Statement of Iolanda Viegas

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

Dear Resident

My name is Iolanda and I’m your Plaid Cymru Candidate for the council
election on May 4th.

I am 43 years old and live with my daughter on Caia Park. I have lived in Wrexham for 16 years.

I have been working hard for our area as a local community councillor and I am an experienced local campaigner. I have actively campaigned on many
local issues, including Anti-Fracking, Save Our Fire Engine, Save
Dee Valley Water and to raise awareness about hate crime.

Living locally, I will always be available to listen to your views and will
always respond to any concerns or issues you raise with me.

I hope you will give me your support on May 4th.

Iolanda Banu Viegas

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)

I have many council houses in my ward and I would want to ensure that the tenants receive the best possible service and that the housing department respond quickly to any issues. Dog fouling is a problem that upsets people and we need officers to address urgently. The Community Centre looks run down and we need more people to volunteer to run and promote it. I would also like a new children's park in Whitegate ward.

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 meet with the local Housing Office manager to ensure the response to housing problem . We also need to see more Enforcement Officers to address littering and dog fouling. The other two matters I will deal with on Caia Park Community Council.

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

Support more events in the town and at the Racecourse. Clean up the town and address anti social behaviour which deters shoppers. Persuade Welsh Government to do something to reduce rates.

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

Through taxation and contribution. Plaid Cymru support the merger of health and social care and pool budgets.

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

More nurturing in schools to address social deprivation rather than an obsession with results and attendance. A happy and supportive environment in schools will improve learning and rounded development. There are transport problems with getting to schools. Need more places in Welsh Medium Education.

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

Develop as a school or college.

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?

We should fill the empty houses first and then develop 'brownfield' sites but we need to re visit exactly how many houses we need in Wrexham. Also we need single flats for homeless people and affordable homes for young families especially after the cuts to housing benefits.

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?

There are not enough street cleaners in Wrexham but the law when enforced should be enforced sensibly and not how it is now.

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

Politically balanced as that ensures all groups are represented and its fairer and more democratic.

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?

Yes I would hold 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?

Difficult to say before I am elected, I wouldn't want to say without more knowledge.

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

As Question 11.

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?

More opportunities for leisure activities as nothing happens at present. More music, more sport. Look after our Swimming Pools instead of trying to close them. More play areas in the town centre like Cheshire Oaks. More kiosks selling street food and drinks. Better transport into town. More Art Work on display, give the town some colour.

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?

Be available by phone, email Social, Facebook and Twitter, I will also hold street surgeries and I also spend a lot of time in town.

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?

I will wait and see how the Art Hub develops and then support it, but I also support street art and locations like Undeg Un. I also support music venues like Saith Seren and would like to see music in the town centre supported better.

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 would support the re development of the kop and to build a Welsh Football Museum on the site.

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 council should help facilitate more people coming into town by better marketing.

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?

The PSPO has not resolved the problem, in fact the problem has got worse since the PSPO. Anti social behaviour problems should be addressed by all the partners not just the Police

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

Drug Consumption Rooms and providing better health and social care to problematic drug users. Portugal does not have this problem because problematic drug use differently.

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 Plaid Cymru policy not to accept the IPADS or a pay rise.

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?

Publicly funded through taxation.

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

As a bilingual person I fully support equality for the Welsh language and services should be provided equally in both languages. I support Welsh medium education and I believe the council should ensure sufficient places to meet demand.

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 believe all meetings should be webcast following Plaid Cymru pushing for this back in 2011. If the council were more open and transparent more people would take an interest.

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?

Plaid Cymru support votes at 16 years. I am a 43 old female European national who challenges discrimination and prejudice daily.

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?

As a member of Caia Park Community Council we work closely with all agencies like the Partnership to constantly improve the environment and quality of like. I am also part of Amigos Cymuned a community first supported group with Hafal at Luke O'Connor House. The aim is to promote integration and inclusion.

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

I have a good knowledge and understanding of all the communities in Wrexham and I believe I have the skills, experience and strength of character to influence the council and to bring benefit to the community of Whitegate. I hope you will vote for me.

Social & Web links

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