Statement of Richard Bennett
We invited them to tell you a little about who they are, any political history and about their political leanings.
My name is Richard Bennett and I am standing as an Independent candidate for Smithfield ward on Thurs 4th May. I live and run a garage business in Smithfield ward. I am standing as an Independent candidate so that I am not tied to the policies of a political party. I intend to represent the people of Smithfield and not the interests of Labour, Plaid Cymru, or the Conservatives. I will listen to the people of Smithfield and address their concerns. I am from a working class background and I will fight to improve the quality of life for the residents of Smithfield.
Questions & Answers
1. Often we are told that highways, street lighting, bin collections and anti-social behaviour are some of the issues people care most about. Aside from those what are the key local issues in your ward? (The question below will ask what you think should be done)
There are a number issues including lack of facilities for all age groups, dog waste, and be a voice who listens to the peoples views.
2. Further to the above issues you have specified, at a ward level what would you do to resolve these problems if elected?
I am a man of action who will fight for my ward as I believe what happens in my ward also happens to me, I will raise any concern that me and my people have, I will always be available for the people to listen and work through their concerns with them.
3. As a councillor and as a member of the council what would be in your power, and your priority, to help local businesses?
As a business owner myself I understand a lot of the concerns , We need to invest in new businesses and import local supplies and use local people to employ to lower unemployment rates.i
4. How do you think adult social care in Wrexham should be funded?
The care system in practice at the moment is under a lot of strain and needs to be balanced between local and private care costs as people who have worked all their lives should not be punished with high social welfare costs.
5. What do you think is the most urgent thing, in the power of councillors, required to improve the local education system?
At present due to limited funding for schools and colleges in the Wrexham area we need to make sure the money is spent in the right areas to provide our children with a proper education.
6. What do you think should be done with the Groves school building, and the site?
Due to the Covenant on the Groves at present prevents it being used for nothing other then educational purposes. So with consulting with local schools, colleges, and local authority to find the best use of the building.
7. What are your thoughts on the housing supply in Wrexham, and if you feel more housing needs to be created in volume, where would that be sited and who would it be targeted at?
Wrexham needs more social and affordable housing using derelict and unused land but this would have to improve the area and keep in character with Wrexham.
8. On litter and dog fouling enforcement, do you think this should be provided via a third party, and should it be enforced to the letter of the law or in a more lenient manner?
We do have responsible dog owners in the area but we do need to target the irresponsible dog owners who do not care and should be enforced by the law. The local authority does have the power for this and they should start acting on this, There is no need to pay a third party to do this when we could do this ourselves and the money put back into the community.
9. Do you favour the current Executive Board system or a politically balanced system? Why?
A balanced system is required to represent the wishes of the people and must be open to scrutiny and transparency.
10. As has happened in Wrexham recently - if you change political allegiance from what you are currently seeking election for (eg. resigning from, or joining another party) will you trigger a by-election? If not, why not?
As an Independent i will carry out the wishes of my people not any political party. I have no intention of joining any party. As in my view candidates who say they are independent then change party's are just fake as they are campaigning with one set of views then as soon as they change they have another set of views once elected and have misrepresented themselves in this case it should trigger a by-election.
11. 'Reshaping' Wrexham Council is a major theme impacting all areas of the local authority. What areas do you think could see deeper savings made and why?
It is fact that local councils have reduced funding's, so we need to make the best use for these funds and make sure all services are maintained to a high standard.
12. With the 'Reshaping' programme, which specific areas would you look to grow and create revenue streams in?
We need to create local jobs for local people and encourage local youngsters into employment, and encourage the council to the use local businesses and trades people instead of using companies outside our area as this will secure jobs and apprenticeships for local people.
13. The Town Centre Masterplan is an aspirational document which could shape and transform the town centre over the next ten years. What is your future vision for Wrexham town centre, and how will you help achieve it?
We all need thriving shops and a vibrant town area, so we need to look into schemes to help businesses to take over empty shops that are currently in the town centre.
