Statement from Christina Bate
We invited them to tell you a little about who they are, any political history and about their political leanings.
I am Wrexham born and bred and have recently completed my postgraduate studies at Glyndwr University. I am extremely proud to be from Wrexham which has proven to be a town full of kindness and resilience and am pleased to have been appointed as a community agent. I am standing as a candidate for Welsh Labour as I believe that the Party truly puts the community first. I am immensely proud to be a Labour member and of all of the work that we do to support local people. If elected, I will make it my mission to ensure that my constituents are listened to and that the issues they face are taken seriously. Most of all, I want to give Little Acton residents a voice. A vote for me on the 5th May will mean that no one is left behind.
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?
Firstly, I want to ensure the future of vital services in Little Acton. For example, the community centre on The Green has been vital for wellbeing in the past, especially during the pandemic. I certainly don’t want to see this lost. Protecting and caring for green spaces such as the pond and actively making sure that our streets are as clean as can be will be one of my priorities. There will be no place in Little Acton for dog fouling or littering! Finally, community cohesion and inclusion are two things I am very passionate about. The cost of living crisis will impact on so many people in Little Acton and across the town. I will ensure that constituents are getting appropriate guidance and support when accessing services. Communities need to support each other more than ever after the pandemic and I would put this front and centre.
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 ?
As we now come out of the other side of the pandemic, Wrexham needs a holistic approach to how we can support residents and businesses. Long before the recent pandemic, Wrexham was not receiving the standards it should have been from the council and the challenges of the pandemic have exacerbated this. I am proud to support Wrexham Labour’s clear plans for how the council can support the town. One focus of our Wrexham manifesto is employment. The financial pressures of the pandemic have been all too real so Labour plan to reinvigorate the town centre, create high quality and well-paid jobs and prioritise local businesses and supply chains. Our manifesto also highlights the need for a huge improvement in local transport. The Little Acton ward has lost bus services and I would aim to reintroduce these vital services.
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 would be open minded towards such opportunities within the council. The Labour group has a democratic process to ensure that they elect the best person to each role based on the skills and experience the councillor possesses. I am very passionate about improving the wellbeing of residents across the county and would be proactive and hard working in any role I would be allocated.
4. What do the words climate emergency mean to you and your ward?
Little Acton has areas of speeding traffic such as Smithy Lane, and is on the doorstep of the Llan-y-Pwll link road. In addition to the obvious issues of safety in these areas pollution is also a huge concern. These issues have been raised in the past to no avail – this is just not good enough. As we are in a climate emergency, this is not something that can be ignored. I know that reducing the speed limit on the bypass and finding ways to tackle speeding has been on many residents’ minds for a while. I would do my best to get involved with tackling this issue and will have the support of Lesley Griffiths MS, the minister who declared the climate emergency status in Wales.
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?)
Recent dissatisfaction among residents towards the ruling administration has become crystal clear. Extortionate business rates and a failure to provide plans to grow our local economy has meant that growth in Wrexham has not only stalled but barely kept its head above water during the pandemic. The council has failed to support secondary schools, several of which have been placed in special measures and some have been on the verge of this status. It is simply not good enough as teachers are working hard against the odds with poor funding and a lack of support. Education needs a holistic and realistic approach to once again give parents in the county faith in the education system. Transparency and communication is key! Many residents simply don’t feel that they are listened to by the ruling administration. More focus needs to be placed on ensuring that Wrexham residents have a voice. The people of Wrexham are strong and resilient. They deserve more respect.
6. Local health pressures are well documented, from delayed ambulances to issues in the hospital. How can the council help resolve those problems?
Concerns over NHS waiting times and securing GP appointments are glaring issues for many residents in my ward. The pandemic has heightened the challenges faced by an already overstretched NHS and residents need to see improvements. The council needs to work with the health board on a local level to protect the future of our medical practices and to create community health hubs with salaried GPs and advanced nursing practitioners which not only ease the pressure on the Maelor Hospital but ensures that residents feel cared for efficiently and can access services when they need them. One huge benefit to being a Welsh Labour candidate is our connection to our local Senedd members Lesley Griffiths and Ken Skates. This means that we can work closely on these larger issues that need a local and wider Wales approach.
7. What will you do on a local level to help support people in your ward affected by the cost of living crisis?
When it comes to the current cost of living crisis, it is vital that every councillor understands the knock-on effects to residents that every single one of their decisions will have. Absolutely every single penny of support that the council receives from the Welsh Government to ease financial burdens on residents needs to do exactly that. The Welsh Government already has a history of mitigating the worst effects of Westminster policies which have a financial impact on Welsh people. For example, the Welsh Government was the first in the UK to give financial support in the school holidays to parents whose children are eligible for free school meals. September 2022 will see the start of the roll out of the scheme to deliver free school meals for all primary pupils in Wales. The Pupil Development Grant offers further support for parents and is the most generous scheme of its type in the UK. If elected to represent Little Acton, I would ensure that constituents are able to access services and support as and when they need. Struggling residents need a listening ear, sign posting to help available and to be treated with dignity and respect. There is much more which can be done at council level and the tackling poverty policy needs to offer genuine support not be an academic document!
8. How would you improve the local education system?
Pupils in Wrexham deserve more than they have been getting from the ruling administration. There are few secondary schools in Wrexham which have not experienced significant challenges over the past five years and you have to ask why several have been placed in special measures and others have been on the verge of this action. Across the county there is a vast number of fantastic teachers and teaching assistants giving their all to the children and young people but they are working against the odds with poor levels of funding and a lack of support from the local authority. Every child deserves a high-quality education and all of our schools must reach the same high standards. A discussion around school funding levels and a plan to offer schools more support will be useful starting points for a new administration. For the past 5 years, Wrexham schools have been failed by the Independent/Tory administration.
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?
The future make-up of Wrexham council is in the hands of voters. I am proud to have support and guidance from Welsh Labour as one of their candidates and standing on an ambitious but realistic manifesto has been important to me. I think that cohesion across the council and the ability to work with all councillors is extremely important to provide the people of Wrexham with democratic and considered leadership. In order to hold an outright majority on the council, 29 councillors are needed. Welsh Labour is the only party with enough candidates to achieve this. Many people believe that the current council has a Labour majority but it is in fact an Independent/Tory alliance. We need a change from the stagnant and underwhelming leadership shown by the Independents and Tories. This is possible with a vote for Welsh labour on the 5th May.
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 ?
Having recently completed a PGCE at Glyndwr University in post-compulsory education, I have seen first hand how the pressures of the pandemic and the current economic climate are affecting young people. Young people are facing a relentless battle against sky high house prices and the Tory cost of living crisis. This is having an overall catastrophic impact on young people’s wellbeing and mental health. As well as supporting Labour’s clear plan to create higher paid jobs and revitalise our high street and local economy, I aim to create support networks and communities for young people in the ward that will help younger residents realise their potential and find their path in life. I have responsibility for Wrexham Labour’s Instagram page and have a wealth of social media experience from studying creative subjects at university. Coupled with the fact that I have a younger brother who is a teenager, I am confident that I can communicate and represent the young people of Wrexham.
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.
OTHER CANDIDATES FOR Little Acton
- Welsh Conservative Party
- Reform UK
- Plaid Cymru
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