Tag: libdems

Dale Hargrove: Liberal Democrats – 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.


Dale Hargrove

Name – Dale Hargrove
Party – Liberal Democrats
Ward – Rhiwbina
Website
Twitter  – @Dale_KWHargrove
Facebook
How can people get in touch with you? – Tweet or dalekwh@gmail.com.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I’m Dale, I’m a student at Cardiff university. I am a keen fencer and love good competition. I have a sense of duty to help the country as best I can, and currently I think it’s time I got involved in being a candidate. I’m studying politics and I have realised that people want change with the current system, such as having a fairer voting system in local elections as well as national elections.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

The biggest issues I believe the Rhiwbina ward to be facing, is the lack of a public toilet in the area, this causes problems for families as well as people passing through. There is also the threat of Labour closing the Wedal road tip, without providing an alternative to the residents of Cardiff, I’d aim to keep this open until we had established a clear alternative.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

Personally, I love the bay. I’ve been down there a couple of times, I walked down to it on my second night in the city and immediately fell in love with the place. I think it really shows off the city of Cardiff as well as Wales with the Senedd.

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

Education. There are so many young people who are not interested in politics, not because they are wilfully ignorant of elections, but because we are not taught in schools about how to vote, or how to register.

What’s your favourite film?

Les Misérables.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

I wish to establish a public toilet in Rhiwbina to make the area more accessible. I also wish to make the council more transparent so that the residents in my ward can find out information that they require from the council in a fair easier more accessible way.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I will communicate via email and Twitter, helping them to the best of my ability and responding to the residents as fast as I can.

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

I believe trying to keep the Wedal road tip open will be beneficial to all of the residents of Cardiff. It is a key facility for people, I would like to work with other councillors and services to establish a replacement service as opposed to just shutting it down without any thought, which is what Labour are currently planning.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

I personally would like to try and get Cardiff to be greener. There is far too much rubbish in the streets and it really takes value away from the beauty of Cardiff. It is an amazing city with so much to offer, it should be able to look the part as well.

Any final comments?

Regardless of whether or not you think me or my party can represent you best. Make sure you get out and vote, and tell your families to do so as well. We are lucky enough to live in a place where we can vote, it is a shame people do not do so.

Jonathan Land: Liberal Democrats – 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 – Jonathan Land
Party – Liberal Democrats
Ward – Rhiwbina
Website – cardiffld.org.uk/rhiwbina
Twitter  – @ElseJon
Facebook
How can people get in touch with you? – By email.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I’m running as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Rhiwbina. I have lived in Rhiwbina nearly all my life and have loved living here. I went to Exeter University for two years, and saw how much of a difference there was between the two cities. While I love politics, I do like to keep up with business developments within the Technology and Energy industries. I also have a bit of a sweet tooth, which has caused me to spend a bit more on food shopping than what most people spend.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

I believe the biggest issue here is Transport. As more and more people are using cars, we need to start investing more in public transport to make it more accessible. I will be pushing to get the transport hub funded in the centre. I will also push with other city councillors to push for the South Wales Metro that has been proposed.

Another big issue I believe is Education. While the primary schools in Rhiwbina are some of the best in the City, I think there’s some real concerns about the Secondary schools in the area. And whether they are doing enough to ensure the equip kids with the knowledge to succeed in the future.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

St Davids Shopping Centre. I always go there to get all my shopping done, and they always have something going on there.

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

Like a lot of candidates, I think communication is key to get people engaged in Politics. People don’t see our policy makers and to challenge and comment on they beliefs and their actions.

What’s your favourite film?

The Big Short.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

If elected I will be pushing to get the transport hub funded in the centre. I will also push with other city councillors to push for the South Wales Metro that has been proposed.

I will also work to pilot smaller class sizes, so that children have the attention needed to help make them succeed. I will work with councillors in other wards to keep account and push for better improvement for Secondary schools in catchment areas.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I will try to have video chat sessions with constituents, this is so we can communicate what’s best for Rhiwbina. The Lib Dems is also known across the country for it’s Focus Newsletters, this is key to let people know what I, as well as other Lib Dems are doing in the council.

