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 – Matthew Dixon
Party – Liberal Democrats
Ward – Llandaff North
Website – cardiffld.org.uk/llandaff-north
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.
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.
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)