Sian-Elin Melbourne – Welsh Conservative Party

We asked all the candidates to provide a candidate statement of up to 750 words, which should include some background about them and why they’re standing.

Siân-Elin Melbourne

Sian-Elin Melbourne

Welsh Conservative Party

@SianMelbourne

My name is Sian-Elin Melbourne and I am 43, and I have lived in North Cardiff for most of my adult life, having attended Ysgol y Wern as a child, and then sending my 3 children there before moving on to Ysgol Glantaf. I live with my husband Russell and 2 of my 3 children, my eldest has gone off to university and lives in Brighton. I work as a Welsh teacher and I have done this for nearly 15 years.

I have seen how stresses and anxiety has increased over the years in our young people and one of my key pledges is to help raise access to better wellbeing provision in our local schools and to raise mental health awareness. I try to be as active as possible. I enjoy skiing and rugby. I am learning sign language and most recently, I have become involved with deaf rugby and I will be taking part in the Wales Deaf v Rugby against Cancer charity match on Saturday 30th November.

I am standing because I care about my local area of Llanishen & Thornhill. I am aware of the positive impact that good Councillors and a strong team can have. I have been working with the Llanishen & Thornhill Councillor Team and have been out speaking to residents about the issues that matter to them. I love this area; it is where I went to school, and where I sent my children to school. Local people have shared their issues with me, and as such, if elected I will look to focus on the following:

  • Working with local schools to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing provisions, and ensuring all our schools have equal access to these provisions. So that ALL our young people have access to the tools to be resilient young adults,
  • Addressing crime and anti-social behaviour – making sure our streets are safe and welcoming for all residents. Frontline services are a priority, we want to ensure policing is kept local and is able to deal with problems swiftly.
  • I support other Conservative Councillors in wanting to lower council tax for all, ensuring the people of Llanishen & Thornhill have more money in their pockets,
  • Bringing pride to the community – by protecting our green spaces and tacking litter issues

Sian-Elin ydw I ac rydw i’n 43, rwyf wedi byw yng Ngogledd Caerdydd am rhan fwyaf o’m bywyd fel oedolyn, Es i i ysgol gynradd Y Wern, ac yna ddanfonais fy 3 plentyn yno cyn iddyn nhw symud ymlaen i Ysgol Glantaf. Rydw i’n byw gyda fy ngŵr Russell a 2 o’m mhlant, mae fy mhlentyn hynaf wedi mynd i’r brifysgol ac yn byw yn Brighton. Dw i’n gweithio fel athrawes ac rwyf wedi bod yn gwneud hyn am bron i bumtheg mlynedd.

Dw i wedi gweld sut mae straen a phryder wedi cynyddu dros y blynyddoedd yn ein pobl ifanc ac un o fy addewidion allweddol ydy helpu i gynyddu mynediad i well darpariaeth lles yn ein hysgolion lleol ac i godi ymwybyddiaeth o iechyd meddwl. Dw i’n ceisio bod mor egnïol â phosibl. Dw i’n mwynhau sgïo a rygbi. Dw i’n dysgu iaith arwyddion ac yn fwyaf diweddar, rwyf wedi bod yn aelod â carafan rygbi byddar a byddaf yn cymryd rhan mewn gêm elusen rhwng rygbi byddar Cymru a Elusen Chancer ar ddydd Sadwrn 30 Tachwedd.

Dw i’n sefyll oherwydd fy mod yn poeni am fy ardal leol, sef Llanisien a Ddraenen Pen-y graig. Dw i’n ymwybodol o’r effaith gadarnhaol y gall cynghorwyr da a thîm cryf ei chael. Dw i wedi bod yn gweithio gyda thîm cynghorydd Llanisien a Ddraenen Pen- graig ac wedi bod allan yn siarad â’r trigolion am y materion sydd o bwys iddynt. Dw i’n caru’r ardal hon; Dyma lle es i i’r ysgol, a lle anfonais fy mhlant i’r ysgol. Mae pobl leol wedi rhannu eu materion gyda mi, ac o’r herwydd, os cânt eu hethol, byddaf yn ceisio canolbwyntio ar y canlynol:

  • Gweithio gydag ysgolion lleol i godi ymwybyddiaeth o ddarpariaethau iechyd meddwl a lles, a sicrhau bod gan ein holl ysgolion fynediad cyfartal i’r darpariaethau hyn. Fel bod gan bobl ifanc fynediad at yr offer i fod yn oedolion ifanc gwydn,
  • Mynd i’r afael â throseddau ac ymddygiad gwrthgymdeithasol-sicrhau bod ein strydoedd yn ddiogel ac yn groesawgar i’r holl drigolion, mae gwasanaethau rheng flaen yn flaenoriaeth, rydym am sicrhau bod plismona yn cael ei gadw’n lleol a’i fod yn gallu delio â phroblemau’n gyflym.
  • Yr wyf yn cefnogi cynghorwyr Ceidwadol eraill sydd am ostwng y dreth gyngor i bawb, gan fynnu bod mwy o arian yn eu pocedi ar gael i bobl Llanisien a’r Ddraenen Pen –y graig,
  • Dod â balchder i’r gymuned-drwy ddiogelu ein mannau gwyrdd a thaclo problemau sbwriel

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, My Cardiff North.