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

I would love to get involved with the proposed Cardiff Tidal Lagoon. I think that it could be a great opportunity to create a more sustainable City.

Also Wedal Road Recycling Centre is also a big issue for many. While the council has left it open for now, I would like to keep it permanently open, as closing it could lead to more fly-tipping.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

The council, it needs a united government to be effective and not be at war with each other all the time. I’m worried that if Labour is in charge there will be constant internal power struggles, stalling any change or projects to help make Cardiff a better place.

Any final comments?

Please vote, as it really makes a difference. And if you don’t like any of the candidates, mark your ballot with anything. Your apathy towards the political parties will be heard, and not forgotten.

Matthew Dixon: Liberal Democrats – Llandaff North

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.


Matthew Dixon

Name – Matthew Dixon
Party – Liberal Democrats
Ward – Llandaff North
Website – cardiffld.org.uk/llandaff-north
Twitter  –
Facebook – facebook.com/m.t.dixon
How can people get in touch with you? – Either by the Facebook address listed above, or by contacting our head office in the city centre at 38 The Parade.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I was born and brought up in England – first in Bournemouth and then in Northumberland. I moved to Cardiff for university and have stayed here ever since – which is longer than I care to mention! For the past couple of years, I’ve been living on the Gabalfa Estate, on the banks of the A48. In my day job at present, I handle complaints in the financial sector (something that might stand me in good stead when dealing with complaints from local residents!) Outside of work I’m an active Christian, and a licensed preacher. I guess that the sort of things I preach in church and the sort of values I feel I hold as a Liberal Democrat go hand in hand. My core political views are very simple – we should all be looking out for those less fortunate than ourselves. That places me firmly in two camps. First up, it means I’m politically left of centre – in favour of us all looking out for those less fortunate than ourselves here in the UK – particularly those reliant on the state for support. However it also means I’m a very passionate internationalist. Until we voted to leave the EU, I don’t think I realised how passionate an internationalist I was. We need to not just be looking out for the poor of our own country, and putting up barriers to stop help reaching those in need from abroad, but we need to be welcoming in those in need – particularly the refugees from the devastating wars going on in the world today. We can do so much more together than can by ourselves.

So, why am I standing in this election? Well first and foremost, I believe that everyone should have the right to vote for the Liberal Democrats, and send a strong message to Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and others that a large number of us are not in favour of this very isolationist Brexit that is being pursued without any regard for the large number of people who voted against it. Secondly, I believe that Cardiff deserves better from its council. I’ve been ashamed to see articles in the local press time and time again about infighting in the group who are supposed to be running our council. I’ve been ashamed to see the state of our streets, and serious litter problems. I feel that things need fixing, and I believe the Liberal Democrats are the ones that can do that.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

One issue would have to be litter – both in terms of needing more street sweeping, and problems with fly tipping. Closure of the vital resource of the Wedal Road tip would only exacerbate the issue. I was disheartened when someone on the doorstep said he had had enough of politics because of a litter problem that had not been dealt with. There’s various transport issues as well. I’ve heard complaints about busses getting cancelled, and there’s been positive support for a Gabalfa and Mynachdy Station that would greatly benefit the east side of the ward. Also, there’s a rat-run that needs dealing with alongside the slip road to Gabalfa roundabout. There’s potholes that need dealing with as well, generally the roads need tidying up.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

I’d have to say Cardiff Bay. I don’t go there nearly often enough, but when I do it always feels like I’m on holiday. It’s an example of what Cardiff can be like where effort is put in and somewhere we should all be proud of as a city.

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

First and foremost – education in schools about politics. A friend of mine used to work in the prison, and spoke of the courses they ran explaining how changes can be made through political means – why are our children not taught that in schools? Secondly, allow 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote. They’re easily old enough, and being put off at that point might turn some of them off for good. Finally, amend the voting system. Our Assembly system is decent, but our Westminster system is hopelessly broken. Much as I hate their policies, I still feel in all fairness, UKIP should have about 80 MPs based on how many people voted for them, and not the 1 they got at the time. Too many people think either “What’s the point in voting?” or “If I vote for the party I want to, it will be wasted.” Neither is good.

