Tag: gabalfa

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.

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.

Dr Ashley Wood: Liberal Democrats – 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.


Ashley Wood

Name – Dr Ashley Wood
Party – Liberal Democrats
Ward – Gabalfa
Website – cardiffld.org.uk/gabalfa
Twitter  – @TeamGabalfa
Facebook – gabalfafocusteam
How can people get in touch with you? – ashleywood007@gmail.com

About You

Tell us about yourself

I have lived in Cardiff since 2003, moving here to study Optometry at Cardiff University. I’m now a qualified Optometrist, and since completing a PhD in Vision Science in 2011, have been employed as a lecturer at the University where I teach and undertake research into Age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss in the UK. In my spare time, I will often go for walks in the country or tend my vegetable patch and probably spend a little too much time watching DVD boxsets. I’m also a Cardiff RFC season ticket holder and try to make it to the Arms Park as often as I can.

I’ve had an interest in politics for many years with strong views on inequality in society, but it was the invasion of Iraq and the principled stance of the then leader Charles Kennedy that finally convinced me to join the Liberal Democrats. So when I moved to Mynachdy in 2008 it didn’t take long for my new local councillor, Ed Bridges, to encourage me to get involved with the work of the local Focus Team representing our community, and as they say the rest is history.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

Through living in Mynachdy myself and the many conversations with other residents over the years I’m aware of numerous issues affecting our area including traffic, the state of our roads and pavements, anti-social behaviour and bouts of car crime to name a few. But the three biggest current issue are probably the cleanliness of our area, availability of parking and local transport links.

In the last few years the cleanliness of our area has suffered from increased fly-tipping and rubbish in our streets and lanes. I feel strongly that changes made by the current council which includes introducing charges for bulky waste collections, reducing the size of the black bins and ending of regular lane sweeping, have all combined to make the problem worse. I’m greatly concerned by their plan to close Wedal Road, leaving the north of Cardiff without a tip that will accept general waste, that will no doubt increase fly-tipping and further inconvenience residents.

Local transport links in recent years, particularly around Mynachdy, have seen loss of bus services and diversions away from local stops, leaving many residents who rely on public transport in the area feeling marooned.

Whilst demand for parking is increasing everywhere, locally this is exacerbated by the proximity to the Heath Hospital and the current parking regulations which means residents increasing struggle to find spaces on their streets, especially in the evenings.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

I love walking and being outdoors, and we are lucky in Cardiff to have some wonderful places on our very doorstep such as Bute Park, Roath Park lake and the River Taff, but if I had to plump for a favourite it would be Fforest Fawr. In particular the views across Cardiff glimpsed through the tress on a sunny winters morning with Castell Coch in the foreground.

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

A fair electoral system is essential. I believe our current ‘first past the post’ system, with the winner takes all approach, leads many people to feel disconnected from their representatives who make decision on their behalf. Representatives in our system are too often felt to only represent those who voted for them and not the whole community, which leads to apathy and loss of faith in democracy. Proportional systems by contrast allow everyone’s vote to count, not just for those who chose the winner. I believe this will lead to a more diverse range of people elected, and make it more likely everyone in the community has a representative who shares their views and can express them when decisions are made.

To improve engagement in local government I believe in giving more power to councils and giving councils greater ability to choose what to spend money on or how they make decision. This will allow representatives greater freedom to pursue and act on the issues of importance to our communities.

These two measures I believe would make elected representatives more relevant to voter’s everyday lives and help make representatives elected more closely reflect the background and views of the people they represent.

What’s your favourite film?

Dr Strangelove.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

I want to improve the cleanliness of our area by reversing Labour’s plan to close Wedal Road tip, which will make problems with fly-tipping even worse, and support the reintroduction of free bulky waste collections. I will also lobby for roads to be swept the day after bin collections, when rubbish is most likely to be on the street, not the day before as currently happens.

I want to address local parking problems by getting the council to change the parking policy through increasing the proportion of streets given to resident parking bays on streets from 50% to 75%. I will also push for more visits by traffic enforcement at times when parking is in highest demand.

