Statement from Jeremy Kent
We invited them to tell you a little about who they are, any political history and about their political leanings.
My name is Jeremy, I’m 35 and I have lived in Wrexham for over 13 years since deciding to settle down here after I finished my education. I work as a project manager for the Ministry of Defence and support schools helping to give young people a wide range of skills and provide life changing opportunities to pupils through the Combined Cadet Force. Before this I have worked in the charity sector and in education, and have also managed a large hospitality location in Wrexham.
I have always been involved in the community and supporting others through various groups and organisations that I have been involved in, such as being a trustee of an anti-bullying charity, school governor for 2 local schools and board member for an advice and support charity based in Wrexham. During Covid I supported the vaccination roll out at the Catrin Finch Centre. I am also the senior Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer for the Royal Air Force Air Cadets in the Wrexham area.
It was the desire to help others that led me to want to become involved in politics to be able to shape policy and create the environment for people to thrive.
I stood as the Welsh Conservative Candidate in the Senedd Elections in May 21, coming second. I was delighted and immensely proud to be elected as the County Councillor for Gresford East and West in the by-election six months ago. Since then I’ve been working hard to get on with the job and hope that the residents of Gresford will put their trust in me again on the 5th of May.
You can read more about me at www.jeremykent.org.uk/about-jeremy-kent
I’m always happy to speak to residents and you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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?
Over the last 6 months, since being elected, I have been dealing with the issues that matter most to Gresford residents and their families. I have had countless people contact me with a wide range of issues and dealing with them offers a unique opportunity to help. The 3 biggest issues raised by residents to me are: 1. The closure of the GP Surgery is high on people’s priorities and many are concerned that they will be left without the healthcare they need and deserve. I have been working with Members of the Senedd to highlight the issues that the closure of the GP Surgery will cause. I have written to the Health Board and will continue to raise the concerns. Alongside this I will continue to support residents in getting the access to healthcare they need. 2. Speeding has been something that residents have been concerned about and I have been involved in speed checks with North Wales Police. I have also registered to support the community speed watch scheme and have made sure key areas are registered for monitoring. I have also been working with Cllr Debbie Wallice in Borras Park to make the Llan-y-pwll link road safer, as well as seeking improvements to the Gresford Roundabout. 3. Dog Fouling has become a key concern of late and I have met with key groups who are trying to deal with the issue, especially Gresford Memorial Hall Trust who have an issue with dog walkers not following the rules and allowing dog fouling on the pitches. I was disappointed to see that there have been no fines issued for this and have already raised this with the council to demand better enforcement. There are of course other issues that I am dealing with on a day to day basis and hope to continue this should I be re-elected on 5th May.
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 ?
There are several elements that need to be considered to see Wrexham recover from the pandemic. Wrexham as a whole needs to see economic recovery, there are many plans in place to try and support this. From development of the Wrexham Gateway, City of Culture bid and investment in the Town Centre. There needs to be encouragement for business to invest and grow. This will provide more jobs and opportunities for the people of Wrexham. Covid has also created social issues as well as highlighting areas of our community that need support. I will do all I can to support residents, using the skills and knowledge I have gained in my voluntary and professional experiences.
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?
When I was elected in October, I was appointed to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and as Vice-Chair of the Safeguarding Communities and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee. These committees are both areas that I feel I could support and offer vital skills. Having worked in education seeing improvement in the education in Wrexham is important. I have been on the governing body of a school which recently came out of special measures, so I have seen first-hand what it takes to get the improvements we need. I am passionate about providing opportunities for our young people which comes from my long term voluntary involvement in uniformed youth groups and employment working with young people.
4. What do the words climate emergency mean to you and your ward?
Tackling climate change is a combined effort. Residents in Gresford are already doing great things to help in their local area. I was delighted to join the Maes-Y-Pant Action Group recently to hear more about the work that they do to make this space accessible for all to enjoy. I got stuck in helping to clear an area that will become a children’s play area where they can learn more about nature and sustainability. Recycling levels remain high in Gresford and several properties have already begun to incorporate sustainable and renewable energy creation at their properties.
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 love our built heritage and I’d hate to see it lost for future generations to a be able to enjoy and experience the history of some amazing buildings around Wrexham. That’s why I would like to see more done to retain buildings and not see them torn down. I also think it is time that we resolve the Groves site issue once and for all.
6. Local health pressures are well documented, from delayed ambulances to issues in the hospital. How can the council help resolve those problems?
The ongoing issues with the health board are clear to see and the Labour Welsh Government have seen continued decline in our health services here in North Wales. Regularly resident contact me as they are unable to get the support and care that they need. This is worrying for all. The council has a role in providing adequate social care for adults and children. There are many spokes to the healthcare wheel and if we don’t do our part then it will buckle. The Council is making good progress in improving Social Care and I have been privileged to witness the work of the Safeguarding and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee since becoming its Vice Chair last October.
7. What will you do on a local level to help support people in your ward affected by the cost of living crisis?
Everyone is feeling the impact of the cost of living and the issues that Covid, national and international events are having on our daily lives. I have worked in the voluntary sector and I am also a director for an advice charity in the Wrexham area. I can use the skills and contacts that I have made to ensure that people can get the advice that they need.
8. How would you improve the local education system?
The education of our young people is at the heart of what I do in several of the voluntary roles I hold and also having worked in the education sector for a number of years. I have sat on the Governing Body of Ysgol Bryn Alyn since it went into Special Measures, I have worked with other governors to ensure that the correct level of scrutiny is in place and that we have a clear plan for improvement. It has been a pleasure to work with the Headteacher and staff over recent years and see the school move out of special measures recently. The school is now heading in the right direction. Since being elected I have sat on the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and have heard how Wrexham is on its own journey of education improvement. I hope to be able to get further involved with this should I be re-elected on the 5th of May.
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 stood and was elected as a Welsh Conservative Candidate back in October, and I am standing again for the party. I believe that people understand that local level, it is about who can get on with the job, who will represent them best and deal with the issues that matter most to people. I will continue to make decisions based on what we think will be in the best interests of our residents.
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 always been involved in youth work and I teach them to be critical thinkers, to base their decisions on facts and evidence. I have never uses my political background in these settings as I done think everything has to be politicised, in fact I have been involved in youth work a lot longer than I have been involved in politics. I think the biggest issue facing young people is their future aspirations and the increase in mental health issues that face young people. That’s why through my work and voluntary roles I strive to provide our young people with key skills that will set them up for the future, from leadership and public speaking to resilience and confidence. I have been a youth mental health and well-being instructor for a number of years.
Social & Web links
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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.
OTHER CANDIDATES FOR Gresford East and West
- Plaid Cymru
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