14. Many politicians are accused of being out of touch with voters and only surfacing before elections. What will you do to ensure you stay in touch through the coming years if you are elected?
I will hold regular meetings with people of the area so that i can always be updated by them as to what we need and what they want doing.
15. What are your thoughts on the current provision and support for the arts in Wrexham, and what would you do to support the arts?
Any town should provide for all of its citizens and i am hoping to encourage in the future further developments in the arts field in Wrexham.
16. Wrexham Football Club had been let down greatly before being taken over by the fans themselves. As a councillor what action would you champion to help the club?
I believe that the council can provide short term help to the club which may result in long term gain for the tow. I believe that it will bring people together.
17. Wrexham's Night Time Economy employs a large number of people and generates revenue for the town. As a councillor what action would you like to see from Wrexham Council to improve that sector?
I would work with police licensees and the local authority to keep the area safe so it can be and enjoyable place for people to spend there leisurely time in Wrexham.
18. Wrexham Council currently has two Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) in place in the town centre and Rhosddu area. How should anti social behaviour be tackled?
All options should be considered and it may be better to look at successful schemes which have been tried and tested in other cities and towns.
19. New Psychoactive Substances are a recent well documented problem in and around town, what do you think is the solution?
New substances should be made illegal as soon as possible and arrests put in place for whom might sell these substances and stop it being used but then we also need to the support the users to help them kick the habit.
20. Councillor pay, iPads as tools for the job, and allowances have all been topics of debate over the last few years. What is your view on this?
Fully Transparency needs to be given to the public so that they will be able to see that the council is trying to cut the costs but also examined properly by an outer body to keep costs as low as we can. also the public should made aware of reasons for spending as it is there money.
21. The ownership and operation of Plas Madoc Leisure Centre has been debated over recent years - where do you believe the responsibility for funding and running such public amenities should lie?
Any sporting facilities are essential to any town including ourselves and we need to look at all options for funding these projects.
22. What actions would you take, or support, as a councillor to encourage Welsh language use growth? Or, if you are against this, why?
I have lived in Wrexham for over 30 years the welsh language is very important to wales and believe it should be taught in wales.
23. Currently Wrexham Council webcast their Full Council, Executive Board and Planning meetings, and some Scrutiny. Would you like to see the webcasting system rolled out to cover all meetings and how else do you think the local authority could involve the public more in the democratic process?
As the council is elected by the people they should be accountable to them so should always be transparent and web casting be made public so the people can see that their elected parties are fighting for them.
24. This will be the first time some people are old enough to vote, with that age limit possibly dropping in future. Candidates are on the whole older and male. What will you do to represent a more diverse viewpoint?
All people should vote so there voice can be heard
25. What local activity have you taken part in over the last few months to improve your ward? Regardless of if you win, will you continue any such action that benefits your ward?
I run a local garage in the Smithfield area which created jobs for local people, win or lose this election I will still be part of Smithfield and will continue to play a part in this community for as long as I can.
In a few hundred characters to wrap this up, why should people vote for you?
I am totally independent, I am only here to be your voice and put forward your concerns to try and get the result you need I cannot promise anything only to try my hardest for the ward .I am not a politician we all have a voice that needs to be heard so please vote for me
Social & Web links
The above is a ward map screenshot taken from the OS Map - if you click the map itself it will show a slightly bigger version.
If you click here it will open this map on the OS website itself, allowing more options to zoom and move around.
Where is my polling station?
You can pop your postcode into this helpful website WhereDoIVote.co.uk and it will draw you a map!
How do I vote?
Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 4th May.
If you don't have your poll card, you can go to the polling station and give them your name and address. You don't need any other form of ID.
Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive. You don’t have to take your poll card with you.
You’ll be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or the options you can vote for.
- Take your ballot paper into a polling booth.
- Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote.
- Put it in the ballot box.
OTHER CANDIDATES FOR Smithfield
- Welsh Labour
- Plaid Cymru