I will continue to campaign for a Mynachdy & Talybont train station as part of any Cardiff Metro project and pressure Cardiff Bus to bring services back to Mynachdy. I would also like to see improvements in the cycle infrastructure, but importantly, in a way that does not adversely affect pedestrians.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

As part of our Focus Team I’m very proud of our record on communicating with and engaging with local residents all year round, not just at elections like other parties. I’m a regular attendee at PACT meetings and will continue to be so. We distribute a regular Focus newsletter which keeps residents up to date with local issues, our campaigns and the work of the elected representatives. We also distribute letters when planning or licensing applications are made so residents can make their views known, and we regularly knock doors to hear resident views and to discuss local issues, campaigns and petitions. We also communicate via Twitter and Facebook accounts which we use to keep residents posted on the latest news in our area and what we’ve been up to.

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

I would like to improve transport links across Cardiff by ensuring the Cardiff Metro is delivered effectively with better rail links, more frequent services and importantly a station at Mynachdy & Talybont. I would also like to see the council improve the cycle infrastructure in the city, with an ambitious plan that actually links up cycle routes and provides safe, purpose built lanes wherever possible.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Over the last 20 years we have seen massive investment in Cardiff Bay, which is now one of the jewels in the crown of our city, but for many residents of Cardiff particularly in the north, travelling to the Bay involves crossing the congested city centre by car or with the public transport alternatives that often require transfers. Whilst I feel strongly that the city centre remains the main hub for civic and commercial activity in the city, we need to improve links to the Bay so all residents can visit the area and make use of the amenities.

Obviously, I would also like to see a change from a Labour to a Liberal Democrat run Cardiff Council!

Any final comments?

Like my colleague Rhys Taylor, I would like to thank My Cardiff North for carrying out this survey and making it easier for people to engage with the democratic process through this informative website.

Matt Hexter: 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.


Matt Hexter

Name – Matt Hexter
Party – Labour
Ward – Gabalfa
Website
Twitter  – @hexter101
Facebook – GabalfaGydaiGilydd
How can people get in touch with you?matthew.r.hexter@gmail.com, Twitter of Facebook message.

About You

Tell us about yourself

My name is Matt and I was born in Cardiff and have lived here my entire life minus a short stint studying law in London. I returned back to our incredible capital city two years to study my masters in devolution and now I work as a community liaison and caseworker in Newport. I live in Gabalfa, the place where my parents and Grandparents bought their first homes and hopefully I will do the same one day soon. I am a second language Welsh speaker and you will often see my striding round the streets of Gabalfa with my orange ‘Cymraeg’ badge. I live with my partner Chloe and we look forward to owning a home mainly so we can own a dog.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

In Gabalfa it all boils down to roads. Whether it is parking on them, how fast you can travel down them or the holes that appear in them, Gabalfa’s main issue is its roads. Though the pressures on the roads reveal other problems. There’s a housing crisis because of which children now have to spend longer living with their parents and end up taking extra car parking spaces which would otherwise go to other local residents as well as a £12 billion shortfall in funding for local authorities from the UK Government in road maintenance. Although the pressures show on the roads, the problems go much deeper.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Roath Park is a gorgeous place full of my childhood memories. Whether going on a rowing boat or getting chased by the geese, there is always something to do at Roath Park. The rose garden is one of my favourite places to just sit and think, and the wild gardens have a number of fantastic bridges for playing pooh sticks. It is a perfect place for children of all ages, even grown up ones.

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

Politics for me is in everything. It is the roads we drive on to the cost of a pint of milk. The burden is on politicians both at a local and national level to remind people of that, to make politics real to people, not an abstract theory or ideology but a way of changing people’s lives for the better. As such, it is important that people feel that their voices are being heard and that political parties deliver on their promises so as not to disenfranchise people. People feel all too often we are all the same, it is our responsibility to prove that we are different and that we can deliver. Only by making people see that politics makes a difference will they become engaged.

What’s your favourite film?

