Statement from Bryan Apsley


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

I have lived in Llay for 54 years after marrying Sandra in St. Martin’s church and our 2 children, Michelle and Kevin went to Llay Parc School. I worked in Fibreglass for 25 years and was a union rep there before moving to work for the Transport and General Workers Union which became Unite. I have represented Llay as a Welsh Labour Councillor for the last 5 years and given 100% to that task, I have been a community councillor for Llay for nearly 30 years and so I am well educated in the community issues. My experience gained as a Magistrate means that my listening skills and decision making ensured that I gave much thought before deciding on the way forward.
I have been a Labour supporter since I was a teenager but never ask residents what their political leanings are when they call for my help as I will represent any resident as a lot of issues are none political and support is what is needed. I have gained experience on several committees over the last 5 years including Democratic Services, Homes and Environment Scrutiny, Customer Performance Resouces and Governance Scrutiny and the Planning Committee.



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?

I have printed three issues but obviously there are more and different people who will have different opinions of what the top 3 are. I think the biggest issue for Llay would be the cost-of-living crisis which no doubt would be shared by every ward in the Borough and every town in Wales. The U.K. government needs to address the issues with urgency, but the Council budget needs to concentrate on the many in the Borough who are struggling to live. • I believe the youth of the village have been badly let down for facilities which currently consist of meeting in the Rockery Gardens twice per week. • The local development plan has affected many because it has run much longer than it should have done and the lack of one-bedroom homes in Llay and other areas, in particular, is a growing issue that can only be put right by having a plan for social housing

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 ?

•The recovery must begin by having an economic growth strategy that invigorates our Town Centre, makes a local supply chain a priority, and has a sustainable public transport system that will help employment and contribute to a carbon reduction strategy that is vital to all. As an individual, it will be my aim to help in any way I can, no matter what my specific role would be. I believe things need to change from where we are today and in particular, working together on policies wherever possible

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 will do any job that will help Wrexham Council and accept the democratic process that Labour employs to fill all roles amongst the Labour group. • I have a lot of experience in dealing with people, I have gained a lot more experience over the last 5 years on scrutiny committees, Democratic Services and Planning Committee and hope to add to that knowledge over the next 5 years and help Llay and Wrexham flourish.

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

• I am concerned because the climate emergency is not a priority on many people’s agenda. I have attended a course recently which gave some alarming news if we don’t get on board but there was very good news if the Council invested in all of the profitable energy efficiency and low carbon options. In 2021, Wrexham Council spent£231 million on energy and fuel bills and adopting best practices, the saving would be £60 million or 26% less than the 2021 figure. Similar percentage savings would be made by households and businesses. • We have to make it possible for safe walking routes and we have to cut out the short distance car journeys and have public transport schemes that will considerably reduce these damaging effects on the climate.

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?)

• I would have saved money by having only 8 executive board members and not the 10 that they have refused to change • I would have hoped that the health and safety contraventions could have been avoided by a more stringent administration • Social care and education have been a cause for concern by CIW and Estyn which are serious faults in the system and should have been addressed far sooner than they were • Delegated decisions on planning applications have increased dramatically and I believe that the role of Councillors is being ignored. If in administration I would push for changes to policies. Residents should be consulted on good practices in development to get to a point of greater understanding.

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

• In Llay we need a larger surgery and connected chemist to make it easier for those who find it difficult to get around and we don’t have a dental practice in the village which is growing rapidly. • I am aware of the issues that apply across the UK and the Health Board has to talk to Councils and Councillors about their difficulties and a coordinated plan has to be made which would bring in Community Health Hubs with salaried GPs and Advance Nursing Practitioners that can provide a host of services (cardiac, diabetic, mental health) within local communities rather than a trip to the Maelor • The Health Board should be far more involved when planning applications are made which would have an effect on medical services

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

• I have already mentioned that the main responsibility for resolving the crisis is with the UK Government. There has to be a commitment from WCBC that they will ensure that all the help offered by the Welsh Government is spent wisely. • I would expect a Council to not follow the policies of the Tory government which concentrates on protecting their individual riches rather than protecting those in need and stating that they were not aware of wrongdoings and then stating that they didn’t understand the rules. I may be regarded as old fashioned but whatever your beliefs are, lying must not be accepted by whichever political party or group you represent. • All residents deserve openness and honesty

8. How would you improve the local education system?

• I believe we need a better supported and connected education service which enables everyone to have an opportunity to fulfil their potential. • There is scope for improvement in every school and that should be the focus of all our aims but schools that are struggling should be provided with appropriate help

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?

• It’s the voters, not the people standing for the Council that decide the make-up of the Council! The onus is then on all elected Councillors to work together for the good of Wrexham County Borough. • Wrexham is electing 56 Councillors, Welsh Labour have 30 candidates standing, we are the only Party that can hold an outright majority (29> required for a majority) to lead the Council over the next 5 years, but only if the voters elect all our candidate. • Currently an Independent / Tory Council – vote for change, vote for Labour is the message I want to get over.

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 ?

• In my leaflet, I point out the lack of facilities for youths in Llay, but I am well aware that this is a problem all over the Borough. • The cost-of-living crisis will have an impact on those 16- and 17-year-olds who rely on their parents for financial support. • Most of these youngsters will have been badly affected by Covid which will have had an impact on mental health. • If they don’t get on well with their parents, how will they be able to live independently because of the high cost of housing. • I have found it difficult to have long conversations with youngsters because many look at the behaviour of senior politicians and have come to the conclusion that is it worth voting. I hope I am wrong but believe that many won’t vote because of their experience of prominent politicians acting like prima donnas.



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