What are the biggest changes in your ward over the last 5 years?
Rhiwbina changes but also values what it already has. So the biggest changes are actually campaigns to keep Rhiwbina library, a flood scheme to protect existing properties, supporting many local business and charities to help continue and develop Rhiwbina and Pantmawr’s strong sense of community.
Describe three achievements that you were instrumental in implementing and that benefited the community.
Without a doubt, the largest issue that arose was the threat to remove funding from Rhiwbina Library. The Rhiwbina and Pantmawr community came together very strongly. There were petitions and protests outside the Library and even carol singing in support of the library. I will never forget collecting the signatures to call for a community meeting, residents were exceptionally keen to sign! At that formal meeting around 1000 residents turned up (so many that unfortunately some couldn’t get in the hall). The meeting voted for a community poll throughout Rhiwbina and Pantmawr where people were queuing to vote and the result was that Rhiwbina residents overwhelmingly called on Cardiff Council to maintain funding for the library. It was a fantastic campaign, leading to the Council backtracking and re-instating the funding for Rhiwbina Library until May 2017.
The Rhiwbina flood defence scheme resulted from flooding of shops and properties along the length of the brook several years ago. Many residents will have seen the scheme included a trash screen by All Saints Church, a new floodwall in Pen y Dre and improvements to the channel upstream. I was pleased to work with local residents, as well as Cardiff Council’s drainage team, Natural Resources Wales and the contractors who installed a drop-in office by All Saints during construction. Once again, Rhiwbina residents engaged at our drop in sessions and were able to see the plans first hand.
The other achievement is continuing to strengthen the Rhiwbina community. The issues above, as well as others, unite Rhiwbina residents. They engage, give their thoughts so when in the Council chamber, at planning committee, visiting scrutiny committee or the outside bodies I’m appointed to, I know that I am representing constituents’ voices. It’s about publicising issues and events where possible and chatting to constituents at events, whether it is the local festivals, fayres or many coffee mornings throughout the ward. I always say to constituents that it is fantastic that Rhiwbina residents are so interested in what happens locally and always want the best for their community. So do I.