Mia Rees – Welsh Conservative Party

We asked all the candidates to provide a candidate statement of up to 750 words, which should include some background about them and why they’re standing.

Mia Rees

Welsh Conservative Party

@MiaReesWales

I am 29, and live in Kenfig Road, in the south of the ward, with my husband and dog. For my day job I work for a charity which supports young people into education, training and employment which has developed my interest in youth and housing policy. Over the summer I have been working with the Whitchurch and Tongwynlais Councillor Team and have been out speaking to residents about the issues that matter to them. In my spare time I’m a keen cyclist and mountain biker.

I am standing because I care about Whitchurch and Tongwynlais. I have seen first hand the positive impact that good Councillors can have and unfortunately the negative effect of lazy or disinterested Councillors. I love where I live and I want to be part of making it even better. Most of the issues which frustrate residents can be improved and I’m determined to make that happen. 

The main areas I will focus on include:

  • Tackling parking issues and traffic concerns – including inappropriate parking by non residents and illegal pavement parking
  • Bringing pride to the community – by protecting our green spaces and tacking litter issues 
  • Addressing crime and anti-social behaviour – making sure our streets are safe and welcoming for all residents

Marc Palmer – Welsh Labour

We asked all the candidates to provide a candidate statement of up to 750 words, which should include some background about them and why they’re standing.

Photo of Marc Palmer

Marc Palmer

Welsh Labour

@MarcPalmer75

Facebook

My name is Marc Palmer and I am the Welsh Labour Candidate in the forthcoming Whitchurch and Tongwynlais by election. I live at home with my wife and two boys.

I have deep roots in the area as I grew up in Whitchurch and attended Whitchurch High School and lived there for 30 years. Most of my family and friends still live in the village and it’s a place very close to my heart. For almost ten years now I have been running my own business in Tongwynlais.

I am passionate about this community and am a strong believer in giving something back. I can often be seen initiating and taking part in litter picks, planting flowers, building paths and installing benches to improve the community. I now want to make more of a difference and have more influence in shaping the community in which we live and the services from which we benefit.

I’m a Trustee and active member of AWEN (Arts, Whitchurch, Eglwys Newydd) a group formed to support and bring events to Whitchurch Library. Our events are well attended, especially by local children. I’m also a committee member of AFC Whitchurch. A club that has over 400 children, a senior and youth team and a walking football team registered.

This is a great area in which to live and bring up a family but I believe we can make it even better. I would like the opportunity to take your ideas forward and shape the future of our local community and Cardiff as a whole.

If you would like to get in touch, please contact me @marcPalmer75. I would be happy to have a chat and answer any questions you may have. You can also find more information about my community involvement over the years on my Facebook page: Marc Palmer – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais Community News.

My plans

Cleaner Air and Safer Streets

Campaign for cleaner air, active travel (walking and cycling) and a 20mph speed limit in residential areas of Whitchurch and Tongwynlais. This will enable people to feel happier if they’re able to walk along the streets with 20mph limits in place and parents will feel much happier in enabling their young people to play outside.

Community Investment

Fight for future investment into the Whitchurch Well-Being Hub/Library to be refurbished and the service expanded to services for older people to address isolation and loneliness.

Supporting Local Business

Lead on supporting local business to keep our high streets vibrant. I’m involved with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers to save the High Street. I am also working with independent traders across both Villages to jointly promote their businesses through my Small Business Saturday event which can be found on Facebook @Small Business Saturday – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais.

Road Maintenance

Secure vital road maintenance to roads and potholes in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais.

Affordable Housing

  • Work with Welsh Labour Cardiff Council to roll our new affordable housing across the city.
  • Plan to deliver 2000 new council homes and at least 1000 by 2022.
  • We are on site in 10 locations which will deliver 195 Council Homes 28 Assisted Home Ownership and 68 Homes for sale, of which 66 Council properties have been handed over and 68 open market sales completed.
  • Planning permission granted for a further 4 sites delivering 366 new homes 112 council, of which 44 will be care ready for older people. Out to Consultation on a further 11 sites delivering around 500 homes.

