Dan Allsobrook: Plaid Cymru – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais

We’ve invited all the local election candidates to complete this questionnaire so you know more about the people asking for your vote on the 4th of May. We’re also compiling a list of their websites and social media accounts so you can follow them and get in touch if you have any questions.

Dan Allsobrook

Name – Dan Allsobrook
Party – Plaid Cymru
Ward – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais
Twitter  – @PlaidCymruENT
Facebook – PlaidCymruENT
How can people get in touch with you? – plaidcymrueglwysnewydd@gmail.com

About You

Tell us about yourself

I was brought up in Whitchurch, attending Eglwys Newydd Primary School and Whitchurch High School in the 1970s and 1980s. It seems a long time ago now! I’m married with two kids; both boys are pupils at Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd.

I’m a self-employed IT consultant. Currently I’m working in financial services but I’ve worked in a variety of industries during my career. One of my proudest achievements was working on the build and opening of Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. It was an amazing experience and I still love visiting the building after 13 years.

I’m a keen but not particularly talented cyclist, and am very passionate about active travel. I commute to work on the Taff Trail every day and enjoy riding for leisure around South Wales whenever I have time to spare.

I’ve served on the committees of two local rugby clubs, Cardiff Harlequins and CRICC, for several years now. These community clubs are vitally important for the health and happiness of young people in the area. Like so many of our local resources, they rely almost completely on volunteers for survival.

Whitchurch is a great place to live, but we face many challenges and that’s why I’m putting myself forward to try to help us all meet them.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

  • Traffic congestion, parking and pollution
  • Potholes and road maintenance
  • Safety and security for residents
  • Facilities for people of all ages – social care, libraries, schools and public transport
  • Litter
  • A safe and clean environment for kids to travel to school – road crossings, cycle paths and walkways free from hazards and danger

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Spiller’s Records. I’ve loved that place since I was a kid. I admire the way it’s survived and stayed faithful to the independent music ethos.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

  • Reduce the voting age to 16
  • Election hustings in every school
  • Mock elections in every school
  • Ensure politics is taught at all levels of the curriculum
  • Emphasise the impact your vote has in changing the community you live in for the better
  • Improve the quality of local and national media

What’s your favourite film?

Withnail and I.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

We need to grasp the nettle and realise that we must move away from reliance on the car as the primary mode of transport. This may involve tough choices, such as congestion charging and harsher traffic and parking penalties, but we have already done irreversible damage to ourselves and our environment. Drastic action is needed.

Tidying up. This sounds really simple but we need to encourage people to come together to help clean up and take pride in our community. Littering is something everyone can do something about. Whether it’s organised litter picks or volunteer wardens making sure that people dispose of their rubbish in the right way. We need to foster a community where irresponsible, anti-social behaviour is not tolerated.

Safe routes to school and work. We need clearly-marked and protected pathways to enable everyone to get where they need to go without having to face unnecessary danger.

Community hubs. Working with local businesses and residents to provide residents of all ages with somewhere to go and things to do. Develop the Whitchurch Library and Park site into a valuable community resource.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

Digital communication and social media are great for engaging with younger people, but there is no substitute for face-to-face contact. Street stalls, surgeries, community groups and home visits ensure that no-one feels they’re out of the loop.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

I’m very concerned about traffic congestion and the lack of active travel and public transport alternatives. Pollution is a hidden menace which is damaging us and our environment. There needs to be a step change in the way we behave, and it needs to happen now.

Better cycling facilities and safe walkways are part of this, but proper joined-up public transport services need to be implemented if we are to persuade people to get out of their cars. I’m very keen to get involved with this as a councillor.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

  • Introduce a congestion charge
  • Better park and ride facilities
  • Invest in joined-up, 24-hour public transport which is safe and reliable
  • Be proud and respectful of our environment and fellow citizens

Any final comments?

I’m not a politician. I just want to make our village and city safer, happier and cleaner. I’m not going to do that on my own. We need to encourage everyone to re-engage with the way in which our city is governed and participate in the decision-making process. This will only happen if we elect politicians who listen and who are brave enough to talk about the difficult things we need to do in order to make Cardiff a better place to live.