Category: Local Elections

Sioned Treharne: Plaid Cymru – Gabalfa

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.


Sioned Treharne

Name – Sioned Treharne
Party – Plaid Cymru
Ward – Gabalfa
Website
Twitter  – @GabalfaVoice
Facebook – GabalfaVoice
How can people get in touch with you? – gabalfavoice@gmail.com

About You

Tell us about yourself

Born and raised in Cardiff, I have lived here for 24 out of the 25 years I have been on this planet! My alma mater was Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf in Llandaff North, and I went on to study Welsh and History at Cardiff University before completing a Masters degree in Modern British and European History at Jesus College, Oxford. I have been living in Gabalfa for two years, and I work as a Welsh-medium editorial officer at WJEC CBAC on Western Avenue. I recently became Co-chair of Plaid Ifanc, the youth wing of Plaid Cymru, which has made huge strides as a movement over the past 18 months. The importance of political education cannot be overstated, and Plaid Ifanc has been a vessel of political activism among young people in Wales in recent years. On those rare occasions when campaigning/activism don’t swallow my free time (…!), I’ll be found in one of the fine establishments on Whitchurch Road, either enjoying a coffee, a (vegetarian) burger or a devilish cocktail.

Cefais fy ngeni a’m magu yng Nghaerdydd, a heblaw am fyw i ffwrdd am flwyddyn pan oeddwn yn y coleg, rwyf wedi byw yma ar hyd fy oes. Derbyniais fy addysg yn Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf yn Ystum Taf, a chefais radd mewn Cymraeg a Hanes o Brifysgol Caerdydd cyn cwblhau gradd Meistr yn Hanes Modern Prydain ac Ewrop yng Ngoleg Iesu, Rhydychen. Rwyf wedi byw yn Gabalfa ers dwy flynedd, ac rwy’n gweithio fel swyddog golygyddol cyfrwng Cymraeg yn CBAC, Rhodfa’r Gorllewin. Yn ddiweddar cefais fy ethol yn un o Gyd-gadeiryddion Plaid Ifanc, mudiad ieuenctid Plaid Cymru, sydd wedi gwneud cynnydd aruthrol dros y 18 mis diwethaf. Mae addysg wleidyddol yn hollbwysig, ac mae Plaid Ifanc wedi bod yn flaengar yn annog ei aelodau i ymgyrchu dros y blynyddoedd diweddar. Pan nad wyf yn ymgyrchu neu mewn rhyw ddigwyddiad gwleidyddol neu’i gilydd, byddwch yn dod o hyd i mi yn un o siopau/caffis Whitchurch Road, yn mwynhau coffi, byrgyr (llysieuol…!) neu goctêl drwg…!

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

Wedal Road recycling centre: given its proximity to the ward, it’s little wonder concerns over its future have been at the forefront of residents’ minds during this election campaign. My colleague, Gareth Holden, called in the initial decision by the Labour council to close the site in August 2015 and halted its closure. However, its future remains uncertain and residents across the ward have been vocal in their opposition to the proposed closure. Fly-tipping is already an issue on non-gated lanes; the number of instances would increase exponentially if the Wedal Road site were to close.

Roads are always high up on the agenda with residents on the doorstep. Traffic, congestion, speed awareness, lack of parking spaces, signage and public transport provision are all issues that require addressing after 4 May. We’ve spoken to a great many people who support the idea of implementing a 20mph scheme in the area – the Gabalfa Plaid team has pledged to prioritise the rollout of the scheme in the ward as soon as possible. People are understandably frustrated at the lack of parking spaces in the area, and while our streets were not designed to accommodate the number of cars on our roads, the situation in Gabalfa is dire. More could be done to alleviate parking problems for residents, and improving public transport services in the area would go a long way to reduce the volume of traffic on our streets.

Canolfan ailgylchu Wedal Road: oherwydd bod y safle hwn mor agos i’r ward, nid yw’n syndod bod pobl yn pryderu am ei ddyfodol, ac mae’r pryderon hyn wedi bod yn amlwg yn ystod yr ymgyrch. Bu Gareth Holden, fy nghyd-weithiwr, yn greiddiol i’r ymdrech i atal y cyngor Llafur rhag cau y safle nôl ym mis Awst 2015. Fodd bynnag, mae dyfodol y ganolfan ailgylchu yn ansicr unwaith eto, ac mae trigolion yr ardal wedi lleisio eu gwrthwynebiad i’r cynlluniau i’w chau. Mae tipio anghyfreithlon eisoes yn broblem ar hyd lonydd heb gatiau; byddai cynnydd mawr yn nifer yr achosion o dipio anghyfreithlon pe bai safle Wedal Road yn cau.

Mae ffyrdd bob amser yn uchel ar yr agenda gyda thrigolion ar garreg yr aelwyd. Mae traffig, tagfeydd, ymwybyddiaeth o gyflymder, diffyg lleoedd parcio a darpariaeth trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus i gyd yn broblemau y bydd angen mynd i’r afael â nhw ar ôl 4 Mai. Rydym wedi siarad â nifer fawr o bobl sy’n cefnogi’r syniad o weithredu cynllun 20mya yn yr ardal – mae tîm Gabalfa Plaid wedi addo y bydd yn rhoi blaenoriaeth i gynllun o’r fath. Mae pobl yn rhwystredig nad oes digon o leoedd parcio ar gael yn ardal, ac er nad yw’n ffyrdd wedi’u dylunio i ymdopi â nifer y ceir sy’n teithio arnynt, mae’r sefyllfa yn Gabalfa yn hunllefus. Gallai problemau parcio trigolion gael eu lleihau, a byddai buddsoddi mewn mwy o ddarpariaeth trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus yn yr ardal yn gwneud cryn dipyn i wella’r sefyllfa o ran tagfeydd yn lleol.

 

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

I was raised a stone’s throw from Roath Park Lake, so the Scott Memorial lighthouse is home for me. I have many fond memories of hurtling down the bank into the children’s play area on sledges in the snow; nursing aching thighs after an hour on a pedalo; and in more recent years, basking in post-exam sunshine with university friends. I’m also very fortunate in the view I have out of my office window, overlooking Pontcanna Fields – it makes for a glorious sunrise in winter. I love spending a rainy afternoon in the galleries of the National Museum in Cathays Park, and when the weather improves I’m always up for a trip to St Fagans National Museum of History – I must’ve been a hundred times by now!