We live in a great part of the City, a City which is widely regarded as one of the best places to live in the UK. If selected, I will work tirelessly for the ward and its constituents. It will be an honour and a privilege to be elected as a Labour representative and to serve our local community and the City of Cardiff.

David Griffin – The Green Party

We asked all the candidates to provide a candidate statement of up to 750 words, which should include some background about them and why they’re standing.

Photo of David Griffin

David Griffin

The Green Party

@cardiffgreens

I’ve lived in Whitchurch for 12 years and have 3 children who are at or have recently graduated from the local school. By day, I’m an engineer with a broad focus including energy related technologies, food production, and waste reduction.

I was a school governor at Eglwys Wen (later Whitchurch Primary) school through the period of the schools reorganisation programme, and I now sit on the committee of the City of Cardiff (Melin Griffith) Brass Band (who rehearse in Tongwynlais).

I’m a keen cyclist (and member of Sustrans) and a dog walker, so naturally I feel very lucky to live in a beautiful green city like Cardiff.

I was first attracted to the Green Party by their environmental platform but soon found that their policies match my views across the board, including issues of equality, social justice, education, and economic development. On every major issue, from the Iraq War through austerity to Brexit, the Green Party has made the right call from the start.

In 30 years of engineering I’ve learnt that the most important step in dealing with any issue is to have a clear and honest understanding of the problem first. It’s more important now than ever that our elected representatives tell us the truth, whether it’s about the severity of the climate crisis, who stands to lose or gain from a no-deal brexit, or where the money goes when we privatise essential public services. If we’re not told the whole truth, then we’re not fully informed, and we’re no longer living in a democracy. Soundbites are no substitute for the whole truth.

I’m standing in this by election because the most important issue by far facing us (and threatening our children’s future) is the climate crisis, and it is not being taken seriously enough by our government (or our media). The Welsh Assembly declared a climate emergency but we have yet to see tangible changes to our day to day world as a result of it.

The health of our planet should be considered in every decision, whether it be global, national or at local government level. And that will rely on awareness being raised whenever policy is being made.

Students from Whitchurch and the rest of Cardiff have repeatedly marched on the Senedd, demanding that the national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority. They shouldn’t have to do that.

The UK Committee on Climate Change report released in May recommended a 20% decrease in meat consumption and an increase in the consumption of plant-based proteins. Based on this, the Soil Association sensibly recommended that all state schools in England should offer pupils a compulsory plant-based menu one day a week. I would like to see the Welsh Government adopt a similar approach, not just for schools but in catering provision in all public buildings.

Transport plays a huge role in our environmental impact. We and our kids should be able to get around safely without needing to be driven in cars all the time. Less cars on the school run can reduce congestion across the board.

But as well as adequate buses, we require safe routes for cycling that don’t force the cyclist to run the gauntlet of deep potholes, broken glass or puddles reaching halfway across the road. Road resurfacing priorities shouldn’t only revolve around the main routes that cars use.

Another proven way to keep children safer while cycling and walking to school is to reduce speed limits to 20mph along their daily route. 69% of respondents to the British Social Attitude Survey (2016) were favour of 20mph in residential areas.

The negative effects on motorists’ journey times (generally dominated by junction delays) are small.

On the other hand, needless congestion really does slow people down. I’d push for double yellow lines on the park side of Velindre Road to put a stop to the unnecessary daily gridlock and queuing onto the Library roundabout that holds up cars and buses alike. 

More active travel improves public health and wellbeing. I’ll be supporting the #cycleonthesenedd event on 2nd October.

I believe the main parties are well represented on the council already and it’s time for some different local voices to be heard.

Sian Donne – Welsh Liberal Democrats

We asked all the candidates to provide a candidate statement of up to 750 words, which should include some background about them and why they’re standing.

Photo of Sian Donne

Sian Donne

Welsh Liberal Democrats

Facebook

I live in Tongwynlais with my family and work in health and safety. I studied at Cardiff University and have lived in the city for the last fifteen years. I have a background in politics, law and working with vulnerable people. In my spare time I enjoy cycling, travelling and spending time with my family.

I’m standing for election because I believe we need a strong local voice for our community. People are feeling let down by politicians locally and nationally; we need to restore that trust.

I would work hard for our local area, tackling key priorities including reducing anti-social behaviour, making our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists and re-opening a recycling centre in the north of the city. We need investment in local facilities such as libraries and playing fields to give our children safe places to spend their time. Walking and cycling bring huge benefits for our health and our environment, but there needs to be more joined up planning for traffic free routes. Labour have failed to deliver on the new facilities for recycling that we were promised in our area and we need to hold them to account on that.

