New branch chair vows to speak up for members

The new chair of Gwent Police Federation has pledged to ensure that members’ voices are heard.

Matt Candy takes up the role immediately after an election among the membership.

“I want to create a strong and unified Federation that is not seen as toothless in the eyes of members and that will champion their position when the need arises,” says Matt, who has 14 years’ policing service in two forces under his belt.

“I stood for election because I genuinely care about the rights and conditions under which police officers are expected to work.

“These are troubling times for people in all walks of life, but none seem to be as vilified as hard-working police officers throughout the UK right now. We are consistently fighting a negative bias in the media, and I will not accept that we must also accept unfairness or mistreatment in the workplace.

“My main aim now is to ensure fairness for our members.”

Matt has been a Federation workplace representative for two and a half years and before taking up the full-time Federation role was based at Ystrad Mynach police station as part of the Roads Policing Specialist Operations team.

Matt Candy, the newly-elected chair of Gwent Police Federation.

One of his first objectives as chair is to make Federation reps more visible in the workplace so they can help with any issues members face, including queries around Police Regulations covering issues such as basic pay and reimbursement rights and issues with annual leave.

Matt explains: “I am also keen to see that fairness and transparency are at the heart of the way the organisation treats its officers in conduct and performance matters.”

Matt takes over from Chris Back who has been interim branch chair for the last nine weeks.

Interim secretary Gareth Tanswell has congratulated Matt on his new role and praised Chris for taking on the position temporarily.

“I would like to congratulate Matt and wish him every success as branch chair. I personally also want to put on record my thanks to Chris for stepping up to the mark as interim chair. This has involved a huge amount of work which he has done very capably. I am sure he will continue to be an asset to the branch as deputy branch chair.

“It has genuinely been a pleasure to work alongside Chris as we have steered the branch during this interim period.”