Cefais my magu dafliad carreg i ffwrdd o lyn Parc y Rhath, felly Cofeb Scott yw ‘adref’ i mi. Mae gennyf atgofion melys o rasio lawr y bryn i mewn i’r maes chwarae ar sled yn yr eira; coesau wedi blino ar ôl treulio awr ar y pedalo; a mwynhau’r heulwen gyda fy ffrindiau prifysgol ar ôl gorffen yr arholiadau. Rwy’n ffodus iawn o’r olygfa sydd gennyf allan o’r ffenestr yn y gwaith – yn edrych dros gaeau Pontcanna. Rwyf wrth fy modd yn crwydro orielau’r Amgueddfa Genedlaethol ym Mharc Cathays ar brynhawn glawog, a phan fydd y tywydd yn braf rwyf bob amser ar dân i fynd am dro i Sain Ffagan, Amgueddfa Werin Cymru – rwyf wedi bod yno rhyw 100 o weithiau erbyn hyn, mae’n rhaid!

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

I was struck by a recent conversation with one resident on Llantarnam Road. She said, in all sincerity, “I don’t really understand politics.” However, she had said enough within our five-minute conversation to demonstrate she had a firm grasp of the issues affecting people in the area. There’s a widespread, fundamental distrust of ‘politics’ despite the fact that politics is unavoidable in our daily lives. Local activists need to communicate a message on the doorstep, namely that political engagement need only mean getting involved with local community groups or exercising your democratic right by voting. ‘Politics’ isn’t just the preserve of elected ministers and members; it’s for all of us to become active participants in our democratic processes. In this respect, encouraging political education among young people is key.

Gwaeth un sgwrs ddiweddar argraff arnaf. Roeddwn yn siarad â menyw ar Llantarnam Road a dywedodd, yn gwbl ddidwyll, “I don’t really understand politics.” Fodd bynnag, roedd hi wedi dweud digon yn ystod ein sgwrs fer i ddangos fod ganddi ddealltwriaeth gadarn o’r problemau sy’n wynebu’r trigolion yn yr ardal. Mae pobl yn ddrwgdybus o ‘wleidyddiaeth’ yn waelodol, er bod gwleidyddiaeth yn rhan annatod o’n bywydau o ddydd i ddydd. Mae angen i ymgyrchwyr lleol gyfathrebu neges ar garreg yr aelwyd; hynny yw, mai ymwneud â gwleidyddiaeth, yn syml, yw mynychu grwpiau cymunedol neu fynd i bleidleisio. Nid rhywbeth sy’n perthyn i weinidogion ac aelodau seneddol yn unig yw ‘gwleidyddiaeth’; mae’n ddyletswydd arnom, bob un, i gymryd rhan yn ein prosesau democrataidd. Yn hyn o beth, mae annog addysg wleidyddol ymhlith ein pobl ifanc yn allweddol.

What’s your favourite film?

The History Boys.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Improving roads – be it by addressing parking problems or reviewing the condition of road surfaces – would be high up on the agenda. Implementing a 20mph scheme in the area would also go a long way in increasing speed awareness and improving road safety in the area, and would therefore be a priority of mine. Even after significant changes, getting on to Gabalfa roundabout from Whitchurch Road remains difficult, so I would lobby for the current traffic-flow system to be revisited and reviewed.

Byddai gwella ffyrdd – boed drwy fynd i’r afael â phroblemau parcio neu drwy edrych ar gyflwr arwyneb y ffyrdd – yn uchel ar yr agenda. Byddai gweithredu cynllun 20mya hefyd yn gwneud gwahaniaeth o ran cynyddu ymwybyddiaeth o gyflymder a gwella diolgelwch ar ffyrdd yn yr ardal. Byddai cynllun o’r fath, felly, yn un o’m blaenoriaethau. Er bod newidiadau mawr wedi’u gwneud eisoes, mae mynd ymlaen i gyffordd Gabalfa yn anodd iawn o hyd, felly byddwn i’n ymgyrchu i sicrhau bod y system llif traffig bresennol yn cael ei hadolygu.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

Technology has facilitated easy communication at all hours of the day, but nothing beats face-to-face contact! Continued door-knocking, attendance at PACT meetings, regular surgeries and participation in community groups would ensure I keep my finger on the pulse with regards to issues faces by residents. I never have more than 3 unread emails in my inbox (!!) so rest assured I’d keep on top of communications via email and social media. It’s not always easy for residents to keep up to date with the latest information from the council; I’d therefore aim to summarise the main issues in regular bulletins, to be posted through letterboxes across the ward.

Mae technoleg fodern yn golygu bod cyfathrebu lawer yn haws y dyddiau hyn, ond does dim yn well na siarad yn uniongyrchol â’n gilydd! Byddwn i’n sicrhau fy mod yn gwybod am brif broblemau trigolion drwy barhau i gnocio drysau, mynychu cyfarfodydd PACT, cynnal cymorthfeydd rheolaidd a chymryd rhan mewn grwpiau cymunedol. Dim ond 3 neges e-bost heb ei darllen sydd gennyf yn fy mewnflwch ar unrhyw un adeg (!!) felly byddwn i’n sicr yn gallu cadw cofnod o’r holl gyfathrebiadau byddwn i’n eu derbyn dros e-bost neu ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol. Nid yw bob amser yn hawdd i drigolion gael gwybod am y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf o’r cyngor; byddwn i felly yn anelu i grynhoi’r prif faterion mewn bwletinau rheolaidd, i’w dosbarthu drwy flychau post ar draws y ward.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

There has been a noticeable increase in homelessness in Cardiff over the past few years. I would certainly be eager to work with charities and organisations, and to participate in projects that help homeless people and that work to create opportunities to keep people off the streets. I would also like to see Cardiff lead the way by being an eco-friendly, green and sustainable city. I believe political education is very important, and would therefore like to get involved with initiatives designed to increase political awareness and engagement.