I’m passionate about creating a fair society; ensuring that pupils from deprived backgrounds have the support they need to achieve their full potential, protecting our environment for future generations and investing in mental health services. Actions must begin at home, in our schools and communities and councils have an important role to play in developing measures to enable this.

I’m a strong supporter of our membership of the EU, the rights and freedoms that membership gives us to live, work, travel or retire abroad and the benefits that European workers bring to our vital services. I believe we’re stronger as an open, tolerant nation, working together across borders, uniting to achieve common goals and overcome challenges facing the world such as tackling climate change. The EU needs reform but it’s better to be a part of positive change from the inside. The Conservatives are making a mess of Brexit and it’s time for the people to have a final say on the future of our country. 

Voters are feeling let down by Labour and the Conservatives and are looking for a change. I would work hard as a fresh, new, liberal voice for our communities in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais.

Dan Allsobrook – Plaid Cymru

We asked all the candidates to provide a candidate statement of up to 750 words, which should include some background about them and why they’re standing.

Dan Allsobrook

Plaid Cymru

@DanPlaidCymru

Facebook

I have decided to run for election because our local and national politics in Wales and the UK have been dominated by the old parties, Tories and Labour, for many years and it’s time for a change.

I’m standing for Plaid Cymru because we offer a radical alternative to the tired old approach. We also need to fight against the rise of populist right-wing ideologies put forward by the Brexit and Tory parties.

Locally my focus is on how we get around whether for work, learning, or leisure. I am very worried that Whitchurch and Tongwynlais have become increasingly dominated by cars at the expense of all other modes of travel, from walking to travelling by bus. This needs to change if our area is to be a safe, healthy, and pleasant place to live.

Our area deserves better, which is why my campaign calls for ‘A Better Cardiff’. We are an ambitious city but too often that ambition is not backed up by action. If elected I aim to change this.

One Year as a County Councillor: Fenella Bowden

 

Fenella Bowden profile picture

We’ve invited all the County Councillors in Cardiff North to write about their first year since being elected in May 2017.

This article is by Fenella Bowden, Independent Councillor for Heath and Birchgrove.


 

It’s always a mix of elation and exhaustion following an election; and 2017 was no different! Thankfully, I was able to resume my daily routine of answering residents’ queries, & holding surgeries, alongside dealing with the usual local issues – such as potholes, waste collections, planning applications and parking issues – quickly.

I think it’s fair to say that the past year has been dominated by several key issues for residents in Heath Ward:

The planned closure of Wedal Road HWRC;

  • the development of the Aldi store on Caerphilly Road;
  • the development of the Highfields site in Allensbank Road; and
  • the lack of a Park & Ride facility in Cardiff North.

The continuing lack of infrastructure and an integrated transport system in Cardiff is keenly felt in Heath & Birchgrove. Congestion which affects air quality; parking pressures from UHW; and managing traffic at the school gates all remain challenging. But it was good to see a 20mph scheme introduced in Birchgrove Road, after much campaigning, albeit that it is not of the standard we’d have liked.

Fenella Bowden litter picking
Heath and Birchgrove Councillor Fenella Bowden

Planning applications continued to be controversial, as was seen by both the Aldi development on Caerphilly Road, and at the former Highfields site. However, it has been good to see the Council investing in affordable housing across the city, and I welcome the inclusion of Council owned units at Highfields.

This year I have been concentrating on several wider concerns:

  • The role of councillors as corporate parents;
  • Food poverty in Cardiff;
  • The health risks around rubber crumb pitches; and
  • How to overcome the barriers that are preventing more diversity within Council chambers.

Councillors are corporate parents for those young people who are in care. Making the decision to exempt those young people who are leaving care from Council Tax until the age of 25 was unanimous in 2017. But there is still a great deal to do to ensure that these young people get the support that they need whilst in care; and when they leave. I shall continue to campaign for young people in LA residential care to be given the same choice as those in foster care: to be able to stay beyond 18 years old.

The Council’s partnership with UNICEF highlighted to me the obligations that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child place on councillors. I have been asking questions about how we ensure that children’s rights are placed at the heart of Council policy. I believe that we must encourage more consultation with young people, including those under 16, and listen to their experiences and aspirations before making significant policy and spending decisions that affect their future.

Food poverty during school holidays hit the headlines last year both nationally and locally. While looking for ways in which our local communities could come together to help to alleviate the problems, I visited projects like the Pentrebane Zone to find out more about communities providing for themselves.

This is just a snapshot of my year. Happy to answer any questions!

By Fenella Bowden (Councillor for Heath and Birchgrove)