Category: Local Elections

Will Ogborne – 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.

Will Ogborne

Will Ogborne

Welsh Liberal Democrats

I have lived in Cardiff for the last decade and have made Llanishen my home. I work for a small Cardiff-based technology firm as a Software Trainer and Digital Integrator.

I joined the Liberal Democrats to demand better for our city, our environment, our local businesses, and to fight Brexit.

It’s an honour to be selected by members to be the Liberal Democrat candidate in this election.

We urgently need to improve local bus services, tackle traffic chaos, support local businesses and force this Labour council to keep their promise of a new recycling centre in Cardiff North. It would be an honour to represent my community.

I believe that Labour’s failure to deliver on their promise of a new recycling centre from 2017 when the Wedal Road centre was closed is embarrassing for our part of the city, and the opening of a new centre must be a priority.

It’s been nearly three years now with no progress from the Labour run council on this. Having to travel to centres in Grangetown or Rumney instead of having a centre nearby is having a clear impact on the city, with fly-tipping rates on the increase.

People in Llanishen and Thornhill deserve better. This simply isn’t good enough.

I also want to work with local bus providers to improve peak-time capacity in Llanishen and Thornhill, to ensure that buses are routed to the areas where the services are most needed, and to encourage a higher public transport take-up with the aim of having less cars on the road causing congestion.

As a daily bus user myself I see first-hand how busy that services can get in the morning and evening peak periods, with buses often full before they leave our area in the mornings, and full to standing on those return journeys from the city centre in the evening. I’d like to see both Cardiff Bus and N.A.T. commit to running larger capacity buses on our local services at peak times to improve journey comfort, and in turn encourage drivers to switch to using the buses to commute to the city centre instead.

With our city in the midst of a climate emergency we need to take positive steps to reduce traffic congestion on our roads, and long overdue improvements to our public transport services can only help toward this.

In my spare time I’m a Cardiff Devils ice hockey season ticket holder, an avid fan of American Football and enjoy walking my two terriers around the local area with my partner Sarah-jane.

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.

Garry Hunt – 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.

Garry Hunt

Garry Hunt

Welsh Labour

I have been a civil servant for almost 40 years and have lived in Llanishen for most of my adult life after attending Llanishen High School between 1969 and 1976.

I was first elected onto Cardiff City Council for the Llanishen and Thornhill ward in 1991 and was re-elected in 1995, 1999 and 2012 spending 18 of the last 28 years as a Councillor for the ward.

For all those years I was on the Council’s Planning Committee building up a sound working knowledge of the planning and development system.

I was on the Governing Body of Thornhill Primary School when it first opened and I served for ten years on Cefn Onn’s Governing Body before the school closed. I have been on Coed Glas’ Governing Body for 28 years including a period of 15 years as Chair of Governors and have been Chair of Governors of the Court Special School on Station Road for over 10 years. The budgetary pressures on schools are intense and becoming worse and experience and knowledge of the system is needed now more than ever.

I have been Chair of the Court Field Action Group for over 10 years – a group of residents who help to administer and maintain the Court Field having negotiated a new 25 year lease with the Council 2 years ago. The Group is an example of a community functioning together and is an example of how retaining open space is functional and practical as well as aspirational.

I have also been on the Committee that has organised the Llanishen and Lisvane scouts firework display for the last two years and have been involved in the group that works alongside the local Rotary Club to organise the Llanishen Village Christmas lights.

When I was a Councillor previously I helped set up a Youth Action Project in Llanishen and Thornhill working alongside the Police and those residents interested in provisions for teenagers. It was this initiative that led to the creation of the skateboard park on the Glider Field still there today and still popular. As Councils have been forced to cut back on youth services, local initiatives have become more vital in creating facilities for the young.

In the 1990s, I set up a social inclusion unit within Cardiff Council and poverty and its manifestations and underlying causes locally, regionally, nationally and internationally remains an interest for me.