What’s your favourite film?

Good one! I’m not going to go all highbrow and insightful, but I’ll go for either Dogma, American Pie or one of the Mr Bean films!

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

We need to tackle the litter problems across Cardiff. Getting more street sweepers out – particularly after bins have been collected – will be a priority of myself and my fellow Liberal Democrats. I will continue to fight against the closure of the Wedal Road tip, and I am in favour of scrapping the charges for bulky waste collection – to deal with the fly tipping problems. I will listen to the various issues that have already come my way since I announced my candidacy for this ward, and work with my Liberal Democrat colleagues in the council to put policies in place that will improve the lives of all across the ward. I will also continue to press for the new Gabalfa and Mynachdy station to ensure better public transport links can benefit the whole of the Llandaff North ward.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I will hold regular surgery sessions in The Hub to meet with residents in the ward. I will set up relevant online presence – e-mail, website and Facebook. As we have in other parts of the city, I will produce regular Focus leaflets to keep the people of Llandaff North informed of what myself and the wider Liberal Democrat team are doing.

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

It is an absolute scandal that in a first world country like Wales, in our own capital city, there are large numbers of people who are left living on the streets. This is a scandal we should not accept, and I would really like to get involved in doing whatever can be done to help these people back into the world of housing.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

In short – Cardiff needs a change of government. We need to have a party leading the council that doesn’t find itself time and time again in the local news because there’s a leadership challenge, or fighting between councillors, or an endless stream of defections and by elections. Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives will never have the numbers to replace Labour as the largest party on the council, but there is a genuine chance that the Liberal Democrats can do just that.

Any final comments?

Non submitted (Editor)

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.

Dominic Eggbeer: Liberal Democrats – 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.


Dominic Eggbeer

Name – Dominic Eggbeer
Party – Liberal Democrats
Ward – Whitchurch and Tongwynlais
Website – cardiffld.org.uk
Twitter  – @cardifflibdems
Facebook – cardiffld
How can people get in touch with you? – Via the Cardiff Lib Dems Twitter site or Facebook. Post a question in relation to Tongwynlais/Whitchurch.

About You

Tell us about yourself

I’ve lived in Cardiff since 1997 and raised my family here. I moved to Tongwynlais in 2004 and appreciate the diversity of the area, and the way it combines access to the great outdoors and city life. I am passionate about outdoor activities, so living in N Cardiff provides excellent access for my family and I to escape, play in the mud, and enjoy the surroundings. I work at Cardiff Met Uni helping to pioneer new ways of using design in surgery and prosthetic procedures. My work enables me to collaborate with fantastic people in the NHS and private sector. It’s a rewarding position that enables my team and I to overcome complex healthcare challenges which leads to improved outcomes for patients and the efficiency of procedures. I got involved with the Liberal Democrats since I hold the values of fairness, openness and tolerance dear. My day job reinforces the strength collaboration can bring to solving issues; I seek to apply the same principles in politics.

What are the biggest issues in your ward?

I see one of the major issues being congestion. The roads through Tongwynlais and Whitchurch are extremely busy at peak periods, which is dangerous, and polluting. Cardiff has become a gridlocked city during rush hour, causing commuter misery, wasted time, pollution and stress. N Cardiff is a superb place to live, with a fantastic community feel, but the blight of traffic needs to be addressed. Evidence supports the need for better public transport networks, improved infrastructure for cycling/walking (we’re blessed with the Taff Trail running near/though the area) that will give people a more viable option to choose a less impactful way to work. Complemented by changes in the way businesses offer flexible working, secure cycle parking, better-designed cycle parking, improved trains and other changes, we could help to reduce the misery of through traffic congestion. Other issues include littering, burglaries and relatively low levels of anti-social behaviour. I look to residents to highlight other problems.

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff and why?

1 favourite place is hard to pick! I love Forest Farm, but also the woods behind Castle Coch. I can spend many family hours in just these areas. I also love all of the fields and parks sandwiched between the city centre and the A48.