High Fidelity.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

The first thing I would do if elected is solve the parking nightmare for local residents. Previous administrations run by a range of political parties have not done sufficient work to ensure that if you pay for a parking permit, you get a place to park. If elected I would petition the Council’s leadership to ensure a higher percentage of parking spaces were reserved for residents. I would ensure this was done in consultation with local residents and businesses to ensure a fair deal for all who want to live and work in our wonderful area. Secondly I will fight to ensure that Gabalfa gets investment in its roads. Cardiff Labour is committed to spending £540,000 on road repairs and I will make the strongest case possible that Gabalfa deserves its fair share of that funding.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

If elected, I will ensure I have a number of channels of communication which remain open with all residents. I will ensure that I hold regular Councillor Surgeries all across the ward so that residents can come and discuss anything that may be affected them, I will make sure that these surgeries are advertised both online as well as via posters and notices across the ward. Additionally I will publicise my contact details and encourage communication via phone call or email or via Twitter or Facebook if the resident prefers. I will regularly attend PACT meetings with whoever is also elected as a Councillor for Gabalfa and ensure that residents are notified of when those meetings are set to take place.

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

I am eager to become involved in the Cardiff City Deal. The £1.2 Billion investment into our city is a fantastic opportunity to provide jobs and growth for our capital, but it will also bring its challenges alongside its benefits. I want to get involved with the city deal to ensure that it is not only the businesses of Cardiff who see the rewards of this deal, but its residents too. I want to see the investment extend beyond the city centre and the few wards that surround it, I want to see a deal that works for the whole of Cardiff and the whole of the City region.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

As it appears that changing the climate of a City is a bit beyond even a councillors powers, I think that the best thing we could do to improve Cardiff would be to improve the connectivity of our City. For example if you want to go from one part of the City to another on the train, more often than not, your only option would be go into the City centre and then back out again. Having a rail service (a publicly run one at that) which allowed you to cross the city would not only be incredibly helpful for commuters and families but would prevent the over centralisation that has often been a problem in Cardiff.

Any final comments?

There are many exciting opportunities and challenges facing our city in the next few years, I hope that you can trust me to be your representative through these changing times. I promise to be an effective communicator and advocate on your behalf, fighting for the best deal for us all.

I will always stick up for Gabalfa and for Cardiff because it is my home, it would be an honour to do so as your Councillor.

Rhys Taylor: Liberal Democrats – 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.


Rhys Taylor

Name – Rhys Taylor
Party – Liberal Democrats
Ward – Gabalfa
Website
Twitter  – @syhrtaylor
Facebook – gabalfafocusteam
How can people get in touch with you? – rhystaylor892@gmail.com

About You

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in Pontypridd before moving to Bangor to complete my undergraduate degree. I’ve since lived in Cardiff with my partner and our seven month old golden labrador retriever. I’m currently studying a part-time masters at Cardiff University and work as a Policy and Communications Officer. As a Welsh speaker I applied to become a School Governor at Ysgol Mynydd Bychan, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know teachers, parents, and the wider school community. I also been a Trustee for a University Students’ Union for three years and was previously President of my Students’ Union. I enjoy travelling and have been known to let Eurovision decide which city I visit. When I’m not busy in work, campaigning, out walking with the dog, or in a meeting, I enjoy a good book, a good film, and gin. Education was one of the issues that got me involved in politics in the first place. I’ve been involved in politics since I was around 16 years old after getting involved in a campaign to save my secondary school. I felt that young people weren’t being listened to and that decisions were being made without engaging with the people that they would affect. Since then I’ve been involved in campaigning to make it easier to get young people onto public transport, to improve standards in rented housing, and to improve community mental health services.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

The biggest issues facing Gabalfa are the state of our streets, parking, local transport, and support for local businesses. We’ve seen our streets get progressively dirtier over the years – lanes are left unswept, fly tipping is left for weeks on end, and the closure of Wedal Road stands to make the situation worse. More and more people are commenting on how dirty our area can get at times, and it doesn’t reflect what a lovely area Gabalfa and Mynachdy is to live in and to visit. Parking for residents, shoppers and local business owners is a real problem. I’ve spoken to many residents who are thinking of moving or are in the process of moving due to the parking situation. This is completely unacceptable. Earlier this year I ran a Love Whitchurch Road campaign to celebrate local businesses and to highlight the issues that local business owners face. One of the key issues raised was that the lack of parking for shoppers and business owners is having a detrimental affect on trade. We have a great business community and a great deal of businesses in the area who bring so much to Gabalfa. The council should be doing all it can to support and enable small local businesses to grow.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

As a dog walker I enjoy visiting different parks and green spaces across Cardiff. As great and lovely as Maitland Park is, my absolute favourite place to take my dog is Bute Park and onto the Taff Trail.