My work as a front line Civil Servant dealing directly with the public has helped me to be able to deal with personal cases with discretion and sensitivity and I have also organised and engaged with numerous local campaigns over the years against unwanted proposed developments .

I am a long suffering season ticket holder at Cardiff City and continue to have an interest in sports. One of the first community activities I engaged in was as treasurer of a local Sunday league team in the 1980s – the late and much lamented Church Park Rangers. I have always sought to maximise sporting facilities in Llanishen and Thornhill and hope to have the opportunity to continue to do so.

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.

Lawrence Gwynn – Independent

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.

Lawrence Gwynn

Lawrence Gwynn

Independent

I was born in Cardiff in 1963, and have lived in Llanishen all my life participating in a full and active part socially and trying to help the community in anyway I can, with the residents which live near me.

I believe in a strong community spirit. Residents should be able to express their opinions on all issues and concerns of their community services.

There are lots of issues that I see, and are brought to my attention by local residents, and although I’m not an elected person, but I always try to help or address the issues that they have, and advise the best course of action.

Some main concerns that are on going seem to be,

  1. Road conditions – potholes being a main factor.
  2. Speeding traffic in 20MPH zone. This is a major concern, I see it everyday, the day to day traffic just ignores this, and our fears are that someone will be seriously hurt or killed, our road network in Llanishen and Thornhill just cannot take this volume of traffic at speed. “IT NEEDS ENFORCING”.
  3. Some residents are concerned about the anti social behavior, it would be good to see more beat officers of an evening walking the streets.
  4. The local street drains need to be cleaned, several for example where I live are full and have been for some months now.
  5. Litter and rubbish, this can be a problem, but as a community, everyone can do their bit.
  6. Llangranog road shops, may be a revamp of some sort, all you basically have is the “Premier shop”, and the “Labour local office”.
  7. Coryton Railway service, I know it’s off the area a bit, but I think it would be a great bonus to introduce a Sunday service, this would take more traffic off the road and would benefit all Cardiff north residents.
  8. Very important – Llanishen clinic need to be reopened with a good doctors service, it should never have closed, the people of Llanishen deserve better.

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.

Michael Cope – 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.

Michael Cope

The Green Party

@cardiffgreens

My name is Michael Cope and I am the Wales Green Party candidate for Llanishen and Thornhill. I am a local candidate. I grew up in Llanishen and attended Llanishen High School. After four years at university I came back and live here now. I have strong roots and connections to the area and love living here.

One of the benefits of living in Llanishen is the access to green spaces. A keen walker, I enjoy walking through the parks and grassy areas of Llanishen and the wider city. This love of the city’s greenery is what is driving me to stand for election to Cardiff Council. As councils across Wales rush to cut costs, it is vital that our local environment and the local services we rely on are not sacrificed. Our environment and our public services are vital to us and have positive effects on our health and wellbeing. I don’t think Cardiff Council understands that.

With the climate crisis deepening, the need to have local councillors with a strong knowledge of the environment and a passion to improve it is greater than ever. Environmentalism is not just about large, multinational agreements to combat climate change. It’s also about your local area-whether your local green spaces are well maintained, how often your bins are collected, whether public transport is affordable and frequent, whether you have access to decent leisure facilities and many other aspects of local policy which help determine our quality of life. All of us have a stake in the fight for our environment and we all need to work hard to protect it.

I joined the Green Party because it is the only party to recognise the threat climate change poses and the only party with the answers. We recognise that the environment is not separate from economics or social justice but is interlinked with them. In order to truly benefit local communities we must invest in our environment and services, recognising them as a public good with long term benefits that cannot be ignored.

Green Party councillors across the country are working hard to improve their local services and their local environments. I want to become one of them. We need to shake up Cardiff Council.