Rydym wedi gweld cynnydd mawr mewn digartrefedd yng Nghaerdydd dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf. Byddwn i felly yn awyddus i weithio ar y cyd ag elusennau a sefydliadau, ac i gymryd rhan mewn projectau sy’n cynorthwyo pobl ddigartref ac sy’n gweithio i greu cyfleoedd i sicrhau nad yw pobl yn gorfod byw ar y stryd. Rwyf hefyd yn awyddus bod Caerdydd yn arwain y ffordd drwy fod yn ddinas sy’n eco-gyfeillgar, gwyrdd a chynaliadwy. Rwy’n credu bod addysg wleidyddol yn hynod o bwysig, felly hoffwn ymwneud â phrojectau sy’n cynyddu ymwybyddiaeth wleidyddol ymhlith ein trigolion.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Unless Cardiff’s infrastructure sees drastic improvement over the next few years, I’m afraid it could miss out on fantastic opportunities to host important events due to the city’s inability to cope with large numbers of visitors. Our roads are congested and pollution is an increasing problem. If Cardiff is to become a clean, eco-friendly city, improvements must be made to our public transport system. I would also like to see the Welsh language become more visible within our capital city. Cardiff must lead the way and promote the Welsh language wherever possible. As the Welsh proverb goes, “Nid da lle gellir gwell”!

Os nad oes gwelliant arwyddocaol yn isadeiledd Caerdydd dros y blynyddoedd nesaf, rwy’n pryderu y gallai’r ddinas golli cyfleoedd i gynnal digwyddiadau pwysig gan nad oes ganddi’r gallu i ymdopi â nifer mawr o ymwelwyr. Mae tagfeydd ar ein ffyrdd ac mae problem llygredd yn gwaethygu. Os yw Caerdydd yn mynd i wireddu ei photensial fel dinas lân ac eco-gyfeillgar, rhaid i system trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus y ddinas gael ei gwella ar fyrder. Byddwn i hefyd yn hoffi gweld mwy o Gymraeg ar hyd a lled y ddinas. Rhaid i Gaerdydd, y brifddinas, fod yn flaengar o ran hyrwyddo’r iaith Gymraeg a chymryd pob cyfle i wneud hynny. Nid da lle gellir gwell!

Any final comments?

Elections tend to focus on the negative aspects and problems within a community. I’d like to stress, therefore, that I love living in Gabalfa. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of my neighbours over the past few months – it just goes to show how much you can learn about the different needs of different people within your community by means of a five-minute conversation. I’m aware that some residents may not be able to enjoy all that which Gabalfa as an area has to offer. I would therefore, as your councillor, do my best to ensure Gabalfa caters for the needs of all those who live and work here.

Mae etholiadau yn tueddu i ganolbwyntio ar yr agweddau negatif a’r problemau sydd gan gymuned. Hoffwn i bwysleisio, felly, fy mod i wrth fy modd yn byw yn Gabalfa. Rwyf wedi cael modd i fyw yn cwrdd â nifer o’m cymdogion dros y misoedd diwethaf – mae’n dangos, wir, faint gallwch chi ei ddysgu am amrywiol anghenion y bobl wahanol sy’n byw yn eich cymuned, a hynny o fewn sgwrs pum munud. Rwy’n ymwybodol nad yw pawb sy’n byw yn Gabalfa yn gallu cymryd mantais o’r hyn oll sydd gan yr ardal i’w gynnig. Byddwn i, fel eich cynghorydd, yn gwneud fy ngorau i sicrhau bod anghenion pawb sy’n byw ac yn gweithio yn Gabalfa yn cael eu hystyried a’u diwallu.

David Walker: Conservatives – Lisvane

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.


Name – David Walker
Party – Conservatives
Ward – Lisvane
Website – cardiffnorthconservatives.com
Twitter  –
Facebook
How can people get in touch with you? – Email or phone.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Swansea in a working class family. I was fortunate to be the first in my family to receive a University education. I studied modern languages and spent time working in France.

I am a family man who came to politics late in my career. My three children now adults live some distance away so visits become special occasions, which makes them something my wife and I look forward to.

My work life has always focused on people, their education, personal development, working relationships, potential and optimising all of these areas.

I spent the first half of my career working towards a senior management role where I was able to influence the company culture. Later I was able to use this experience in providing advice to other organisations in areas such as leadership, teamwork, change and performance improvement through people.

Now my interests are mainly politics but when time allows, family life, walks with my wife Jan, travel, reading and sport fill time productively.

I suppose I could sum up my approach to the Council as feeling it could operate so much more effectively, use its excellent people much better, spend money more wisely on front line needs especially education. It is a sleeping giant that needs awakening, it has the potential to be a great organisation responsive to its customers, doing things efficiently What it needs is a catalyst to make things move in the right direction. I believe I could make that difference alongside colleagues.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

The Local Development Plan proposes 4500 houses on Lisvane’s doorstep and that seems to me hugely out of proportion to what the area and its residents want and could cope with. Traffic heading to Cardiff Gate and the M4 use the village as a shortcut often described as a ‘rat run’. Speed of traffic and wear and tear on roads take their toll.

We are fortunate to enjoy a beautiful landscape which needs protection and maintenance.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

The whole city centre, Principality Stadium experience is second to none, as visitors testify. But where do I spend much of my leisure time? In Parc Cefn Onn which has an unique ambience and history.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

Engage at an early age with young people in school, not on national political issues but on local matters which mean a lot to young people and then take it wider as they develop through secondary school. Skills such as public speaking and debating are key to success in other areas of life and work.

What’s your favourite film?

Singing In The Rain.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Challenging and amending the LDP would make a huge impact. Otherwise the graft of day to day representation, that is getting things fixed! Also anticipating issues before they arise and cause problems.

Finding funds to improve local buildings would be greatly welcomed.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I already include a report of my activities every month in the Lisvane Link which is read by 80% of local residents. For political issues I produce and deliver local newsletters.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

LDP, City Deal, Central Station, rebuild relationship with business community, educational improvement, improvements in roads and public transport. In fact virtually everything.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Cardiff as a city is a great place to live and work. The problem is what some people want to do to it which would spoil its great city spirit and culture. My previous comments include examples.

Any final comments?

Individuals can make a difference and the right kid of city leadership can add so much value and contribute greatly to quality of life. I love Cardiff and if I can make a difference in keeping its unique features safe or enhanced then; what could be more rewarding? My total commitment is a given.

