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 – Graham Hinchey
Party – Labour
Ward – Heath
Website – heathandbirchgrovelabour.org.uk
Twitter – @Hinchey58
Facebook – heathbirchgrovelabour
How can people get in touch with you? – email, Facebook, Twitter, mobile phone, letter, surgery, stop me in the street.
Tell us about yourself
I have lived in Cardiff all my life, and in the centre of the Heath & Birchgrove Ward for over 20 years. I am very involved in my local community, working hard with community groups to make sure that local voices are heard. I am a long standing governor of both local schools – Ton yr Ywen and Birchgrove. I Chair the Friends of Llwynfedw Gardens (FLG) and work closely with the Maes y Coed Community Centre and Oaks Community Garden to ensure these valuable community facilities are protected and go from strength to strength.
I am an experienced Councillor and am currently the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Performance. This portfolio includes responsibility for finance and I am proud that we, as a Labour Council, have been able to protect local services and the most vulnerable in our society, despite the ongoing cuts from the national UK Tory Government.
On a more personal level I am married to Anne, am a season ticket holder at Cardiff City Football Club and board trainee Guide Dogs. Our current guide dog is a lovely black Labrador/retriever cross called Ebony.
What are the biggest issues in your ward?
Each part of the Ward is different, with different local priorities. The most common one though is parking – the proximity of Heath Hospital causes many issues with this. Road safety and in particular traffic speed is another. The other big local priority is investment in and protection of our parks and public open spaces.
What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?
Heath Park. If you walk through the woods you could be in the middle of the country. The amount of facilities – café, tennis courts, playing fields, dog walkers, cricket wicket, ponds (which Ebony loves) – and the fact that they are all well used makes it a fantastic urban oasis in the centre of the Ward.
What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?
In order for people to engage with politics they must feel that their voice will be heard and that their views will be taken into account. This means that at a local level elected members should attend residents meetings, coffee mornings and local events so they are accessible and go to where the people are. They should also hold regular surgeries and make their contact details public so people can come to them.
On a corporate level I believe strongly in bringing he Council to the people and I have championed the change to having Council Cabinet meetings held out in the local community instead of just in City Hall. The one held in Maes y Coed Community Centre recently is a great example of this.
What’s your favourite film?
If You’re Elected
What will you do to improve your ward?
I will continue to work hard for the residents of Heath & Birchgrove and deliver on our election pledges:
- Continue to promote, support and work in partnership with our local community groups.
- Consult with residents on our community supported proposals to control parking.
- Keep Wedal Road open until new, local and improved facilities are in place.
- Remain accountable to local residents, holding frequent public surgeries and publishing regular newsletters.
- Work with local communities to plan and implement schemes to improve road safety in the area, including the expansion of 20mph controlled zones.
How will you communicate with residents in your ward?
We will continue to update residents through our Labour Herald. In addition we have a Facebook page and Twitter account which are highly effective. We all live locally and are highly visible at local events and in the local community. We also attend the Heath Residents Association meetings whenever requested to give updates.
What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?
The City Deal is obviously a big thing for the City – especially with regards to the Metro. I am also keen that we see the establishment of a Park & Ride for Cardiff North to help alleviate some of the traffic issues experienced. The fact that Cardiff is a Living Wage City is something that I am proud of and I would want to support schemes to increase jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships.
What would you change about Cardiff and why?
We need to tackle the growing problem of traffic congestion and road safety. The Park & Ride for Cardiff North, the Metro and promotion of more sustainable transport solutions are all part of this.
Any final comments?
I am proud to have represented the residents of Heath & Birchgrove over the last 5 years and regard it as a privilege and opportunity to make a difference. If re-elected, along with my fellow Welsh Labour candidates Mike Ash-Edwards and Penny Owen, I will continue to work hard and deliver for the residents of Heath & Birchgrove.