David is a true native of Port Talbot and continues to live in the constituency. He is married to Marie, a superintendent radiographer at Neath Port Talbot hospital, and they have two adult daughters both of whom were educated at local Welsh medium schools.
David was educated at local infant, junior and comprehensive schools before moving on to Cardiff University where he gained an honours degree in Engineering and a post graduate teaching qualification. Upon completing his studies at University he bought a house in his home town and began a successful career in Education. He first worked as a teacher at Cynffig Comprehensive School in Kenfig Hill, then becoming a lecturer at Afan College before moving into Higher Education. Prior to becoming AM for Aberavon he was an Assistant Dean of Faculty at Swansea Metropolitan University. During this time working in Higher Education he gained a further post graduate qualification, MSc, and is currently studying for his doctorate.
David joined the Labour Party in 1982 and has been an active member ever since. He has held several positions within the Labour Party and was the Constituency Labour Party secretary for Aberavon between 2005 and 2011, standing down to concentrate on the 2011 Assembly election. He is a member of Unite and currently acts as the convenor of the Unite Group of AMs. Throughout his working life he has been a strong advocate for good working relationships with the trade unions and regularly raises trade union issues in the Senedd.
David is currently the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee in the Assembly, which considers current health and social care issues, scrutinises government legislation and produces topical reports based on committee inquiries. He is also a member of the Children and Young People’s Committee, considering issues across multiple portfolios, particularly health and education, and playing an important role in advocating for the wellbeing of children and young people.
Through his role as the Chair of the Cross Party Group on Industrial Communities, he is actively involved in campaigns to improve economic and social conditions in Wales’s Communities. At the same time David also acts as the Chair of the Cross Party Group on Science and he strongly advocates the position Science and Technology can play in economic policy.
His other interests include Communities First, child poverty, youth engagement, regeneration and education.