Thomas Parkhill: Conservatives – Llanishen

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.


Thomas Parkhill

Name – Thomas Parkhill
Party – Conservatives
Ward – Llanishen
Website
Twitter  – @tomparkhill
Facebook – LlanishenThornhill
How can people get in touch with you? – Twitter, Facebook, info@llanishen.wales.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I work for biotechnology company, as a salesperson and over the years have a developed a keen interest in science and technology. I believe a good science education is critically important for young people’s future prospects.

I have also helped to run a successful small business for a number of years, which has always driven me to not only to provide value for money, but to challenge others to do the same.

To relax I listen to a wide variety of music or watch sport (football, rugby or cricket mainly) in the local pub with a pint of real ale.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

Traffic and parking issues are the most widespread across the ward, whether it is Fishguard Road and Everest Avenue being used as rat-runs, the needless road-narrowings on Heol Hir causing congestion or problem parking on Ashbourn Way. This is already a huge concern for many residents and I am worried this will only get worse as the LDP is completed. Potholes are also mentioned on practically every doorstop, I want a different approach to the rag-tag patching we have seen over the last few years, with proper road resurfacing.

In addition I am concerned regarding the lack of maintenance of the green spaces, there are multiple footpaths and lanes that are overgrown, particularly near the Pendragon pub.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Sophia Gardens, specifically the SWALEC stadium, because I am huge fan of cricket and if I had the time I would happily spend days of my time there watching all forms of the game.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

I think the last couple of years have shown in politics with Scottish Referendum, EU referendum and the clear choice between chaos and competence in the upcoming elections, I think engagement is at its highest in my lifetime. Having lived in Scotland during the referendum campaign I do think we can take lessons from the engagement of young people. Particularly the empowerment to lowering the voting age to 16. I personally think that if someone is able to pay tax, as you are at 16 then you are entitled to a view on how it is spent.

What’s your favourite film?

La Confidential (or any film noir).

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

  • We will remove the Heol Hir road narrowings, to alleviate congestion.
  • We will ensure more parking enforcement occurs in problem spots in Llanishen.
  • We will ensure the council has an effective plan for the maintenance of our parks and green spaces.
  • We will set up a local taskforce of community volunteers to conduct regular litter-picks.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

We will communicate with our residents through newsletters delivered to the door, through our Facebook page and by speaking face to face at surgeries or by knocking on doors.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

The planned closure of Wedal road must be stopped, as the north of Cardiff needs a recycling centre of its own. The distance and time it would take to reach the other sites will mean an increase in fly-tipping, which blights our community.

I would also like to speak up regarding the local development plan, as there needs to be a better plan for the infrastructure to accommodate the additional homes, particularly regarding transport infrastructure.

Finally I think the capital of Wales deserves better value for money than the inflation busting rises in council tax, which have been inflicted upon us in recent years.

I am also keen to see the bus station fiasco resolved, I find it astonishing and troubling that the current administration did not have funds in place to build a new bus station before the old one was demolished.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

I think that Cardiff is a lively and exciting city that I am proud to call home. However it is hampered by poor transport infrastructure, if there was one thing I could change, it would be the train services, I think Cardiff (and the surrounding towns) would benefit greatly from an integrated, modern and frequent metro service.

Any final comments?

If you would like a common sense approach to running the city with a focus on giving residents value for money. Vote for all four Conservative candidates on 4th of May.

Steven Bowden: Independent – Heath

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.


Steve Bowden

Name – Steven Bowden
Party – Independent
Ward – Heath
Website – heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk
Twitter  – @SteveBowden10
Facebook – N/A
How can people get in touch with you? – Twitter, bowden.steve@gmail.com, website, face to face.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I am 62 years old and a Cardiff boy. University in Liverpool then worked in London for 6 years before returning to Wales. I have lived in Birchgrove since 1985. My 2 sons both went to school at Ton yr Ywen and Whitchurch schools. I was involved in fund raising for the Friends of Ton yr Ywen and the local Cub/Scout group. I was a governor at Ton yr Ywen School.

I was a hospital pharmacist for 35 years before retiring. I’m a season ticket holder at the Blues and a vinyl record collector. I have been engaged in politics since 1985 and believe strongly in electoral reform.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

As we have two of the major arterial roads coming into Cardiff through our Ward, traffic and congestion is a major issue. Linked to this is the air pollution associated with congestion. Well-resourced Park and Ride facilities need to be developed and promoted so that commuters will use them.

The Council, University Hospital and the Assembly need to co-operate to find solutions to the problems associated with parking. It must be recognised that more on-site provision is needed and vastly improved public transport is required now. We cannot wait for the “Metro” to be developed.

Our parks and green spaces need protection and funding but, as they are not a statutory requirement, then new ways of funding will need to be explored.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

One of my favourite places is the Wenallt – I love the view over Cardiff and have many happy childhood memories.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

Needs to be taught in school. Not as an examinable subject but to demonstrate how the system works. At present many adults are in the dark about the mechanics of elections, canvassing etc, so start early and educate the younger generation who need to vote in their own interests.

What’s your favourite film?

Depends on my mood. Drama- Usual Suspects. Humour- A Private Function.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

As we have two of the major arterial roads coming into Cardiff through our Ward, traffic and congestion is a major issue. Linked to this is the air pollution associated with congestion. Well-resourced Park and Ride facilities need to be developed and promoted so that commuters will use them.

The Council, University Hospital and the Assembly need to co-operate to find solutions to the problems associated with parking. It must be recognised that more on-site provision is needed and vastly improved public transport is required now. We cannot wait for the “Metro” to be developed.

Our parks and green spaces need protection and funding but, as they are not a statutory requirement, then new ways of funding will need to be explored.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

Already have a website at www.heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk. I would hold regular surgeries and continue to keep residents informed through local leaflets. I am on Twitter too. As a local resident I’m often out and about in the ward so can be approached face to face.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

Transport and environment. There is a desperate need to prevent gridlock; discourage rat- running; improve public transport; and promote walking and cycling. This is vital to improve air quality and reduce pollution.

