Statement from Paul Anthony Roberts


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

Hi,
I’m Paul and I am the current County Councillor for the Erddig ward.
I have lived in Wrexham all my life and have worked in Finance for over thirty years as well as being a small local business owner. I am involved with Community Groups and am the current Chair of Huntroyde Residents Association.
Politically I represent the Conservative Party but I’m aware that local residents may prefer to vote for the person that will do the best job to support their local concerns rather than someone who solely follows party affiliations. I always put local resident interests first and work with cross party collaboration so as to get the best results for the residents of Erddig.



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?

1. Dog fouling is always a big concern especially as regards the potential health risk. 2. Littering by a small minority is another contentious issue. 3. Anti - Social Behaviour is also regularly raised. My concern is the low number of fines issued by the enforcement team in Wrexham to deter people and what level of enforcement is undertaken in the Erddig area. The Council are currently reviewing these areas and I look forward to a positive outcome from their findings on how the Council will deal with these problems.

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 ?

Wrexham should position itself as the main business hub centre in North Wales. In addition, the cultural development of new small independent businesses in the Town Centre linked to the overall regeneration of the town should be encouraged. With my experience and also as a small business owner I am able to relate with the local business community. Events and local festivals need to be reviewed to identify what is successful and cost effective in attracting footfall to Wrexham. During the pandemic I set up a support network with volunteers in the ward to assist vulnerable residents, but now as we live in the “new normal” we must not forget residents that may still need support in the ward. Huntroyde Residents Association is available to promote community spirit and health and wellbeing for all residents and the recent Scarecrow Festival in Erddig was popular.

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?

Since 2017 I have gained experience sitting on a variety of Committees and attained the position of a Scrutiny Chair and my business and finance experience enables me to fulfil a variety of roles. However all new roles are dependent on the outcome of the election and the political makeup of the Council and that is when positions will be allocated according to the structure.

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

The words “climate emergency” should be a real concern for everyone and residents that have engaged with me about this topic are worried about our environmental issues locally, nationally and globally. Since 2019 the Council has created processes and procedures on a positive carbon reduction policy in Wrexham. Funding has enabled the Council to replace inefficient lighting to LED lighting which is low emission as part of the policy. It’s important that residents play their part and are being encouraged to participate by recycling goods and keeping food waste to a minimum but more can be done. I was involved with Erddig Country Park in a tree planting scheme to create a bio - diverse woodland that absorbs carbon emissions and it’s important that similar schemes are encouraged throughout Wrexham

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?)

Whilst I recognise the pandemic caused disruption; it’s a testament to the Council staff and Councillors for being able to adapt working conditions so that services could continue as best as possible. However, when deciding on key matters affecting all of Wrexham there should be a vote by all the residents rather than the Executive Board members deciding on the outcome. It would also be refreshing if Members of the Executive Board could be selected from the 56 Councillors based on their qualifications and experience.

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

It is a difficult period for the Health Service but the Council does not have any direct control over the NHS or Ambulance Service in Wrexham. There is a mix of local funding through the Council and Welsh Assembly Government for Social Care. Ultimately the care of the local population needs to be integrated with the strategic and operational dynamics of the local health board BCUHB and the funding needs to be used effectively and I will highlight issues raised by residents to ensure the needs of the local community are met.

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

This has become a real problem and it’s going to get worse for residents and we all need to look to support anyone. I will continue to point residents in the right direction to help them get the support they need. Locally we have Community Agents supporting some residents with issues.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

Local Schools are managed regionally by GWE and report regularly to the Council and are and should be accountable especially when exceeding their spending limits. School Governing Bodies should have greater autonomy and control to adopt a more enhanced role and challenge overspends or perceived inefficiencies within their schools. Educational targets and attainment need to be measurable against a School’s performance tied into providing the best education for young people at the highest level and providing the best value achievable within the budget framework.

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?

A fair question but no one can speculate on anyone’s position until the results are announced and the Council formed.

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 ?

I have encouraged the young people in my ward to register to be able to vote for the first time as its important they have their say. I am aware of a lack of facilities for young people in the ward. I am also concerned about education being disrupted due to the pandemic and the affect this may have had on their health and wellbeing and future employment prospects. I will be interested how these issues will be addressed and it is something that I am actively looking to review.



Social & Web links

Where is my polling station?

Your polling station address should be on your poll card, delivered by post before the election.

How do I vote?

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 5th May.

If you don't have your poll card, you can go to the polling station and give them your name and address. You don't need any other form of ID.

Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive. You don’t have to take your poll card with you.

You’ll be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or the options you can vote for.

  • Take your ballot paper into a polling booth.
  • Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote.
  • Put it in the ballot box.
...Done!


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