Islwyn MP presses Justice Minister on short sentencing. read more

09.06.16 - Islwyn MP tells multinationals to ‘showmethemoney’. read more

08.06.16 - Islwyn MP questions Chancellor on pay cuts. read more

07.06.16 - Islwyn MP questions Chancellor on pay cuts. read more

06.06.16 - Islwyn MP encourages local SMEs to become Commonwealth exporters. read more

06.06.16 - ‘Get checked for glaucoma’, says Islwyn MP. read more

04.06.16 - Islwyn MP to run 10k for Headway. read more

03.06.16 - Islwyn MP backs Sirhowy Valley residents in pollution fight. read more

02.06.16 - Islwyn MP backs Rogerstone workers. read more

01.06.16 - Islwyn MP calls for banks to consult communities before closing. read more

27.05.16 - Islwyn MP calls for banks to consult communities before closing. read more

26.05.16 - Islwyn MP slams failing justice system. read more

25.05.16 - ‘HMRC must learn from past mistakes,’ says Islwyn MP. read more

24.05.16 - ‘Fans deserve the chance to cheer Wales on’ says Islwyn MP. read more

23.05.16 - ‘It’s time to put families first’ says Islwyn MP. read more

20.05.16 - Islwyn MP pays tribute to Queen’s service. read more

18.05.16 - Islwyn MP pays tribute to Queen’s service. read more

17.05.16 - ‘The government must ensure SMEs get contracts’ says Islwyn MP. read more

16.05.16 - Islwyn MP speaks out against unacceptable Crumlin road pollution. read more

16.05.16 - Islwyn MP invites constituents to confront dementia. read more

13.05.16 - ‘Immediate action must be taken to protect taxpayers from mis-selling’, says Islwyn MP. read more

12.05.16 - Islwyn MP nominates local restaurant to be named best in the country read more

11.05.16 - Islwyn MP calls on ‘unscrupulous’ bosses to start paying the minimum wage. read more

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