The road network. It is barely coping now but if the current LDP is followed without a massive improvement in public transport before the development takes place, I feel it will become gridlocked. The South Wales Metro needs more investment if it is going to succeed.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

The things I would change are firstly the bus station plan. I do not believe the current model will work as an efficient interchange in normal circumstances, never mind on big event days like the six nations games.

Secondly, as an occasional attender at Clwb Ifor Bach I would like to amend any planning requirements that effectively force establishments to close because of new developments. The situation on Womanby St. is deeply disturbing and venues must be supported.

Any final comments?

I have come to appreciate that the role of a councillor is not just about the efficient running of the city but importantly about representing and helping individuals. Often people with a problem approach their local councillor first when they need to be accessing their AM or MP , but as a first point of contact we have a role in guiding them to the right person.

Therefore being local and accessible is very important.

Joy Coughlan: Labour – Gabalfa

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.


Joy Coughlan

Name – Joy Coughlan
Party – Labour
Ward – Gabalfa
Website
Twitter  –
Facebook – GabalfaGydaiGilydd
How can people get in touch with you? – Facebook or joyamycoughlan@gmail.com.

About You

Tell us about yourself

Originally born in Dublin Ireland, I moved to England in my late teens, then settled in Wales and have lived here happily for 10 years. Wales has been extremely welcoming to me and I’m very pleased I found it as a home. People tell me that what they love about Ireland is the friendliness, but I have found the exact same here, tied in with a wonderful cultural heritage, open-mindedness and appreciation for the national language.

My background is proudly working-class and I have had a variety of jobs in my life, which have enriched my experience in different ways. My first one was holding a sign pointing to a clothing store for hours on end when I was a teenager. I like to think this helped my patience! I found my niche in support work, as it allows you to help others help themselves. It also gives the opportunity to use the experience of any struggles you have had in your life as empathy for others hardships, therefore turning a negative to a positive. My favourite quote has always been “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Since I was a kid, I’ve loved animals and been concerned about their welfare. My poor mother was constantly besieged by random animals I brought home, like baby birds who had fallen out of nests or creatures who I was adamant needed nursing to health. Luckily she was an animal lover too and put up with me! To this day, a home doesn’t seem like a proper home to me unless I have a furry companion of some variety.

As a member of the LGBT community, a woman, and a human being, I’m passionate about injustice and equalities, having had involvement in various ways since my teens. It is important to me that I do not only promote equality that applies to me, but above all amplify the voices of other marginalised groups, such as the Black and Minority Ethnic communities.

To relax, I like to spend time with animals, read, write poetry, go to the theatre, cinema or gigs. Thankfully there are no shortage of things to get up to in Cardiff!

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

It very much depends on where you are in Gabalfa, but general themes tend to circle around fly-tipping, road repair, parking and speeding. In addition there is plenty of individual case-work for us to get stuck into!

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

The Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. It is a beautifully imposing building that holds so much magic inside for the pupils trouping in and out of there daily. Taking a break on the couches there frequently means getting caught up in free performances. Brilliant example of the thriving and accessible arts culture here.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

Firstly I believe the voting age should be lowered. Long term decisions are being made that will affect generations and it seems only fair to me that they get a say.

Secondly I feel that a more diverse range of people need to be encouraged to be involved. Especially at higher levels, it can be thought of as something only a certain type of person with a certain background can be influential and people think it would not be possible for them to be that voice. But communities need voices from those communities, with their backgrounds, speaking for them. The bubble needs squashing.

Lastly, I believe it puts people off to see their representatives aiming low blows, squabbling like children and being frankly very rude. Politics doesn’t need to be like that, if we all just want the best for our community and society, we can promote that and debate without going back to the worst of the schoolyard. So, I would suggest that honest, respectful and fair behaviour would help to engage more people to get involved.

What’s your favourite film?

As Good as It Gets.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Being a representative, to me, means listening to those who are directly affected and basing your policies on what you hear, rather than the other way around, Therefore from the conversations I have had on the doorstep: I would campaign for a fair share of the budget for road improvements to be spent in Gabalfa. To help solve the parking issues I would communicate with residents and local businesses, seeking to ensure more residents parking where needed and considering any other possible solutions. In addition I would be active in and promote the Love Where You Live campaign, towards a cleaner and greener Gabalfa. As well as this, I would intend to be very involved in any issues residents wished assistance with on an individual casework level.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

Engaging with the community I would be representing is very important to me. I would intend to hold regular surgeries, street stalls and door knock residents. In addition I would communicate through newsletters, social media, phone and email.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

The Love Where You Live campaign is one which I feel is important. I feel it brings communities together to solve issues such as littering and also puts pressure on those who affect the city in this way to think about what they are doing.

I would also be vocal on caring for our most vulnerable. Cardiff has a big heart and that can be reflected in our policies going forward.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

I would wish to further improve public transport and cycle routes, as I feel that not only will this make Cardiff an even greener city, it would also help with traffic congestion.

Any final comments?

It would be an honour to represent my neighbours in Gabalfa. I would promise to listen to you and work hard, respectfully and honestly for our community.

Linda Morgan: Conservatives – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais

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.


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Name – Linda Morgan
Party – Conservatives
Ward – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais
Website – wandt2017.wales
Twitter  –
Facebook – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais 2017
How can people get in touch with you?lindamorgan@wandt2017.wales, Facebook.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I was born in Tongwynlais to Winston & Iris Griffiths where we can trace our family roots back several generations , I married my husband Barrie in St Michaels church in the village we now have 3 children and 6 grandchildren and I have lived most of my life in the village apart for 6 years in Whitchurch as a teenager.

My father Winston was a County councillor for Whitchurch and Tongwynlais for some 20 years and my son Jonathan was a member of The Welsh Assembly for 10 years. As a child I attended Tongwynlais Primary School and upon passing my eleven plus I then attended Caerphilly Girls Grammar school finally going on to The Welsh College of Music & Drama. I have always had a keen interest in politics and community work I have been a community Councillor in Tongwynlais from 1999 and I also served 2 terms as a County Councillor in 2004 to 2012 for Whitchurch and Tongwynlais where I sat on the children and young people’s scrutiny committee. I was also the Education spokesman during my term in office.

During my terms of office both myself and Mike Jones-Pritchard successfully put forward a Notice of Motion to save the music services department situated in Cardiff City. Unfortunately this department has now come under threat once more.

