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.Follow @mycardiffnorth
Name – Dianne Rees
Party – Conservatives
Ward – Pontprennau and Old St Mellons
Facebook – Dianne Rees
How can people get in touch with you? – firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone, Social Media and if re-elected Council contact details.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and brought up in Cardiff, and have lived in the ward for 23 years. I am married with four adult children and have spent much of my life in public service. I trained as a secondary school teacher and spent time volunteering for local charities and organisations such as citizens advice bureau and have served as a Justice of the Peace for nearly 30 years.
Since 1995 I’ve been a member of Old St Mellons Community Council and served as Chairman for 6 years. First elected as a County Councillor in 2004, re-elected in 2008 and 2012, it has been an honour to serve this Community, the area in which I live and love, for the past 13 years. Being a County Councillor has given me the opportunity to engage with local organisations. Currently I’m Vice-Chair of Governors at the Village School in Old St Mellons and a founding governor of the new Pontprennau Primary School.
Family life is very important to me and I want the people of our area to enjoy quality time with their families. Maintaining and improving good quality living in Cardiff and in Pontprennau and Old St Mellons is important to me.
I am keen to preserve and improve our environment and ensure that children in Cardiff have the best opportunity to reach their full potential in education and subsequent employment.
Listening to the views of residents, I opposed mass development of green fields throughout the ward. I love this City and want to see the best of it preserved for future generations.
What are the biggest issues in your ward?
Parking and traffic congestion is the biggest issue in our Community. On the door step residents often report roads in need of urgent repair and highlight litter and graffiti hotspots.
Protection of the setting of our City is important. Greenfield development on the scale currently proposed will place additional pressures on our roads and Community.
Speeding is also a cause for concern and is often raised. Its good to see the 20mph zone near Pontprennau Primary School has been put in place.
What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?
For me it has to be City Hall and the Civic Centre that surrounds it. To me it symbolises the potential that Cardiff has which was the vision of the City Fathers in the early part of the 20th Century – I’d like to regain that spirit again.
What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?
Democracy and how it works should be taught in schools in an impartial way. I would like to see the press highlight some of the positive contributions made by the democratic process.
On a local level it is important that people understand the importance of County Council elections. They play a major role in delivering the governance of our schools, community facilities and quality of life.
What’s your favourite film?
If You’re Elected
What will you do to improve your ward?
We will work as a team to address the issues our Community faces. Parking and congestion is a problem faced by many areas in the ward.
If both elected, Joel and I will hold a public meeting inviting all members of the Community, the new Cabinet Member with responsibility for traffic and transportation, the local Police, senior Council Officers and members of the business community. No real progress will be made with this issue unless there is real change in Council priorities.
The Council must be tough on flytipping and use CCTV footage and covert methods to detect and prosecute offenders.
If our Party is in control we will have a team of Officers dedicated to local areas to deal with issues such as; litter and drain clearance, parking issues, potholes and hedgerow, verge and grass cutting.
How will you communicate with residents in your ward?
We keep residents informed through our regular newsletters. We also send our targeted letters to areas that are affected by a particular issue. We will continue to call on residents and seek their views.
Since 2015 the Pontprennau Community Facebook page has been a great way to highlight local issues and respond to concerns raised by residents. Hopefully we have proven to the Community that we work well as a team and can do much more if both elected in May 2017.
Social media has become an important way of communicating quickly with residents and this must continue. It is also important to use traditional ways of communication by letter, email and telephone.
What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?
I am very concerned about the cleanliness of our City. When overseas visitors have come to Cardiff they have commented on the blight of litter on Cardiff roads.
Congestion is a major concern. With roads already at full capacity something must be done urgently to address this issue.
Care for the elderly and the education of children has got to be a priority for all elected members.
What would you change about Cardiff and why?
- Better transport, including light rail connections in the east of the City. Some parts of my ward do not even have a bus service.
- Cleaner outskirts and suburbs, free of litter.
- New building should be more distinctive and reflect local building styles and use local building materials.
- Less traffic congestion. It can take an hour and a half to cross the City by road.
Any final comments?
I care passionately about this City and the ward in which I live. To be a local politician, you must have passion, commitment and a drive to make things better and its wise to develop a thick skin!