Statement of Adrienne Jeorrett

We invited them to tell you a little about who they are, any political history and about their political leanings.

I have lived in Wrexham for 23 years and am a member of the Labour Party. I use to spend a lot of time writing letters to politicians and signing on line campaigns but in 2014 I got active with the local constituency Labour party as I was so frustrated by politics and wanted to get involved. I have canvassed in the General Election and in the Welsh Assembly elections.

I work as an administrator in the education sector and as a case worker for Ian Lucas MP. I volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau and have a good understanding of the range of problems people in Wrexham face. I also enjoy voluntary work with the Scouts. I have previously worked for the NHS and in a number of charities in Wrexham.

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)

The issues that people have told me about in the ward are: • Parking • Dog fouling • Houses of multiple occupation • Town Centre • Drugs • Crime • Litter

2. Further to the above issues you have specified, at a ward level what would you do to resolve these problems if elected?

I would like to look at good practice in other councils across the country to see how these issues have been tackled successfully. There have been suggestions to have residents parking permits; this is something that may be appropriate in some roads. Welsh Labour recognises the need for a parking policy which works for residents, the disabled, businesses and visitors. All issues need to be part of an ongoing community discussion, to work with all community groups and the police where required.

3. As a councillor and as a member of the council what would be in your power, and your priority, to help local businesses?

Welsh Labour plans to work with the business community to introduce a Business Improvement District. Support for small businesses is essential as part of a programme to encourage and nurture local enterprise. I believe that high level apprenticeships are a positive way forward and an improvement in the local transport infrastructure should attract more industries and jobs.

4. How do you think adult social care in Wrexham should be funded?

I would like to see health and social care integrated. It would be good to look at other models of funding such as social enterprises and not for profit organisations.

5. What do you think is the most urgent thing, in the power of councillors, required to improve the local education system?

Both of my children have been through schools in Wrexham so I appreciate that children have varying experiences and needs. It is important that all children have the same opportunities. Setting balanced expectations; working closely with schools ensuring that teachers have the resources they need for effective school improvement; ensuring that governors have the appropriate training.

6. What do you think should be done with the Groves school building, and the site?

Welsh Labour plans to develop the site as a centre for skills and lifelong learning.

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?

The current administration has not put forward a Local Development Plan (LDP) so this would be an essential starting point. There is good practice in other authorities which have started to build new council houses as part of a scheme to provide more affordable homes. The stock of social housing at affordable prices needs to be increased but the LDP is needed to ensure that housing decisions meet needs.

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?

I am concerned that the national guidance on enforcement of litter is not being followed in Wrexham. There has been a focus on littering in the town centre but the surrounding areas have been left. I would like to see a different approach.

9. Do you favour the current Executive Board system or a politically balanced system? Why?

I would like to see a democratic process in action. This includes proper debates around the issues that are important for Wrexham. A concern for many residents in Wrexham is with power being held with a very small group of people.

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?

I would stand down. I am not intending to change allegiance.

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?

All councils in Wales are facing efficiency savings due to the savage cuts posed on the Welsh Government by the Westminster Government. It is about working differently and considering smarter ways of working, the protection of jobs and services is a priority for Welsh Labour.

12. With the 'Reshaping' programme, which specific areas would you look to grow and create revenue streams in?

Welsh Labour has tabled a revenue stream in the Alternative Budget which was put to the council in February 2017.

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?

Wrexham needs more than an aspirational document. We need a comprehensive strategy to regenerate the town and make it a thriving economy once again. We must work with the business community, the Town Centre Forum and the police to ensure our town is attractive, vibrant and safe for residents and visitors.

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 would hold surgeries and provide a regular newsletter. I would also set up a Facebook page. I would be available to contact by phone and email.

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?

Welsh Labour wants to encourage and support the arts in Wrexham but the level of funding required has been an issue. Labour would look to transfer the Arts hub facility to a Trust, then it would be possible to raise funds through this approach.

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?

Wrexham FC is important for the community. Given its recent history of ownership, a Welsh Government review seems a good way forward. It is important to build strong links with the Supporters’ Trust.

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?

The key is partnership working so that the needs of local residents; the pressures on the police and other public services are considered alongside the requirements of the business community.

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?

PSPOs do not address the issue appropriately as the root causes of anti-social behaviour are not being addressed. It is important that a multi-agency approach is established with the police at its heart to look at solutions.

19. New Psychoactive Substances are a recent well documented problem in and around town, what do you think is the solution?

A comprehensive education programme needs to be delivered by experts and health professionals to raise awareness of the risks involved with these substances. This could involve Coleg Cambria, Glyndwr University, schools, drop in centres, youth clubs etc.

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?

It is not right to increase councillor's pay whilst there are cuts being made to public services. Labour has suggested the leasing of iPads and also that councillors should pay for their parking. Additionally, to reduce the Executive Board in numbers would also make substantial savings.

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?

Where Community based Trusts/Social Enterprises are taking over council services, they should be supported. The priority should be the continuation of the service.

22. What actions would you take, or support, as a councillor to encourage Welsh language use growth? Or, if you are against this, why?

The Welsh Government has a policy to increase opportunities for people to learn and use the Welsh language and this is something that needs to be endorsed by the council. I am a Welsh learner.

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?

I think it is important to show as many meetings as possible. I believe in openness and transparency.

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?

Welsh Labour is fielding 39 candidates across the county who are diverse in age, gender and experience

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?

In Wrexham I have mostly been involved in the CAB that covers the whole of Wrexham. I volunteer in Scouting with children from a wide area within the borough. I have recently done the dementia friendly training and worked with a couple on the "Book of You". I have been out and about listening to people’s concerns.

In a few hundred characters to wrap this up, why should people vote for you?

I think that being a councillor is a huge responsibility so I have not put my name forward without a lot of thought. I have a range of experience in the NHS, Education and in the voluntary sector in Wrexham which I would like to use. When I came to Wrexham 23 years ago I found it to be a thriving, busy and welcoming place. I cannot call it any of those things at the moment. I would like to listen to people and work with others with a shared vision for improving Wrexham for everyone who lives here. It feels that so many people’s voices are not being heard. I feel strongly about fairness of services and opportunities. I want to work with others to find solutions to the many problems faced by the residents of Smithfield and Wrexham.

Social & Web links

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