As a musician I am involved in a large amount of voluntary work in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais Primary schools. I am also involved in many other voluntary organisations in both villages. I am also the founder of The Castell Coch Choral Society which is now in its 40th year and over this period we have raised many thousands of pounds for local charities. I am the Chair of the Tongwynlais Village Hall committee who are passionately committed to keeping the hall running, I organise both the Summer and Christmas fayres in the village. I am the secretary of The Ton Churches together, and a member of the TON Group.

I attend St Michaels Church in the village where I am leader of the Sunday School and deputy organist. In Whitchurch I am a member of the Whitchurch Community Centre where I was also part of the committee who successfully built the new centre. I chair the Whitchurch and Tongwynlais summer festival committee which was started by my late father Winston Griffiths.

I firmly believe all the organisations I am involved in are extremely important to the wellbeing of all aspects village life.

In my spare time my family, my music and walking are very special to me.

Finally I believe to be able to serve your community you must live in that community. I also agree with the saying if you want a job done give it to a busy person, and if elected I promise to do just that.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

The main issues that are continually raised are litter, traffic, potholes, parking, dog mess, a lack of facilities for the youth, the rat runs in Whitchurch and the overspill of parking from The University Hospital of Wales. The continual mess around Coryton interchange with road signs left to rot on the grass verges.

Obviously I am very interested in the new Velindre cancer centre and welcome all the benefits for our community.

The additional housing and the undoubted pressures it will have on local schools and the infrastructure as a whole.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Our villages are wonderful, I also enjoy the parklands, woods and musical centres in Cardiff centre and the Bay.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

To teach young people the difference between The Welsh Assembly and Westminster, to engage more with the general public in a similar way as some people can be confused as to which institution is in charge of a particular department. I think most politicians do the best they can but cannot always achieve everything. It’s very important to keep your promises as the electorate need to be able to trust you.

What’s your favourite film?

The Sound of Music and Ben Hur.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

If I am elected I will work to put right problems that are effecting the residents of both villages. To try and insure that funding is spent in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais. I believe the libraries are essential to the community in both Whitchurch and Tongwynlais and need to be maintained and sustained.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

By telephone, Facebook or e-mail. Hold regular surgeries and to continue with my voluntary groups to reach as many residents as possible, put out regular news letters and surveys.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

Improve standards of education where needed, keep our beautiful city clean to attract more visitors and to improve transport links.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

To invest more in local areas to ensure we all live in well kept and looked after areas.

Better transport links between Cardiff Centre and the Bay.

Any final comments?

I believe in people before party politics and will work for each and every resident in our villages and the city as a whole.

Jane Reece: Independent – Heath

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.


Jane Reece

Name – Jane Reece
Party – Independent
Ward – Heath
Website – heathandbirchgroveindependents.co.uk
Twitter  – @janemreece115
Facebook – Jane Reece
How can people get in touch with you? – Telephone, janemreece@gmail.com, Twitter and Facebook

About You

Tell us about yourself

I am a mother of three grown up children and a grandmother of two. My working background is in residential care working with older people. I have a severely disabled husband who is confined to a wheelchair and am a user of a mobility scooter myself, therefore I am passionate about all types of disability issues. I was a Cardiff County Councillor for nine years representing the residents of Cathays. I am also a trained adviser for the Citizens Advice Bureau and am also very passionate about any equality rights. I enjoy empowering people to stand up for their rights.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

Parking problems are a huge issue, many of the staff from The University Hospital of Wales park in any available space throughout the ward.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

My favourite place in Cardiff is Heath Park, I regularly walk my dog there, I find it very relaxing which also gives me time to think.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

I believe that too many people are extremely fed up with party politics, therefore do not see the point in voting. I feel that all parties should be getting together to encourage the public to vote, but I am afraid this will not happen until the fighting between different parties stops and all parties work for the benefit of the people.

What’s your favourite film?

Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, I enjoy period dramas.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Campaign for more Park and Ride facilities which would certainly help cut down the parking problems within the ward.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

The most important part of engaging with residents is to listen to them and act on their behalf for what they want.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

I would like to get involved to improve the lack of services for keeping our streets clean, fly tipping etc. and the many changes needed to help disabled and people with mobility issues to enable them to get around easily and safely.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

I have lived in Cardiff all my life and am very proud of our City, I would like to see an improvement in accessibility for all.

Any final comments?

Non submitted (Editor)

Lawrence Gwynn: UKIP – Llanishen

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.


Lawrence Gwynn

Name – Lawrence Gwynn
Party – UKIP
Ward – Llanishen
Website – ukipcymru.wales
Twitter  –
Facebook
How can people get in touch with you? – lawrenceukip@gmail.com

About You

Tell us about yourself

I was born in Cardiff, and have lived in Llanishen all my life, attending Coed Glas Primary and Llanishen High Schools.

I have always been concerned about local issues that affect our day to day lives, and I have always kept a close watch on what our elected councillors are doing.

Residents should be able to express their opinions on all the services they receive, and your councillors should be answerable to the good people of Llanishen and Thornhill. I will ensure that I am always available as your local councillor.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

The state of some of our roads is a disgrace. The potholes are a real nuisance for drivers and cyclists. The speed of the traffic through our narrow streets being used as cut-throughs is also a concern.

The continuing noise from Llanishen Park at night is an issue, and several residents have taken this up with me. Cars are entering the park at night playing loud music, so I believe it should be locked at night.

We also have a major problem in Llanishen and Thornhill with the amount of litter everywhere.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Roath Park. There’s something so calming and magical about it.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

It’s important to be open and honest with everyone. When an issue is brought to you by a resident, you have to follow it through and always keep the resident fully informed along the way.

What’s your favourite film?

The Wizard of Oz.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Among road improvements, we need to sort out potholes and rat-runs. I would also look into putting a mini roundabout at the junction of Station Road and Fidlas Road to ease congestion in Llanishen village.

I would also push to abolish paying a fee for removal of large household items; we already pay council tax for this. I would ensure car parking fees at Heath Hospital are fully abolished.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

By email, phone and I will hold regular surgeries at a local venue twice a week or when required. I will always be on hand.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

One of my passions is for more train stations to be opened around the City to take traffic off the already congested road network.

