Statement from Becca Martin

We invited them to tell you a little about who they are, any political history and about their political leanings.

Hi, I’m Becca and I’m 34 years old. I was born and raised in Wrexham and am now currently living on the same street I grew up on with my partner Michael and my young son Charlie who is four.

Some of you may recognise me from Martin Rees Jeweller’s in town where I have worked for 17 years and others may recognise me as the county councillor for Maesydre after winning the by-election in March last year. I love both my roles and the opportunity they give me to work with and get to know people from a whole host of different backgrounds.

I am a member of Plaid Cymru and have been for a while now. I know and have seen first hand that the members of Plaid Cymru really do want what is best for Wrexham and Wales as a whole. They listen and act on the views of the community as a whole and the policies of Plaid Cymru reflect my own core beliefs; I can’t imagine being a member of any other party.

I am a proud Wrexham girl who loves our town and just wants to play a part in making the changes it needs to make it the best it can be.

Questions & Answers

1. What are the three biggest issues for your ward, how do you think they need to be resolved, and what will you do to achieve it?

The biggest issue at the moment is that of the land at 9 acre. I, and a vast majority of local residents, do not believe this is the right location for the new build St Mary’s school. I have been to St. Mary’s and it is quite evident that they need a new building and a new location to continue providing the quality education every child should be entitled do, however, it does not make logical sense to place this on a greenfield site when there are other brownfield sites that could be used within the area. If elected I will continue with the fight to save this much needed green space alongside the 9 Acre group. The safety and security of residents is paramount and with this in mind I have already worked with outside agencies to get lights and CCTV installed on the Powell Road Underpass. There are also plans in the pipeline to spruce it up and organise some community murals once the weather is better and I’d love to work with members of both communities to “makeover” other areas of concern.Dog Poo! (and just generally tidying up the area). I have started sowing the seeds of a tenants and residents association with the idea of getting the community to work together to clean the areas. As a member of Wrexham Litter Pickers, I love getting out and doing a litter pick myself and it would be great to organise some community tidy up events.

2. What do you think needs to be done to help Wrexham recover from the pandemic and what hands-on-role can you play as a councillor ?

We are currently in the middle of a mental health crisis, exacerbated by pandemic lockdowns. In order for Wrexham to recover we first need the residents to recover. As a councillor I want to be as open and approachable as I possibly can in order to help those still struggling make those steps to recovery, whether by signposting them to the right service, helping them access services they need, creating community events where every resident feels welcome or just having a chat with someone who may be feeling a little overwhelmed with life.

3. As a councillor you may have the chance to take on further roles eg. Lead Member, Audit, Scrutiny. What appeals to you and what skills do you bring to that role?

I’ve been lucky enough to have sat on various committees including Governance and Audit, EBISC and Environmental Licensing. They have been interesting and I feel I have learnt a lot and I’d love to now sit on different committees in order to expand my knowledge of how the council runs and performs in other areas too. With a background in childcare and early education I feel I could offer some expertise in lifelong learning scrutiny committee.

4. What do the words climate emergency mean to you and your ward?

Climate emergency means, to me, that we have limited time left to save our planet. We are sailing perilously close to damaging the Earth beyond repair and we need to take urgent steps to reduce and reverse climate change in every way we can.Very significantly for both Acton and Maesydre is the proposed building of St. Mary’s school on 9 Acre, a greenfield space, whilst brown field locations sit empty and unused. Once we build on our green spaces there is no going back so it is incredibly important to myself and so many others that we continue to question and stand against these types of decisions.

5. What is the biggest thing you would have done differently from the ruling administration over the last 5 years? (Or, if you were part of the Administration - what would you have done differently?)

Simply put; the current ruling administration have just not listened to the people of Wrexham. They have made decisions THEY want to make, behind closed doors and without full and proper communications with residents. As a councillor and as a member of the Plaid Cymru group on the council we want to work towards a fully open and transparent council that truly represents the communities of Wrexham.

6. Local health pressures are well documented, from delayed ambulances to issues in the hospital. How can the council help resolve those problems?

It’s no secret that I have personally seen the crisis the local health board is in. Over last summer, my Dad was blue lighted to the Maelor hospital where he had to undergo 5 blood transfusions, numerous operations and procedures and IV antibiotics, due to urosepsis and internal bleeding from the kidney. At times we were told his chances were slim and this was partly caused from being unable to access primary care in the first place. There is a massive shortage within the NHS and it’s chronically underfunded and mismanaged. The doctors, nurses and all other staff are overworked, tired and running on empty. Change needs to start from the top down, and as a council there is much that is out of our hands, however, I think we need a more integrated system between health and social care that will work for the benefit of the people who need it, hopefully keeping more people at home, safe and well and out of the hospital which will then have a knock on effect of freeing up more bed spaces and reducing pressures on the hospital and the staff.

7. What will you do on a local level to help support people in your ward affected by the cost of living crisis?

I am so worried about how people are going to be affected by the cost of living crisis. In my opinion, and that of the Plaid Cymru team council tax should have been frozen and not increased this year and any deficit taken from the reserves. If ever there is a reason to dip in to the “rainy day fund” it’s this. As it stands I would signpost any struggling people/families to the right support, advocating if necessary and working with the communities to pull together and support each other once again like they do time and time again through every crisis.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

As a parent of a child who will be starting full time education in September and as a Governor of two schools I think we need to focus on each child’s individual needs and learning styles. I have personally toyed with the idea of a home education and would like to see more schools offering flexi-schooling if possible.

9. When the public view the Full Council meeting in June, do you envision you could be part of a Party, Group or coalition, and if so, specifically who and why?

I currently am and will continue to be a part of Plaid Cymru party as I share the same core beliefs and values and we all want to work together for a better Wrexham.

10. This is a noteworthy election with 16 and 17 year olds now able to vote, what have you done to engage this new electorate and what do you think is the biggest issue for them locally ?

One of our candidates, now 18, was able to vote in the Senedd election last year for the first time at 17. Conversations we have had have allowed me to grasp more thoroughly the importance of allowing a younger electorate to have a say on the things that matter to them. A massive issue for young people, I believe, is that they’re not “listened to”. Too many people still believe they don’t have the knowledge or maturity to be able to vote, however, with the development of technology it has now become easier than ever before to access information and news and I find young people today are much more politically and worldly aware than many of the older generations. If we just listen, we may just learn.

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