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

We need to make voting fairer, have representatives that reflect the communities they represent, make it easier to vote, and make our elected bodies more accountable to the people they represent. That means introducing fairer voting so seats reflect the number of votes cast by voters, introducing early voting, introducing same day registration, encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to stand for election – including young people – and get involved in politics. All elected representatives need to be constantly in touch with the people they represent so their work is transparent and accountable. Too many representatives are elected and aren’t seen until the next election – how can people expect to engage if they don’t know what their representative is doing? I also believe that we need to introduce better citizenship education, to include non-partisan political education, so young people are able to understand politics in the UK and the world and are able to use, and want to use, their vote. We should also lower the voting age to 16 for all elections in the UK.

What’s your favourite film?

Lord of the Rings (Return of the King)

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

I will be in constant communication with residents in Gabalfa to make sure that I know and understand what people’s concerns are and make sure that they are represented to the council. I will work proactively to find solutions to the issues facing residents in our area to make sure that we do everything we can to find solutions to the problems we face. I also want to work closely with local businesses so we can find ways of supporting them to grow and develop and to attract shoppers and visitors to Gabalfa. I also want to celebrate the local businesses our area has to offer. What’s more, whichever party is running Cardiff Council to stand up for our area and demand the best for the people of Gabalfa and Mynachdy. Our area has been let down over the last five years and we’re lucky to have had a councillor who has worked constantly to get the very best for our area. I want to continue that hard work.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

We pride ourselves on communicating and engaging with local residents all year round, every year, not just during elections. Gabalfa and Mynachdy Lib Dems distribute a monthly Focus newsletter which gives an overview of issues in the area and what our local campaigners and elected representatives are busying themselves with. We also deliver letters to residents when planning or licencing applications are made so residents are able to make their views known on the development. We also have an active Twitter and Facebook account which we use to keep residents posted on the latest issues and what we’ve been up to. We also attend all PACT meetings in Gabalfa to hear from residents and to speak directly with residents. We also regularly run petitions and knock on residents’ doors so we hear directly from residents what their concerns are.

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

I’m worried about the growing number of people who find themselves homeless on the streets of Cardiff and would like to see more done to build more affordable homes and prevent homelessness. I also want to support our local businesses across Cardiff so our business owners can succeed and grow. I also want to make sure that children and young people have access to the best education, the best services, and the best support whenever and wherever they need it.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Transport and housing. Public transport doesn’t work for local people and their needs, and areas like Mynachdy have lost local bus routes over the last few years. We need to make buses more responsive to the needs of community, and make sure that we link up public transport to cycling routes so people can better make their way around the city. I also want to see more affordable homes and more accommodation for young professionals that isn’t over priced or doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure to support new homes and accommodation.

Any final comments?

Thank you to My Cardiff North for running this survey and engaging with the elections so local people are aware of who wants to represent them on the council and the issues they are campaigning on.

Local Elections 2017: More Candidates Announced

Local Elections 2017: More Candidates Announced

We’ve created a dedicated page for the ever-growing list of candidates standing for election next year.

Independent Heath councillor Fenella Bowden has confirmed she’s standing for re-election, along with Conservative Rhiwbina councillors Jayne Cowan and Adrian Robson.

Joy Coughlan and David Hamblin are standing in Gabalfa for Labour.

Former AM Jonathan Morgan posted on Twitter that the Whitchurch and Tongwynlais ward will be contested by Mike Phillips, Linda Morgan, Tim Davies and Mike Jones-Pritchard for the Conservatives.

You can subscribe to our blog for more updates and follow us on Twitter.

My Daily Cardiff North – 1 Dec 2015

My Daily Cardiff North logo

Welsh Conservatives Leader and Cardiff North Regional AM, Andrew RT Davies took part in a Facebook Q&A – http://bit.ly/mdcn0004