Last year we delivered a unique Q&A to all 138 local election candidates.
Out of the 52 council members elected, 12 kindly participated and provided responses to our questions.
Now, with over a year of the current term elapsed we caught up with them to find out what they had been up to, and how much they had achieved so far.
Each Cllr was issued with the same Q&A format, and 7 out of the 12 Cllrs answered our questions within the time frame requested.
These are the responses from Cllr for Gresford, Andrew Bailey.
1. What was your first priority / aim for your ward prior to being elected and have you managed to achieve it?
A high priority on election were some outstanding road repairs-thankfully done but a couple of “niggles” remain.
2. Since the election have you found your ward members engaged in your work, and if so what has been the main engagement tool?
There is a notable increase in email communication since my previous council stint-up to 2008.
3. A post on the Wrexham.com forums stated that local democracy is healthy when councillors are pushed on issues affecting their ward members. Some have called for an open forum discussion. Do you feel you are pushed enough by the people you represent and could an open forum be a tool to achieve that?
I find councillors-like other elected representatives are pressed by some on a fairly consistent basis and by most when their issue arises. Whilst not in principle againt an Open Forum I am wary of the old maxim that “the truth is still lacing up her boots while rumour has circled the earth.”
4. What one thing you have achieved over the last 15 months are you most proud of?
My best acheivement is by working with fellow directors we have put our community quarry cum woodland, Maes-Y-Pant on the map not to mention the BBC (One Show -November 2012.)
5. What do you see as the long term future in terms of Wrexham’s identity and how do you think it will be achieved?
I believe our aim should be to battle through government imposed austerity cuts and come out the other side as a vibrant town.
6. Your current term in office is one where the council are implementing cuts. If you had to pinpoint one area the council should spend more in, and one area where they should spend less, what would they be?
In terms of investment I will strive as chair of the Tenant-Member Partnership to ensure we continue to improve our council housing and reach the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2020.
In terms of spending less would it not be great if we spent less on landfill tax, and enforcing litter and dog fouling measures because the problems did not occur in the first place?
7. Where are your current efforts focused and what visible improvements would you like to achieve between now and the end of this term in your ward?
I am working with others to make environmental improvements to Gresford village centre so a vibrant shopping hub of mostly independent businesses can thrive.
8. What do you think has been the best decision taken by the council since the election?
Continuing to give as much protection as we can to Education and Social Services but given the cuts mentioned in question 5 this is going to get ever more harder to acheive.
9. What do you think has been the worst decision taken by the council since the election?
Not electing me Leader-ONLY JOKING NEIL.
10. In our Q&A at election time we asked for your best memory of the town, so would like to ask you this time around what have you been most proud of in terms of the town since you were elected?
It has been good to see the engagement of young people in questioning service provision. Whilst not able to attend all I know the Council Leader, the Lead Member for Young Peoples Services and the Assembly Member have all faced their rigorous questioning.