Let's All Make It Work for Wales; Exclusive: Newly-Elected Welsh Assembly Leader Alun Michael Writes for the Mirror

Article excerpt

'I'M immensely proud to have been elected leader of the Labour Party for the National Assembly.

It was not something I'd ever imagined possible just six months ago. But let me promise everyone reading The Mirror today that I will work tirelessly to ensure the Assembly delivers for the people of Wales.

And that's what is important.

I've campaigned for devolution for over 30 years - a fact that was sometimes overlooked in news reports during this campaign - because I believe it would improve life for the people of Wales.

It is not my task, as it will be everyone's in the new Assembly, to show we were right. Devolution must deliver. And I'm determined it will.

We must prove the Assembly is not just a talking shop, as some still fear, but a real force for good schools, for good hospitals, for good transport, for a good environment for jobs.

I am confident this can be achieved. I'm proud that as Welsh Secretary I secured for Wales the best ever financial deal over the next three years.

It gives the Assembly the best possible foundation for building the modern and fairer Wales that Mirror readers want.

But it is now up to the Assembly to ensure that the record pounds 844 million extra investment for education delivers higher standards for all our children, modern school buildings, more books, and access to computers.

It is up to the Assembly to see the record pounds 1.1 billion injection of extra funds into health modernises our NHS, improves care for all, provides new services and ensures money is switched from unnecessary bureaucracy to front line patient care. On creating the right climate for jobs, on transport, on housing, on protecting our beautiful environment, it will now be down to the Assembly to deliver for Wales.

And that's why we need a strong Labour presence in the Assembly as possible.

It's why I'm proud of the way the party has already begun to put this leadership contest behind us and set our sights on what now matters, the elections on May 6. We have the carefully thought out programme which will use the investment the new Labour Government is making in Wales to the best advantage of our country. …