2012 Local Elections The letters we sent! Wrexham.com was the only media involved in the town to go to this effort.

We here at Wrexham.com sent written letters to all 130 odd candidates in the local Wrexham Council elections this year, and here are the replies! Where there is no reply below from a candidate, we did not receive one before the week of the 23rd April. If you are a candidate or voter reading this join in the debate or let us know what you think in our Wrexham Forums!!

Whitegate (1 seat)
Cameron – Welsh Labour
Jones – Plaid Cymru

Jones – Plaid Cymru

1 – Which party do you align yourself with, and why? (Or if non aligned, why not?)

Plaid Cymru, because it is the only party standing in these elections that is in tune with the people of Wrecsam and Wales as a whole. Many of our activists are involved in promoting work and opportunity through community enterprises, coops and voluntary groups that look to bring power back to the community rather than rely on handouts or the free market. Wales is a country rich in natural and human resources but we’re a poor nation. Having the power to make decisions for ourselves would change that. The London parties are all in hock to the bankers and millionaires that bankroll them. They’re a world away from the people of Wrecsam.

2 – What will be your first personal priority or aim if you were elected?

The lack of affordable housing for rent and to buy is the biggest problem in my ward – the single biggest issue I deal with as a councillor. We need to be building more council houses using the £11.2m that is currently being siphoned off from the council’s Housing Revenue Account to the UK Treasury as well as getting empty private housing back into use. More affordable housing would solve the overcrowding crisis as well as providing work in the building trade.

3 – Why do you personally want to be a councillor when so often you just get blamed for problems beyond your control?

Councils have a direct affect on people’s daily lives in terms of services they provide. Because of that it’s important to have people on the council that don’t take voters for granted and will work with people in the ward to get what’s needed.

4 – Many politicians and local councillors are accused of bring out of touch with voters. What will you do to ensure you stay ‘in touch’?

Everyone in the Whitegate ward gets a regular newsletter and I also hold street surgeries, where I’ll knock on doors asking if things are OK. This is more effective than booking a community centre for a surgery, because constituents can show you the problems they’ve got (if it’s a housing matter); responding promptly to phone calls, texts or e-mails. I also get a lot of feedback through Facebook and our wrecsamplaid blog.

5 – How do you plan to tackle or prevent anti-social behaviour in your local area?

Anti-social behaviour tends to be a tag only used against people in our poorest communities. But very often governments and the rich are among the most anti-social in our society – cutting jobs, taking us into illegal wars and targeting the disabled while giving millionaires tax breaks is pretty anti-social in my book.

6 – Do you think any local authority has the means to improve economic and job opportunities? And if you do, what do you think the priority actions should be?

The council has to be more pro-active in creating local jobs and work opportunities – we want 75% of council contracts tendered in Wales so local firms and workers will benefit. The benefit of installing 3000 PV panels extends beyond tenants because it provided work for workers at Sharp. We want to employ more 16 – 18 year olds on traineeships, make our market stalls more attractive to new and existing traders as well as looking at ways to fill empty units on places like the Whitegate Industrial Estate. The council needs to nurture new social enterprises and community coops, which are a way to create jobs that won’t relocate to China.

7 – What do you think has been the best decision taken by the council in the last four years?

Fitting 3000 council houses with Solar PV – see above. Wrecsam Council demonstrated it was a pioneering and innovative council.

8 – What do you think has been the worst decision taken by the council in the last four years?

Many councillors of all colours were out of touch with local people’s views on City Status. Because they didn’t talk to people, they came over as arrogant and self-seeking.

9 – What is your favourite place to visit or favourite thing to do in the local area?

I love walking the Panorama up above Castell Dinas Bran but watching a good live band in Saith Seren with a pint in hand is slightly less strenuous.

10 – If you had to pick your best memory connected to Wrexham, what would it be?

Maternity unit, Ysbyty Wrecsam Maelor for the birth of two unforgettable sons.

Cameron – Welsh Labour

1 – Which party do you align yourself with, and why? (Or if non aligned, why not?)

I am a long time member of the Labour Party. I joined as I feel it is the only party that represents the most vulnerable of society.

2 – What will be your first personal priority or aim if you were elected?

My main priority if elected will be elderly care. It has been an easy target for cost cutting and this should not be the case. I will fight against the withdrawal of funding from our day care centres and residential homes. I will also look to review the home care policy on outsourcing and ensure that a minimum level qualification is set for all carers of NVQ2 .

3 – Why do you personally want to be a councillor when so often you just get blamed for problems beyond your control?

I want to be a councillor as I want to make a difference in my community. Being chosen to represent the views of people in my local area would be a great privilege.

4 – Many politicians and local councillors are accused of bring out of touch with voters. What will you do to ensure you stay ‘in touch’?

I promise to issue regular newsletters, hold street and office surgeries and consult with the electorate all year round.

5 – How do you plan to tackle or prevent anti-social behaviour in your local area?

I will continue to tackle anti social behaviour, aim to invest in and improve facilities for our young people and take tough action against the sale of alcohol to minors.

6 – Do you think any local authority has the means to improve economic and job opportunities? And if you do, what do you think the priority actions should be?

A proper strategy for affordable housing as the construction Industry could provide lots of much needed jobs in Wrexham. A booming construction industry could also offer training opportunities for apprenticeships – an area I feel the authority should look at.

7 – What do you think has been the best decision taken by the council in the last four years?

I feel the best decision taken by the authority was the development of Eagles Meadow – a big boost to the local economy.

8 – What do you think has been the worst decision taken by the council in the last four years?

The worst decision taken by the council was not having a strategy for the town centre – many businesses and outlets have closed down as a result.

9 – What is your favourite place to visit or favourite thing to do in the local area?

I very much enjoy being a member of the Wrexham Supporters Trust and also Chair of the local Supporters Group Kings Mills Reds. My favourite place to visit is the oldest international stadium in the world – The Racecourse – to watch my team Wrexham play whatever the result.

10 – If you had to pick your best memory connected to Wrexham, what would it be?

My best memory connected to Wrexham was meeting and marrying my wife Wife Kerry 34 years ago this very week and having a son Lee. Family life is the most important thing anybody can have,