Statement of David Glyn Edwards

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

Hello and thank you for allowing me to introduce myself to you, as the proposed Labour Candidate for the Gwersyllt West constituency.
My Name is David Glyn Edwards and 59 years old, I live with my partner who is a carer in the community and have three grown up children. I am Bradley lad and have lived most of my life here in the Gwersyllt area. I attended Gwersyllt Community Primary school and Ysgol Bryn Alyn, on leaving School I opted to join the Armed forces and spent some 24years in the Welsh Cavalry 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards serving in many parts of the world from Germany, Northern Ireland to the Gulf War. Since leaving the services, I returned to the village I grew up in. I currently work for Prysmian Cables and Systems on the Wrexham industrial estate and I am a great believer in giving back to the community, which gave me a great springboard in my youthful formative years, in doing so I have helped as chair of the local scout group.
In addition, have been an active governor at both of our schools, and I currently hold the position of Chair of Governors at both with Ysgol Bryn Alyn the newest post, I am a person who loves challenges and give 110% commitment to everything that I commit to.
I am looking to champion the local community of Gwersyllt West by bring to the front the issues with adult social care and education of our young people and improving services to our community to ensure that we can all have a vibrant and bright living space to enjoy and be proud of living in the community of Gwersyllt.

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)

1. Often we are told that highways, street lighting, bin collections and anti-social behaviour are some of the issues people care most about, In addition, having hand delivered my newsletters and taken the time to listen and talk to the members of the ward. Everybody that I have spoken to agree that in addition to the main points, adult social care and the correct provision for our young people i.e. Education and out of hours, provisions for our youth are some of their main concerns. The general appearance of our community was raised by a few and how we could improve on the care of our waste grounds. The Pen y Maes health center was another major concern to many of our residents.

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

We need to ensure that the Local Development Plan to ensure that new housing is built in areas with adequate road links and the infrastructure to support the new residents with adequate play areas. Work with Pen Y Maes and other stakeholders to establish a health care center to deliver high quality care in the community.

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

If elected I would work extremely hard to find new enterprises to come to the town, encourage new employers to use the Wrexham skill basis and increase the employment prospects for all. Through the use of: • Community Development Credit Unions • Community Development Loan Funds • Development Banks • Foundations (and Philanthropic) Organizations Not for profit Corporations • Community Development Corporations Community Land Trusts Workers' Cooperatives

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

This should be funded by the Welsh government, however as we have seen in the last few years our welsh government funding has been cut drastically. The council needs to look at more innovate ways to help raise capital, through Integration of Health and Social Care budgets/pooled budgets. Not for profit Corporations/Social Enterprises.

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

Councillor's and governors require more influence within our education system. They are much valued for their voluntary commitments to the local schools. Support teachers in raising school standards across the Borough; address the need for additional school places in our Primary Schools and with the increase in take up in the Welsh medium.

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

This building was use for education purposes and should continue, maybe as an adult special need centre or a central pupil referral unit for children who struggle in main stream education, reducing some of the strain in our schools, with exclusions reduced.

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?

Council housing should be revisited with more new council properties been built this would help young families and single people. Maybe in some for the empty accommodation/units above shops in the town centre could be sourced and used. Ensure that a development plan is in place to cover two council terms of office; Commit to robust quotas for affordable housing. Ensure that new council houses are built as part of our scheme to provide choice in the affordable housing market and suspend the ‘Right to Buy’. Work with ethical developers and housing associations to increase the stock of social housing at affordable rents

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?

Kingdom the company who carry out this task do a good job, however the previous council leadership place a zero tolerance policy in place this should be looked at and a more lenient but effective policy put in place. if we are to improve our environment then they should have the right tools to enforce the regulations correctly and fair.

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

Myself I would prefer a more politically balanced system. This would allow all parties to ensure that the town is governed correctly and from a balanced view. The current Cabinet Executive Board works in other Welsh Local Authorities. Alternative to Exec Board is a Committee driven structure, however this would require monthly Full Council meetings to make the decisions. What is obvious in Wrexham is the stifling of debate and this power sits with the Chairperson.

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?

II am a Labour person that is what I am standing as. If I reconsidered, I would resign and re-stand. However, as man who believes that if you do not agree with something or an opinion, then you should stand and fight your cause. I have honesty, loyalty and a duty to my constituency and it’s people.

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?

There is only so much you can cut, and then the systems will begin to fail. Maybe it not the cuts we should be looking at but how we can create finance. By creating our own energy through wind and solar energy generation even using our rivers to generate hydroelectric this could be used to power our street lighting and any excess feed into the grid and therefore generate an income to the council this could raise approx. £1million a year

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

Having lived in Europe for a few years. Perhaps the council should look into becoming energy providers, where we buy our gas electric and water from source, and any profit goes back to the council to improve our finances, solar farm and wind generation would cut out street lighting bills which are very costly, all this could feed back in to the council funds to help our adult social care.

