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 timeframe requested.
Below are the responses from Cllr for the Rossett ward Hugh Jones.
1. What was your first priority / aim for your ward prior to being elected and have you managed to achieve it?
To introduce 20mph zones outside Darland and St Peter’s Schools. The first is being processed with a draft traffic order produced shortly. I am still working on getting it for St Peter’s.
2. Since the election have you found your ward members engaged in your work, and if so what has been the main engagement tool?
I produce a monthly report for the village magazine which reaches over 90% of the residents. I attend Community Council and Village Hall Meetings
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?
Open forums have a role to play and I have used them to enable residents to meet with myself and officers to discuss a specific issue. However, being regularly available and contactable for local residents is as important.
4. What one thing you have achieved over the last 15 months are you most proud of?
In my role as Lead Member obtaining a new Service Level Agreement for PCSOs with North Wales Police. This gives devolves greater influence to the Community Councils.
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 see a great deal that is positive. Increasing employment opportunities, the Destination Management Plan that promotes the County Borough and two Further Educational establishments. This will ensure Wrexham retains its position as the pre eminent town in North Wales
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?
Given my role in tackling this subject and the fact that no final decisions have been made, it would not be appropriate for me to comment at this stage. We would all like to do more if the funding was available.
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?
My current efforts are focussed on both my Lead Member role and on my Ward. We are trying to find new ways of delivering services more efficiently and effectively. Dealing with up to £50 million in budgets cuts is hugely time consuming. In my Ward I continue to work to ensure that we retain the unique character of the Village; that ensures prosperity and services, together with ensuring that we have a range of housing that will protect the character and needs of a village.
8. What do you think has been the best decision taken by the council since the election?
To bid for the North Wales prison which will create up to 1000 jobs and inject millions of pounds annually into the local economy.
9. What do you think has been the worst decision taken by the council since the election?
That is for others to judge.
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?
The significant contribution made by the voluntary sector and the people who give their time and efforts to serve the community and their fellow citizens.