Stations should be opened in St Mellons, Trowbridge, and Ocean Park Industrial Estate. These areas could benefit immensely from this.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Cardiff is a vibrant and up and coming city. It’s a City that I love and cherish.

There’s not much I would really change, but we need to give everyone the same equal opportunity to prosper and enjoy life in our wonderful City.

Any final comments?

Non submitted (Editor)

Stephen Lake: Plaid Cymru – Rhiwbina

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.


Name – Stephen Lake
Party – Plaid Cymru
Ward – Rhiwbina
Website
Twitter  – @steffanllyn
Facebook – Plaid Cymru Gogledd Caerdydd / Cardiff North
How can people get in touch with you? – steffanllyn@gmail.com

About You

Tell us about yourself

I’m a software engineer who’s lived in Cardiff most of my life. I believe greater efforts are required to improve social justice, with a more equitable spread of wealth across regions, social classes and generations. I’m also very concerned at the degradation of our environment and would like to see more sustainable development given greater priority.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

Traffic congestion.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Bute Park: I cycle through it on my way to work and I love the way it changes through the seasons.

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

  1. A fairer voting system.
  2. A reduction in the voting age.
  3. Timely publication (on easily-accessible web sites) of the voting records of all publicly elected representatives; all financial dealings with external bodies; and all planning decisions.

What’s your favourite film?

Groundhog Day.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Protect green spaces by revoking and reforming the Local Development Plan; promote green, sustainable transport to reduce traffic congestion and pollution; improve transparency of council decision-making and financial dealings; ensure that recycling is made easier for all residents with local, accessible recycling centres.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I will publicise my activities via web site, Twitter feed and quarterly leaflets delivered to all electors in the ward.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

Traffic congestion and sustainable infrastructure; housing to reflect local needs; and environmental improvement.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

  1. Transparency of the way the council operates: too many questionable land deals and re-classifications have occurred under the present administration.
  2. Traffic congestion and pollution need to be tackled to improve everyone’s health and quality of life.
  3. The rise in homelessness in the city must be tackled by ensuring development is appropriate to local needs and not just private profit.

Any final comments?

Non submitted (Editor)

Mike Jones-Pritchard: Conservatives – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais

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.


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Name – Mike Jones-Pritchard
Party – Conservatives
Ward – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais
Website – wandt2017.wales
Twitter  – Not yet!
Facebook – whitchurchandtongwynlais2017
How can people get in touch with you? – Phone, MikeJonesPritchard@wandt2017.wales, Facebook – see web page for number.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I live in Tongwynlais with my wife Janine and we have three sons, all of whom attended Tongwynlais Primary and all of whom have now finished university. Born in Cardiff, I attended Heol Hir, (now Llanishen High) and Cardiff High, before going to University here. We moved to Tongwynlais in 1989 and I started an Architect’s Practice in Whitchurch in 1991, moving it to Tongwynlais in 2012.
I had the pleasure and honour to serve as one of Whitchurch and Tongwynlais’ local councillors from 2008 – 2012 and have been a Community Councillor in Tongwynlais since 1999. In an uncontested election, I have just been re-elected for another term.
I really enjoyed my time as a Cardiff councillor, serving on the Planning Committee, the Housing Appeals panel and others, while representing the ward, helping many residents and having an impact on Cardiff wide issues and initiatives. Linda Morgan and I had the only successful opposition motion in four years, where we succeeded in keeping the schools music service in existence. This service, which can benefit all children, is under threat again. In addition to my business, I enjoy working in the community and undertaking voluntary work. I have been the Chair of the governing bodies of both Coryton and Tongwynlais Primary Schools for a number of years. I am a leader in the 1st Whitchurch Scouts and I sing with, and am Chair of, Castell Coch Choral Society. In Whitchurch, I am Treasurer of the Community Centre and in Tongwynlais, I am a member of the choir in St Michael and All Angels Church, am on the committee of the Village Hall, and the TON group, and have helped organise the festivals in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais for many years.
For relaxation, (yes I do have some time left!) I enjoy time with my family, you might see me out running down the Taff or up to Nantgarw, or through the forest on one of the numerous paths in the area. I enjoy listening to music, usually Classic FM these days, reading, chatting with friends and a nice glass of red – but not all at the same time! With my family, I’ve also been in the Cardiff Scout and Guide Gangshow and Pantomime cast, virtually every year since 2008.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

The main issues raised are traffic, potholes, parking, dog mess and litter. The results of our ward wide survey showed the condition of the roads to be of the most concern with the retention of the Recycling Centre in Wedal Road and the library in Whitchurch, coming second and third. Better youth facilities and improved cycle routes also received support.

The high levels of traffic coming in and out of Cardiff on Junction 32 affects Tongwynlais and north Whitchurch and the parking demands of UHW at Heath Park cause problems for many residents in south Whitchurch. “Rat runs”, with drivers taking short cuts to avoid traffic, cause concern in many parts of the ward, along with high levels of traffic around schools at the start and close of the day, with a demand from many for more parking enforcement.

The new proposals for Velindre Cancer Centre, are generating interest, with differing opinions on the benefits and impacts that they will have on the northern meadows and Whitchurch. The site has had outline permission for housing for around 20 years with the plans now showing a new hospital instead. A major difference is a new access from junction 32, to reduce traffic in Whitchurch. With an outline application to be submitted in May, and a planned construction by 2022, this and the proposals for the rest of the site, including the listed Whitchurch Hospital buildings, is likely to be a major issue in coming years.

Other issues that may arise from additional housing here, and elsewhere, will be the pressure on local schools from the need for additional places, both Welsh and English medium, and the capacity of the roads to take any additional traffic.

With the LDP bringing thousands of new houses, the management of the additional traffic and the proposals for an integrated transport network, will concern many in the ward. We need to ensure that Whitchurch and Tongwynlais, do not suffer from even more traffic on the roads in the area.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Apart from home in Tongwynlais with family and friends, the City is just too wonderful to choose a single place. The tranquility and beauty of the parks and open spaces, one of the best shopping centres in Britain, with new buildings and old arcades, the fantastic civic centre with the university, civic buildings and castle, Llandaff Cathedral, the Bay with the barrage, Mermaid Quay and the Millennium Centre, in the centre, the New Theatre and St David’s Hall. I could go on!