As councillor, I would:

  • Campaign for the return of recycling facilities to Cardiff North. It was a huge mistake of the Labour council to shut down the Wedal Road recycling centre, forcing residents to travel even further. Llanishen residents need a recycling centre that is accessible and within easy reach.
  • Fight to protect our green spaces from development. All residents should have easy access to well-maintained parks, playing fields and green spaces.
  • Demand that Cardiff Council work to reduce air pollution, particularly around schools and leisure facilities.
  • Work to make public transport cheaper and more accessible to all in Llanishen and Thornhill. Bus travel should ideally be free to all to reduce reliability on cars. I support the planned South Wales Metro, providing that Llanishen and Thornhill residents are provided for by it.
  • Push for the rejuvenation of empty shops by campaigning for Cardiff Council to introduce social business rates and deferred rate schemes to independent businesses. Vibrant high streets should be seen primarily as a public good, not as a money-making exercise.
  • Support methods to increase and improve active travel infrastructure in Llanishen. Walkers and cyclists need improved routes. Roads must be made safer through proper repair of potholes.
  • Push for more investment in our public services and work hard to improve them. I oppose outsourcing of public services and believe outsourced services should be brought back in-house.
  • Call for more affordable and social housing across Cardiff. Councils should bring empty homes back into the housing market. All new homes should be built to the strongest environmental standards. I would support the introduction of a scheme to help homeowners retrofit existing homes with solar panels.
  • Campaign with Green Party councillors across the country for an end to the Tory Government’s slashing of council budgets across the UK. With an ageing population and the effects of climate change biting, councils should not be forced to cut provision for local services which many people rely on to get by. We need an end to short-termist slash and burn attitudes to council budgets.

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.

Chris Haines – 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.

Chris Haines

Chris Haines

Plaid Cymru

@chrisplaidcymru

I’m standing for Plaid Cymru in the Llanishen and Thornhill by-election on Thursday, November 21 because I want to make a tangible difference to people’s daily lives.

An award-winning journalist, I worked for newspapers in south Wales for more than 10 years, leading public interest campaigns, raising money for charity, exposing crime and corruption, fighting cuts to schools and hospitals, and holding public bodies to account. Nowadays, I’m acting director of a business in Cardiff Bay, which monitors policy developments in Wales and Westminster.

As with journalism, you should not enter politics for personal gain, so if elected I will use the £13,000-a-year allowance to set up a community fund to support good causes in the ward.

Having lived in the area for 30 years, like many, I’m fed up with the status quo of Labour and the Tories – and I firmly believe that Cardiff can do so much better.

Labour has a lamentable record in office since taking control of the council in 2012 and in leading the Welsh Government over the past 20 years. Take transport alone:

  • bus routes have been slashed and the city has been left without a bus station for years;
  • elderly and disabled people have faced trouble renewing concessionary passes;
  • thousands of people are sharing a handful of Nextbikes and the bike-sharing app’s broken;
  • and Transport for Wales has made a stuttering start, with trains often cancelled, late or overcrowded.

Now, Labour proposes increasing the age at which people can get a free bus pass by eight years, which would fuel growing problems with loneliness and isolation among older people.

WalesOnline has also reported that there is “renewed hope” for a new motorway interchange at Thornhill, which would increase congestion on Thornhill Road – already one of the city’s worst pinchpoints. Junction 31 would also cost millions, damage the environment, and harm public health through increased emissions.

And all the above at a time when we need to encourage a shift from cars to public transport and active travel.

Plaid Cymru offers a radical alternative in this election. We will:

  • fight for better public transport links in the north of the city;
  • campaign against any plans for junction 31 on the M4 at Thornhill;
  • promote active travel by drastically increasing the availability of shared bikes;
  • call for jobs closer to where people live rather than centralised in the city centre;
  • oppose cuts to local authority education budgets amid a school funding crisis;
  • make local people’s voices heard on planning issues, particularly around new housing;
  • and protect the greenbelt, one of the jewels in Cardiff’s crown, from any development.

If you agree with our vision for a better Cardiff, vote for Plaid on Thursday, November 21.

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.

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