Wrexham & Clwyd South Assembly Candidate Q&A’s With Wrexham.com
Wrexham.com sat down with 10 of the 12 candidates standing in Wrexham or Clwyd South to ask a range of questions on film.
WREXHAM has six candidates: Andrew Mark Atkinson – Welsh Conservative Party Candidate, Jeanette Stefani Bassford-Barton – UK Independence Party (UKIP), Beryl Blackmore – Welsh Liberal Democrats, Alan Butterworth – Wales Green Party, Lesley Griffiths – Welsh Labour and Carrie Harper – Plaid Cymru
CLWYD SOUTH also has six candidates: Mabon ap Gwynfor – Plaid Cymru, Simon Robert Maurice Baynes – Welsh Conservative Party Candidate, Mandy Jane Jones – UK Independence Party (UKIP), Duncan Rees – Wales Green Party, Aled Roberts – Welsh Liberal Democrats, Ken Skates – Welsh Labour
Below are video Q&A’s with all the above aside from Mandy Jones and Alan Butterworth who both sent their apologies but were keen to take part.
We would like to say thanks to The Bank Bar in Wrexham town centre for letting us take over upstairs for a full day (and bit of the evening!) and Leighton and Marcin from Wrexham TV who spent many hours filming and putting together the below videos.
We asked all candidates basically the same set of initial questions, with a couple added in at the end that were topical, specific to the candidate and/or their party.
The latter questions include asking if people are more suited to standing as a councillor, if they want to lower voting age, if devolving health to councils is a good idea considering their local party had raised issues locally about the Groves … and more!
Hopefully you find these of interest – and remember to turn out to vote!
(This is a different video from the first put online as we got the last two question titles the wrong way around – so it looked like Carrie was answering the wrong question! Now fixed!)
Alan Butterworth standing in Wrexham for the Wales Green Party was unable to take part.
Clwyd South Candidates…
Mandy Jane Jones standing in Clwyd South for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) was unable to take part.
Cribbed from our similar exercise last year in the Westminster elections below is a quick pre-empted FAQ
Q: What was the aim of doing this?
A: We wanted to put more information out about each candidate, and felt a debate would be less digestable and technically difficult due to the number of candidates, plus videos add more colour than plain text. Therefore unseen questions would put candidates under light pressure, but also mean they have to answer, evade or pass on the question. The aim was not to catch anyone out, but give a platform for views and also allow Wrexham.com’ers a chance to see more about their candidate than just an election leaflet.
Q: This is biased because of X or you gave X more time!
A: We have done our best to be as even as possible. If you are complaining you probably wont believe this, but it is true. Every candidate had the same guidelines and was treated the same, some took longer than others but one persons delight at detail is another’s preference for brevity.
Q: You asked candidates a different questions?
A: The questions were in two sections, the first majority tranche being a similar set for all, with the last couple being something more custom to the candidate or their party. This is an expansion from last year and to see how it goes!
Q: Why did you not give the candidates the questions in advance?
A: We would get bored having pre-prepared statements read out to us for every question, so would imagine others would too. Plus it is more fun this way!
Q: Why did you not ask X?
A: We had a list of questions that we had to whittle down to something that would be more digestable. We asked a few people in and around town in the run up to this shoot about what they would ask candidates if they could – and tried to get as many of those in as possible – so thanks if yours made it!
Q: Why did you not force them to answer the question or ask follow ups?
A: We hold great faith in Wrexham.com’ers to spot when questions have been ignored, spun, not answered or humans being put on the spot and answering off the top of their heads. The aim was to give a platform for views to be expressed and to give an insight to the candidates immediate thinking.
Q: Why is this just Wrexham, I am from
Clwyd South / Eddisbury / Oswestry / Chester or Alyn and Deeside / A N Other Constituency ?
A: Sadly we do not have the resources just yet to cover all the different constituencies that Wrexham.com’ers live and work in. This probably frustrates us as much as it frustrates you. Press your local media to do this type of thing, as they have the time, money and resources to do it if they wanted. (Note this year we have not just done Wrexham but Clwyd South too!)
Q: This was filmed at The Bank Bar in Wrexham, that seems like an advert?
A: They donated the space for a day so it is only fair to say thank you. Plus we are Wrexham so you might catch the odd boy racer and church bells in the background for added authenticity!
Q: Who paid for all this?
A: Wrexham.com plus the kind donation of time / effort from a group of volunteers. To be clear the Council nor Candidates or any associated person contributed.
Q: The video is really well filmed, who shot it?
A: Marcin and Leighton, from Wrexham TV!
Q: I still think this is biased/terrible so where should I send my scrawled abuse using my finest red crayola?
A: As you have put so much effort in to it we think you should keep it.
Q: I work for X and we would like to use these videos, can we?
A: Yes, these videos are free to use by any person or publication as the point is to get as much information to voters as possible. We would like a link back to Wrexham.com if possible, but if you are still in 1998 and that is a sticking point just bang them up! If you visit the direct Youtube video there are sharing options on there which are pretty easy to use. We offered our Westminster videos to some media outlets, allowing them to stick their own adverts on them if they really wanted it, however they were not used.
Q: I have another question that is not answered above?
A: Get in touch in the usual way and as mentioned if it not rant written in crayon we will do our best to answer it!
We would encourage you to share them to as many people as possible, analyse and discuss the content and hopefully get people to take part and vote in the election!
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