What do you think should be done to improve engagement in politics?

Politics has gained a bad name, sometimes rightly, from people who should know better. However, individuals and the media treat politicians in a way that non politicians rarely get treated. They are an easy target and often portrayed negatively. We have an electorate of over 16000 and even if there were only 2, our views would probably be wrong half the time!

Avoiding answers, or lying, puts people off but interviewers with alternative lines of argument to catch them out, doesn’t help. We all change our minds but when a politician is persuaded to, it’s a U turn and criticised. More public debates with schools and local groups instead of soundbites might improve engagement.

There is a tendency to focus on those that shout loudest and where this was once from a soapbox, now, a petition of 100 on social media, from a population of 20,000, becomes a headline “Local residents oppose..” Some politicians then agree with those shouting and forget the other 19,900. The loudest are not always right and the quiet ones sometimes have the correct answer. That also applies to politicians. If politicians sought and listened to the views of the quiet ones, there would be more engagement and less “I don’t do politics.”

There need to be many changes, we need to educate, young and old, into how our democracy works. The politician is not there to do what every individual wants, but to represent them. It’s wrong to label individuals as the same because they’re from a particular party, they are people too and their opinions differ. If voters are listened to and understood, if their representative really does want to help and does care, they would engage more and want to use their vote.

What people expect from their representatives and what those representatives can actually do is different. Better understanding by politicians of what the electorate expect and, by electors, of what their representatives actually do for them and the limits of their powers, may be a start.

What’s your favourite film?

It’s a Wonderful Life.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Firstly I have to be elected and then, depending on the make up of the new council, whether I am in opposition or part of the ruling group, will have an impact on what I can do.

We have good schools but there is more that can be done to raise standards and I would seek to help all the schools in the ward to do that.

The city has thousands of miles of roads and footpaths that need maintaining and residents are very concerned at the deterioration of these. Money might be tight, but lack of spending now on maintaining roads and footpaths just leads to higher costs in the future and more problems now.

An integrated transport network that keeps through traffic away from residential areas and allows more commuters to choose public transport with roads that allow traffic to flow freely, at all but the busiest times, would reduce rat runs and pollution and improve safety.

I would seek more traffic enforcement officers, booking people for parking on yellow lines and outside schools, where the safety of children is paramount. I would also like to see more lollipop people, along with better home to school walking routes.

Litter is a concern and I would aim to see how local cleansing representatives could be placed back into the community, both keeping the areas tidy and acting as educators, and maybe even wardens, working with enforcement officers to reduce littering and illegal parking.

I would work to maintain a library provision in both Tongwynlais and Whitchurch and develop the libraries as local hubs for other council services as well as a base for the local PCSOs. There is no council hub in the ward for residents to access council services, the nearest, in Llandaff North, has only just opened with the rest all in the south of the city.

The ward is served well by the Taff Trail but cycling on our roads needs to be safer and that needs to be coordinated with the integrated transport plan. There are proposals for a 20mph limit in many residential areas of the city to be introduced by 2020 but they are all south of Gabalfa. What about the safety of our children and older residents? Surely, 20mph is fast enough on the street outside your house and given average speeds now to cross the city, a reduction to 20mph would make little difference in travelling times but would make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

As I and my colleagues live and work in the ward, many know us already and we can often be seen at local events and working in the community, where we would be happy to chat with residents.

I would also be available on the phone, by email, by Facebook and via a website, I would even try twitter! In addition, I would hold regular surgeries, and be available to meet local groups and schools, both to hear their views and to explain what a councillor can do, and does, for their communities and the wider city. I know from previous experience that it’s a lot more than attending a council meeting once a month. As part of the local Welsh Conservative team, I would distribute regular newsletters and carry out local surveys, where appropriate, both to inform and obtain views. The surveys could be door to door, by post or via social media on line.

What issues that affect the whole city would you like to get involved in?

There are so many but top of my list would be

  • The development of an truly integrated transport network.
  • Improving the standards of education throughout the city and seek ways to improve the abilities of children before they enter schools.
  • To seek to maintain the quality of our city centre for visitors, residents, sport, business and shopping.
  • Working with other agencies to help those in greatest need.
  • Working with Welsh Government to build Cardiff into an ever better capital.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

There are a tremendous amount of things in Cardiff that need to be preserved or enhanced, but change is a constant and some will go and be replaced with things that will initially get opposition but will come to be appreciated. Just because something is old and been here for a long time, does not mean that it is good and can’t be improved!

As a councillor we have a greater ability to direct and influence that change. I’d like to see the Bay and the City Centre linked. There is the potential of the Taff river taxi but why not a tram from the Castle to the Roald Dahl Plass, via Callaghan Square with the train and bus station. That will also need some filling in the gaps, the biggest of which might be Callaghan Square itself, but a tram link through it might help with this. It would serve commuters and local residents alike, leading to reduced car use and a reduction in pollution. Callaghan Square could be a fantastic public open space with virtually direct access to the train and bus station, serving commuters, shoppers, visitors and residents alike.

There are also quite a lot of small things that I would change, perhaps unimportant to some but noticed by others, such as keeping our main “gateways” into the city tidy and well tended. Making sure roadwork signs are removed when not used and also removing redundant road signs and posts.

I would also like to see a change in how play areas and our parks are financed. There is very little, or no, budget for works to the parks and play areas, unless it comes from a 106 planning agreement with developers. That’s not the way to do things!

Any final comments?

My personal view is that we should never start with “We can’t because …. “ We should always start with “How can we…?” and if you want to get things done, that’s the best way to start.

We in the UK are known for our tolerance, openness, fairness and friendliness (particularly in Wales, so I’m told by visitors). Recently, there has been a rise of populism along with considerable rhetoric and opposition to certain groups. I would like to see a city where politicians remember it’s not about party politics, or Westminster, or Cardiff Bay, or anywhere else. It’s about people, the people of Cardiff, wherever they live in the city and whatever their situation and it’s for the next council to ensure that Cardiff works for all of them. The first question they should ask is – How can we do this?

I would like to be asking that question, with my colleagues Linda, Mike and Tim, and whether or not we are is in your hands.