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

Politicians often have a bad reputation for being self-serving. For that to change, people need to be listened to; people/parties that more accurately reflect the values of community, fairness and empowerment need to be elected. At the macro scale: a) Ensure politicians more accurately reflect their constitutions (the political class is currently out of touch with the people they purport to represent). b) Stop the lies and blame culture, which have become so prevalent in politics. C) Ensure the media have a free and, importantly, balanced voice. At a local level, people need to be made aware that politics affects everything and that they have the power to change for the better. Community meetings and social media could play an important role in ensuring politics is accessible by all. Politicians and politics should also be geared up to ensure the long-term health, wealth and environmental interests of our people. Engaging younger generations is therefore extremely important. Ensuring that near-to-voting age people are well informed about the importance of political engagement is also crucial to ensure that they vote.

What’s your favourite film?

Ex Machina is a recent favourite.

If You’re Elected

What will you do to improve your ward?

Addressing issues of traffic congestion by working with the Cardiff Active Travel plan, promotion of a better infrastructure and public transport system are an immediate priority. This will help to ensure our communities are safer and environment more pleasant. I would also ensure that new housing developments and other major infrastructure changes that affect the area are properly scrutinised for local impact. N Cardiff is an area targeted for house building, yet the infrastructure is not equipped to accommodate the increases in traffic. I would also seek to protect our green spaces and ensure the value of parks and social areas are maintained for all to enjoy.

How will you communicate with residents in your ward?

I would set up and promote:

  • Online surveys (to capture a broad understanding of the issues that affect the area).
  • Host regular meetings with residents (to focus on the most important issues).

I would also:

  • Provide regular feedback through local meetings, online and social media (to ensure that people are listened to).
  • Seek evidence to support decision making (to ensure that decisions are based on well-considered arguments and that people get the best value).

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

Whilst there are numerous local issues affecting Cardiff, one of the primary that affects everybody is road traffic and congestion. We’re blessed with a superb city, fantastic green spaces and huge potential to offer better walking, cycling, public transport, and more intelligently laid out road networks. Enabling people to get around more efficiently and cheaply using alternatives to cars has proven health and productivity benefits. I would get even move involved in the development of Cardiff’s Active Travel Plan to ensure that people have the opportunity to benefit from a better infrastructure system that protects our economy, health and the environment.

Final Comments

What would you change about Cardiff and why?

Cardiff is a culturally and geographically rich place. I would like to ensure that as the capital of Wales, it remains a beacon of liberal values and promotes a sense of community, tolerance, and fairness. I change like to change the way infrastructure was considered in order to protect green spaces, public services, and the rights of people to enjoy the things that are free in life.

Any final comments?

Cardiff is creative, innovative and outward-looking. The Liberal Democrats are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united. We are also the only party that combines economic competence with a plan for strong public services and an optimistic vision for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united. Tongwynlais and Whitchurch deserve a party that will stand up for the rights of the diverse community we live in, protect our environment, and support our economy. The Liberal Democrats are that party. Discover more at http://www.libdems.org.uk/issues.

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.

Councillor Survey: Dr Ed Bridges

What are the biggest changes in your ward over the last 5 years?

I have been particularly delighted by the transformation of Whitchurch Road into a bustling and increasingly trendy location for high-end restaurants and bars. Places like Society Standard, the Mint & Mustard and Cocoricos have given a new lease of life to Gabalfa and residents are now spoilt for choice with a range of interesting independent local businesses on their doorstep. I’d like to think I’ve helped by supporting some of those businesses to come to the area and pushing for investment in the district.

Describe three achievements that you were instrumental in implementing and that benefited the community.

Securing gating of back lanes, as supported by around 80% of residents affected, helping to reduce fly-tipping and crime.

Ensuring that plans for a Cardiff Metro include an aspiration that Mynachdy will have a rail station. The area has had no public transport since their bus was axed, and although there’s still work to be done to make things definite, I think we’re closer than we’ve ever been to having a station serving the ward.

Persuading the council in principle to increase resident-only parking provision. Parking has always been a challenge locally, and I have been campaigning on for my entire 13 years as a councillor. I very much hope that after the elections in May, the plans for 75% resident-only parking in the streets closest to UHW will be taken forward in order that more spaces on residential streets can be used by the people who live there.