THE Vale of Glamorgan has been a Labour held seat since the formation of the Welsh Assembly in 1999 with only Jane Hutt ever having served as the area’s Assembly Member.

A constituency which spans from Cardiff to Bridgend taking in the Glamorgan coastline, it includes the towns of Barry, Llantwit Major, Cowbridge and many villages in between. The constituency ranks as the 172ndth largest in the UK in size and the 288thrd largest by constituency with a population of 98,094 of which 76,736 are eligible to vote.

The Assembly election history of the Vale is a one-sided affair, dominated by Labour. Jane Hutt first took the seat in 1999 and went on to win the next three election.

The closest contested election was in 2007 when Ms Hutt received 11,515 votes, just 73 more than Conservative candidate Gordon Kemp.

In the most recent election in 2011, Ms Hutt won with 47.4 per cent of the vote, compared to 36 per cent for the Conservatives, 12.1 per cent for Plaid Cymru, and 4.5 per cent for the Liberal Democrats.

Broadly speaking, politically the area is largely considered as being a Labour-centred area in the east and a Conservative leaning area in the west, the rural Vale.

As such the issues on the agenda of constituents in the Vale will often differ depending on where they live and how they lean politically, from employment and regeneration concerns in semi-urban Barry to planning issues and housing concerns further afield in Cowbridge and Llantwit.

Here are the candidates for next week's Welsh Assembly election in the Vale of Glamorgan:

Lawrence Andrews (UKIP)

Barry And District News:

Brought up in a Cardiff council estate, I served an apprenticeship as an electrician which has let me live a comfortable life to support my family.

Having returned to the UK in 1984, after eight years in Canada, with a young family, we had to start from scratch again and I decided to return to part time education.

This enabled me to have a successful and happy life, managing several high profile positions, in one instance with over 100 employees, which would not have happened without the benefit of hard work, free training and education.

I also spent 14 years as a soldier in the reserves and attained the rank of sergeant major.

The present Assembly has become stagnant with no change, apart from different job titles for the same politicians.

We need to focus on our positive attributes, not constantly asking for handouts from the European Union.

Much more time and money must be spent on training, especially apprenticeships, and not just for teenagers, but should be also for adults.

These must be real four year apprenticeships, with real robust qualifications at the end.

I see our future in educating everyone no matter of location, sex, creed or colour.

Denis Campbell (Liberal Democrats)

Barry And District News:

I’m a businessman and father of three teenagers. I worry about their future in the hands of career politicians. I’m standing for all of our children and grandchildren’s future. We need more than exam skills. I want to prepare them for life and real careers, here in Wales. I will build Wales’ top line through new business creation, expansion and economic development/business attraction. I’m the only candidate here who has built businesses and brought economic development to distressed regions.

I spent 22 years globally with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, was an international bank Vice President and built businesses as director for two global solicitor firms. Today I’m a business owner, journalist and global interim manager to companies on digital/ICT issues.

Wales needs big thinking and action to fix the NHS, stop rampant building without joined up planning and build its top line vs. our current death by 1,000 cuts. Labour had 17-years and failed. The Tories drove the economy into the ditch and want us to hand them the keys in Wales? Everyone’s nice when asking for your vote. I’m the only candidate who can ask better questions, stop the silly sound bite wars and pursue growth solutions vs more budget cuts.

Ross England (Conservatives)

Barry And District News:

Ross England lives and works in Barry and, despite his name, was born in Cardiff to Welsh parents. Before entering politics he worked in the private sector, as a manager at Tesco. He ran Alun Cairns’ election campaign from January 2014 to May 2015 and has since worked for the Vale MP behind the scenes.

Ross decided to stand this May because, working with Alun Cairns, he is able to see up close the negative impact that the Welsh Government is having locally. Cardiff Bay has starved Barry of regeneration funding, failed to build the Island link road on time, under-funded the local authority and reduced subsidies for local buses while splurging in the ‘ghost bus’.

Ross worries that the merge of the Vale and Cardiff will see green spaces across the Vale concreted over and Barry neglected further. He has promised to stop the merge, bang the table for a better funding deal, ensure improvements to road infrastructure and end the threat to local bus routes.

Politically, he is a unionist, and cannot bear to see Wales falling behind the rest of the UK or the Assembly used as a platform for those who want to split Britain apart.

Alison Haden (Green Party)

Barry And District News:

I have lived in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan since 1995 and work for Arthritis Care and in a voluntary capacity I am Community Activist lead for the Vale Free Libraries, and St Athan library working group.

I have spent 2015 and 2016 leading the St Athan Library working group when the Vale council funding to library budgets was threatened. The residents of St Athan said they wanted the library, but also told me they wanted so much more.

I have always put myself forward to campaign and lobby on behalf of those who society write off, and truly believe politics should not be about political point scoring, but the good of all people living in the Vale of Glamorgan. Often I see cuts and the expectations of community to accept them as something we should challenge. We elect our officials to do our bidding, not the other way around.

In our Labour/Conservative battleground often the local people’s voice is lost. I am standing as your Welsh Assembly representative because I feel the vulnerable of our community need someone who will not only fight their corner, but will also seek out their opinion.

Jane Hutt (Labour)

Barry And District News:

I have been fortunate to be your Assembly Member for the past 17 years and served as a Minister in the Welsh Government throughout that time.

I have always been motivated by a concern to serve others, to support the vulnerable and work for a fairer world.

I was listed in Public Finance Top 50 Trailblazers in the UK this year in recognition of my work as Finance Minister for the past six years where I have helped secure Welsh Government funding to build new schools for Barry, Cowbridge, Dinas Powys and Llantwit Major; provided job opportunities for 500 young people through Jobs Growth Wales; and 1,000 childcare places for Flying Start.

As well as investing over £15million to regenerate Barry; the Welsh Labour Government has funded ‘Help to Buy’ for first time buyers and I have been instrumental in delivering the £1.2 billion City Deal to improve bus and rail services in the Vale. I am also involved in the expansion of Barry Hospital, support for GP practices and pharmacies.

I live in Barry and I am proud to be president of Barry Ladies’ Choir, Barry First Responders, Trustee of Vale People First, Ocean Watersports and Vale for Africa.

Ian Johnson (Plaid Cymru)

Barry And District News:

This week’s latest opinion poll shows Plaid Cymru in second place in Wales, needing only a four per cent swing to be the largest party.

Working with Leanne Wood as First Minister, and using my experience on the Vale Council’s Health and Social Care committee, I will introduce free care for older people and those with dementia.

Plaid Cymru’s cancer contract will ensure everybody has a diagnosis or all-clear within 28 days and a key worker to help them through the process.

As local councillor for Barry town centre, I have a record of hard work for our communities that I am very proud of, leading the successful campaign to stop car parking charges in Barry, and fighting for Barry to become a Regeneration Town again - as it was when Plaid Cymru was last in Government.

Plaid has long campaigned against Vale Council plans to build 10,000 houses when Welsh Government figures show we only need 5,600, and a Plaid Cymru Government will change planning policy to stop over-development in the Vale.

We need more train carriages on rush hour trains, more frequent trains to Rhoose and Llantwit Major, as well as a Dinas Powys bypass.