Statement of Bryan Raymond Pritchard

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

I had to finish work with a disabled knee 24 years ago and have been a member of Rhosnesni Residents Association since then. Eighteen years ago I was elected as a independent Community Councillor to Caia Park Community Council and have also been a School Governor at Hafod Y Wern infants and Hafod Y Ween Community Primary School. Two years ago I joined Plaid Cymru because you can get more done as a member of a like minded party, than as a independent. I believe my 24 years serving my community has improved the area in which I live, but cuts to local services by the present council is ruining all the good work previously done. I believe the Plaid Cymru manifesto for Wrexham explains how we can change Wrexham for the better. A councillor has to care about the ward he represents its a calling not a career as some have used it for.

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)

Drug dealing Lack of Police Dog fouling

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

Encourage neighbourhood watch groups. Hold regular surgeries with residents and police. While I would like DNA of dogs register I cannot see this being cost affective I would like more prosecutions for dog fouling to deter bad owners.

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

To push the Welsh government to expand the Business rate relief scheme, for more small and medium sized businesses. I would also like to trial a free parking scheme to encourage shoppers into town.

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

We must find some unity between the local health board and Wrexham County Borough Council, and stop cutting much needed services by uniting the health and social care budgets.

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

As a governor for 16 years I have seen the amount of work teachers have had heaped on them. I honestly think the education service is in danger of drowning in paperwork, something needs to be done at National and local levels to return the teachers to the job they are good at Teaching.

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

What the existing council had planned for the land is debatable but now this building should be incorporated into a new build school.

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?

Before any large housing estates are built I believe our services need looking at urgently. I would like to see the building of Council or Housing Association houses as that is in very short supply. I would look at bringing the 2000 plus empty properties back into use in the Borough.

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?

This should be under Council control as it is a damming verdict of the slash and burn tactics of the present council a third party are making large profits while the council operated this at a loss. More street cleaners should be employed trained for picking up dis-guarded needles safely.

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

No a councilor is elected to make decisions good or bad, not rely on a handful of councilors to represent the whole of the town.

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?

Personal answer is yes i would 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?

I would not accept pay rises while in office while front line services are being cut. I would not accept a free I-pad i would purchase my own. As a party we have stated to implement a cap on the chief and senior executives. A Plaid- led council would cut the amount of public money spent on outside consultants. And also cut the budget to the Mayoral Office. Any cuts should come from the top down safe guarding services.

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

I would look into all areas were loss making areas could be made profitable. A perfect example of this is the litter and dog fouling a third party are now making profits out of a area WCBC were loss making. I ask if Nant Sylin could have been kept open and operated in profit with a partnership with the local heath board to help the bed blocking situation?

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?

Our existing and past councils have been and still 10 years out of date. They were warned building Eagles Meadow would turn the town centre into a Ghost town but chose to ignore the warnings of retailers. Councillors have to listen to retailers who want to see our town thrive, not be single minded to large retail centers. You shouldn't need photo opportunities by other politicians to clean up the town, their should be enough street cleaners. We have enough empty council owned buildings in the town to possibly open one up to use as a day center for the homeless who are seen daily.

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?

The area in which I am standing I have lived in for 61 years, people can call on me , E-mail, Facebook me, I will carry on attending the residents association meetings that i helped to set up 24 years ago. literally I will be approachable by every and any way possible.

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?

While over the years the arts have been the poor relative for funding, It seems they seem to be doing all right finding investment while other ares seem to be struggling.

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?

As a Council we should be more Pro-active and support the football club as much as we are able to. If it was viable I would like to see as the oldest International Stadium in the world have a Museum and a redevelopment of the Kop to turn our football ground back to a stadium were internationals could be plaid again.

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?

To support existing venues and try to attract new ones, but to many evenings you see drinkers over doing it passed out on benches. maybe increase street wardens to help PCSO's.

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?

As I replied before increase foot patrols and more prosecutions to deter future problems. PSPO's work in a small area but this just moves the problem into neighboring ones and a long term solution needs to be found.

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

This is a National problem but locally i would like to see, more anti substance education in secondary schools to educate young adults on the dangers of getting hooked on substance abuse in the first place.

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?

As a governor of a school I receive hundreds of pages of school policies mainly WCBC ones sent to my own computer. I cannot see any reason to have a iPad or if I am elected i would buy one out of my Councillors allowance.

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?

As i replied to a question earlier This is another example of the present Council's short sightedness, The massive losses it was making under WCBC control have been slashed and with the right support and management could break even in a few years. We should help as much as possible.

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

More Welsh education is needed as children are being refused entry to over populated schools.

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?

If a elective official is representing you then you should be able to see, hear or read what is going on. I understand there are situations when a closed meeting is required but this should only be used in very few cases.

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?

While I am possibly one of the oldest Plaid candidates one of my fellow Plaid members is only 18 years old we have a complete mix of ages and sexes.

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 helped to launch our Residents Association 24 years ago in that time I have helped raise thousands of pounds for Xmas lunches and trips and will all ways work for my community. I have had 18 years on Caia Park Community Council and only missed a handful of meetings in that time it's all done for the good of the Community with no allowances being paid if I am re-elected to the Community Council I will be proud to carry on.

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

Because I all ways put others before myself, I would never show favor to friends or family. I have lived in Cartrefle Ward for 61 years and proud to do so, to put peoples mind at rest although I am a member of Plaid Cymru my constituents will all ways come before my party. I believe a councillor should start fighting for re election the day he is elected not just appear and say nice words four weeks before a election. What I will promise is I will endeavor to give 150% to the people of Cartrefle Ward every day from May 5th 2017.

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