2017 Council elections: A New Hope? or Attack of the Clones?

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  • #122218

    Conde
    Participant

    Sorry for the title. It’s been a star wars weekend in the Conde household.

    For most of us, 2012 was the last council election any of us had any potential to be involved in – heck, you could have even have been 1 of the 65 that voted for me!

    I’m hopeful, though not convinced, that the 2017 elections may breathe fresh life into a council that quite frankly requires it.

    I sincerely hope that more individuals get involved in the elections – many see the councillors as money for old rope (and I must admit… some of the decisions that are made would certainly lead people to believe this!) but I know we all care about our local services. They impact every last one of us. Whether you get involved as a candidate – an active supporter – a curious resident or even just someone who wants to make their opinions heard; getting involved is key.

    Yes politics is dull (at times!) – but it’s a vital mechanism for making councils work. I hope you get involved.

    Thanks.
    Damian

    #122227

    PhilWynn
    Participant

    From my observations roughly a quarter of the Councillors retire or get voted out at every election. That means we ought to end up with thirteen new faces in the Council Chamber come May next year.

    With many of the general public holding politicians in contempt, including Councillors my worry is you will end up with Party activists standing and winning with their allegiance owed to their Party first and their constituents and Wrexham second.

    The current changes to how the Council operates ie all meetings are held during the working day or at 4pm may well put off a number of applicants who want to represent their communities but can’t sacrifice the day job which pays the mortgage and puts food on the table.

    Back in 2008 there were two Scrutiny Committees that meet at 6pm, as did the Planning Committee and Full Council. The Executive Board meet at 2pm which meant you only had to take an afternoon off work to attend.

    There is an expectation that all lay Councillors commit three days a week to the role, including any community work carried out in a voluntary capacity eg committee members of community centre, school governors, Community Council Councillor roles etc. That said it is a great leap of faith for many to jeopardise a career to take on a role which is for a five year fixed term.

    For that reason I believe the Chamber does not truly represent Society ie 50/50 male/female representation or Councillors in their 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s being present in any numbers. As such you run the potential of ending up with decision-making which is viewed through the eyes of the retired.

    Not sure what the answers are to my concerns but from my personal experience if you are a people person who wants the best for their communities and our town then I encourage you to stand in the local elections in May 2017.

    Hope you stand again Conde and that you have been active in your community since 2012.

    Cllr Phil Wynn

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by  PhilWynn.
    #122233
    Rob
    Rob
    Keymaster

    Out of interest who is the youngest councillor?

    (Wrexham.com'er - email us on news@wrexham.com)

    #122234

    PhilWynn
    Participant

    I’m guessing it’s still Cllr Paul Rogers for The Brymbo ward. That said it could be Cllr Dana Davies for the Ruabon ward.

    #122235

    Conde
    Participant

    With many of the general public holding politicians in contempt, including Councillors my worry is you will end up with Party activists standing and winning with their allegiance owed to their Party first and their constituents and Wrexham second.

    I’d totally agree – and to be frank, probably the situation I found myself in 5 years ago ( more the part alligence rather than the constituents part. I’m a Bryn Cefn boy by right. Have been all my life. Standing in a different ward was more of a political favour than an active decision. Oh the grandure of local politics.

    The current changes to how the Council operates ie all meetings are held during the working day or at 4pm may well put off a number of applicants who want to represent their communities but canโ€™t sacrifice the day job which pays the mortgage and puts food on the table.

    Could not agree with this more, find myself cursing this very notion over and over again. Local politics should be about making it as accessible as it possible. This measure will more than likely mean a lot fewer candidates and to be fair, a lot fewer people (than the admittedly dismal) observing the meetings.

    Totally agree with your comments re: the leap of faith. I don’t believe there is significant appitite within the council to reverse the decision of meeting later in the day. I don’t quite buy the argument that it’s a cost saving measure. From my experience as a former Wrexham Council Employee, I’m very much concious that flexi-time is a beautiful thing.

    I’m sure that my name will be floating around at the time of the election. Perhaps on a voting slip in one of the Bryn Cefn count boxes! (Appreciate you’re support however!)

    #122236

    99DylanJones
    Participant

    I would suggest that Party Politics at local level is almost dead and people vote for the person – personality politics.
    Dont be put off by the times of meetings a new Council can overturn the current times
    Im not sure that the age of the person really matters it is their ability to understand what is going on — no disrespect to you or your fellow Councillors Phil but looking at the average level of debate on the web cast the age is irrelevant as most of the currant Councillors have no idea what is going on and vote the way their Party/Group tell them.
    I strongly agree that working for the local people should be at the fore front.
    What is almost a dead cert there will not be one single party that wins — even with the Independents it is highly unlikley they will all unite behind one Group Leader so will be split and different groupings could align with Labour or even Plaid to form an administration.
    A lot can change in a 5 year period as I am sure if you ask any of the current Councillors did they stand to be elected knowing they would have to be making some massive cuts in services due to the Westminster settlement to Wales.
    Whoever get in after the elections in May they will have to be working on reducing finances from 2018 so there is no sudden pot of funding to try and reverse the current cuts without cutting other exsiting services and moving funding around.
    Remember the older population will be the significant number in the area from 2020 with more people retired than in work- the ‘silver’ vote and ‘silver’ candidates will play the biggest part in the deciding vites in May if they are motivated to get you .

    #122437

    newwales
    Participant

    We just Need to finally kick Labour out of power in Wrexham some of the council’s have been in power for well over 20 years, they are out of touch & stuck in there ways.

    #122441

    wrexview
    Participant

    There are a number of Councillors who stood as Labour in 2012 , who now sit as Independents. Will they call themselves Independent Labour at the 2017 Election? Will official Labour stand against them? Will all seats be contested ? The present Leader of the council, an Independent, had no opponent against him in 2012 so went straight back on the Council without anyone actually voting for him.

    #122457

    99DylanJones
    Participant

    Correction NewWales Labour are not in control in Wrexham – it is a mix of three separte groups of Independents and one Conservative.
    Labour lost control when 10 of them defected to Independents 18 months ago

    #122462

    jimbow
    Participant

    What annoys me is that you have councillors coming on these forums expressing their own views, yet in their reign of four years in office,none of their views seem to have been put to the test.
    Councillor Wynn expresses a need to cut the number of members from 52 to 42 saving 150k. Executive Board has 10 members to shadow 7 Heads of Departments, there could be a saving here of 90k.
    When the Council in their questionnaire there is no mention in a reduction of these roles. Why?
    Could this be just Councillor propaganda.

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