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?

The plan is an aspirational document which could shape and transform the town centre over the next ten years, however all plans require looking at and changing as our environment changes. I have put my name forward to be a councillor to help the residents of Gwersyllt West and improve the town. This I will do by supporting our development plan wherever and however I can, but only for the benefit of our residents. Encouraging outlying villages and towns to come to Wrexham and use its facilities instead of Chester or Liverpool.

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 be walking around my ward/constituency on an at least a monthly basis I will ensure that I am contactable by email, text, telephone and hold regular surgeries or knock my door. I am there for the ward.

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?

Wrexham is a major town in Northeast Wales, we should be encouraging a vast diversity of arts and music for the benefit of all walks of our community. Wrexham has started to get some great headline acts. I hope that this continues, also the festivals that have be held on our local free spaces encourage local businesses to thieve. Important to balance the needs of the night time economy, the needs of residents and the needs of the public sector.

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 the crown jewel of the town. our supporters should be recognised for there dedication in keeping the club going, and as a councillor I would fully support the club and it’s use of 9 acre field as a training ground.

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?

Wrexham is a major town in Northeast Wales, we should be encouraging a vast diversity of arts and music for the benefit of all walks of our community. Wrexham has started to get some great headline acts. I hope that this continues, also the festivals that have be held on our local free spaces encourage local businesses to thieve. Important to balance the needs of the night time economy, the needs of residents and the needs of the public sector.

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?

Everybody wishes to live in a safe clean environment and that is what these PSPO's provide. All anti-social behaviour should be robustly dealt with. We need with residents/businesses and all agencies to develop a plan of action to deal with the root causes of the anti-social behaviour for the PSPO to be truly effective.

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

I am an ardent anti-drugs person and believe that we should clamp down on this; the use of these substances put our community in a bad light for companies who wish to invest in our area. We need to give these people hope in finding a new direction in life. Education delivered by medical experts and health professionals, as they know the real risks. Awareness could be raised through young adult charities, care workers Glyndwr/Coleg Cambria, drop in centres, youth clubs, hostels, sexual health clinics, drama groups, substance misuse groups. Fits in with the secondary school curriculum, within the PHSE framework and would target the right age group.

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?

If you want a good job doing then you have to have the tools to carry out the work. The amount of paper that would be generated if ipads or laptops where not provided would far outceed the cost of the producing paper copies of every meeting or subcommittee, as to be a good councilor you need to be kept up-to-date. This is not a councilors property, it is council's property and every care should be taken with them. Councillors should lead by example – services are being cut. Senior salaries should reflect the current period of austerity and be paid at the lowest level. The Executive Board should reduce from 10 senior salary portfolio holders to 8.

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?

If I had my way, every community would have a small sport complex to encourage sport and health and fitness. Maybe the local community council with funding help from the welsh government. Obesity is always in the new and the cost on the health services, Gym memberships are very costly for some lower paid people. We need to do more to help. Under the Council, this facility was losing £500k per annum. In cases where Community based Trusts/Social Enterprises are taking over council services. The Council should support them during their start-up phase. The Council should be looking at the longer term saving and 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 Council needs to embrace a bi-lingual policy for the welsh language. Which in turn improves Welsh in our culture, we should all embrace our heritage, we are unique in that we have our language it should be encouraged in schools and in everyday lives tolerance for those people who want to learn welsh, have minimal use of the language or who need a confidence boost.

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?

In essence, yes, this would make the council more transparent. Welsh Government provided funding for Council’s to source the technology to enable all Welsh Council’s to webcast meetings. Wrexham Council outsource this service and limited webcasting hours available. For transparency, all meetings should be webcasted, including scrutiny.

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?

If you’re old enough to work then you should be allowed to exercise your right to vote. I represent everybody from young to old our children are so important to our community. Welsh Labour have put up 39 candidates across the County, our candidates are diverse in age, gender and experience. And age is not a factor in today’s society.

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 have been a local community councilor for the last 5 years I have also been a school governor and sat on scrutiny committees at council. Although I am currently chair of governor's at two schools, I will continue as chair in one but remain as a school governor as I enjoy working with our schools. Having brought one school to a yellow/green with a good Estyn inspection report, and currently working to improve the other school to bring this to a good standard or better as soon as possible.

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

I am a committed community person who wants to see improvements in our local community. I have honesty, integrity and a sense of duty to the community to make people proud of where they live and see that the town improves its correct governance. I am a proud Welshman and even prouder to have been brought up in this fantastic town, it is now time for me to give back, what Wrexham gave to me. A great education, the drive to improve, and a chance for all others to succeed.

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Map of Gwersyllt West

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