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 – Clare Jones
Party – Labour
Ward – Rhiwbina
Website – rhiwbinalabour.cymru
Twitter – @ClareJonesGPR
Facebook – RhiwbinaLabour
How can people get in touch with you? – Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07793 382021
Tell us about yourself
Originally from Newport, I have lived in Cardiff for the last ten years and moved to Pen Y Dre in Rhiwbina around eight years ago.
I have a two-year-old daughter, and really feel I have started to enjoy the full benefits of living in Rhiwbina since starting a family (partly from being at home more) – and I particularly love the sense of local community (including the number of local community groups for children and families) and green open spaces and parks that Rhiwbina has to offer.
Following my maternity leave, I decided to start my own specialist PR and communications consultancy, Grasshopper PR (www.grasshopperpr.co.uk), which will be celebrating its second birthday this month. I have enjoyed the entrepreneurial challenge of running and growing my own business, as well as the flexibility this has given me to fit work around my family. My professional experience is focused around community engagement for planning, development and infrastructure, providing a range of skills and insights that I believe would be beneficial to the role of a Councillor.
Outside of work and being a mum, I enjoy playing netball and touch rugby with the Varsity Vandals, as I find team sport a fun and sociable way to keep fit. I also enjoy cooking, gardening and photography.
As my daughter approaches school age, I want to invest in my local community and help make sure Rhiwbina remains a great place to raise a family, and I also think it is important to make sure the views of mums, parents and families across Cardiff are properly represented, and have therefore decided to stand as a candidate in the local election.
What are the biggest issues in your ward?
Rhiwbina is a great place to live, with some of the best schools in the City, a diverse High Street, its very own conservation area maintaining the local heritage and character of the area, and a variety of green open spaces. And so far we have found, when speaking to people across the ward, that generally there is a limited range of issues being raised, with people generally seeming pretty happy with the performance of the current Labour run Council in terms of local services and managing the local environment etc.
However, there are of course some issues, and the key issues that we have identified (and based our pledges around) are as follows:
- Ensuring the long-term future of Rhwibina Library
- Traffic management and the need for 20mph zones to be rolled out in certain areas of Rhiwbina
- Road maintenance and resurfacing improvements
- Lack of parking availability (and need for improved management of parking) around Rhiwbina High Street and local train stations
- Need to support local businesses (in an increasingly challenging environment) to ensure a vibrant and diverse local High Street
What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?
One of our favourite things to do as family at the weekend is go for a walk (or a bear hunt) in the Wenallt woods.
What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?
There seems to be a general mistrust of politicians and a consequent apathy in relation to politics. I strongly believe a more diverse range of local representatives, that people can identify with more easily (as being like them) – would help make a start in terms of encouraging people to engage with politicians and the work they do.
What’s your favourite film?
If You’re Elected
What will you do to improve your ward?
Our election pledges are as follows:
- Help build a vibrant community and economy by supporting local businesses and traders
- Preserve Rhiwbina’s green spaces and unique buildings
- Improve traffic management and road surfaces
- Address parking problems by exploring new and creative solutions
- Continue to support Rhiwbina Library
How will you communicate with residents in your ward?
We believe a range of communications approaches is key to ensuring effective engagement and dialogue, not only with the more engaged segments of society (that vote and engage in consultations etc), but also less engaged residents, for example, younger people (who are after all the future of out City).
Therefore alongside the more traditional approaches of political communication (newsletters), we would ensure a strong social media presence, as well as a commitment to building relationships with existing community networks and activities to help us engage with a range of people across the ward.
What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?
As I have mentioned previously, my professional background is in planning, regeneration and economic development, so this is an area I would be particularly interested in taking a city-wide involvement in.
What would you change about Cardiff and why?
Traffic and congestion around the City at peak times is clearly currently problematic – and I would like to see Cardiff lead the way in delivering initiatives to get people off the roads. In my view this needs to be a combination of improved public transport, encouraging active travel (steps having already been taken to explore this through initiatives such as the recent consultation on the Cardiff Cycling Strategy) and facilities to encourage and facilitate flexible and remote working (within both the public and private sectors).
Any final comments?
I would just encourage everyone to use their vote and have a say on May 4th.