Statement from Aimi Waters

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

I’m 35 and I live with my partner and our 2 children who we have fostered for several years now. I work as an account manager across North Wales, working with businesses to get people back into work, many of whom have recently lost their jobs during the pandemic, and provide support to those with health conditions and disabilities.
On Tuesday evenings, I have an alter ego and go by the name of Fluffy Owl! I am one of two leaders of 1st Gresford Brownies and I also run 1st Gresford Rainbows. I love to volunteer and help where I can; during the pandemic I did regular shifts at the Catrin Finch vaccination centre, volunteered at a social enterprise in the town that was making sure people had at least one hot meal a day and helped with a local charity that redistributes food from supermarkets to save waste.
I’m standing for Plaid Cymru because they care; never have I met a group of people more dedicated to us here in Wrexham and a group determined to shake this council up. Community is really important to me, and I believe in listening to you, fighting your corner and being approachable.
I am always available to talk about issues in the ward and would invite any residents to get in touch if they have any issues, or any questions!
Please, feel free to drop me an email - or you can find me on twitter, @galloisewaters - If you prefer to talk face to face, I am also able to arrange a visit.

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?

There are lots of issues coming up at the moment; most topical being speeding, anti-social behaviour and vandalism in the area, along with dog fouling. I have already been out with the local PCSOs and spoke at length about people’s concerns regarding vandalism and speeding in the village. We have spoken about ensuring there is more of a police presence around certain areas, and I have applied to attend training to be able take part in monitoring the speed through the village – there is of course more to be done. I have spoken with residents about how islands can help with speeding and where there are certain difficult points for children to cross the roads when getting off school buses. I’d continue to listen, campaign and push for these issues resolved. Dog fouling also seems to have become a real issue in certain parts of the ward. It has recently been reported, that WCBC in the last year have never issued one fine for dog fouling, unlike other areas of Wales. I think a mixture of fines for repeat offenders, enough bins and highlighting of the issue can hopefully help with this. It is certainly something I’d continue to engage with local residents about and monitor.

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 free parking in Wrexham currently is a good attempt at bringing footfall back to the town, and I’d like to see that continue. Along side this, I’d like to see more clean up days and making the town a more attractive place for businesses to want to set up. We have some awesome local and independent businesses right here in Wrexham and I’d like to encourage more. We have facilities and support to help people with this too – the enterprise hub being an excellent starting point! There are so many people that love our town; just recently, street markets are being set up again and there are events coming to the town such as FOCUS Wales. We need to continue to put our town on the map and hope that they can love Wrexham just as much as we do!

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?

My biggest passion is helping people and our young people. As a foster carer and running youth groups, I’ve seen first-hand many issues that affect our young people. I’m a huge advocate for empowering our children and actually listening to them. All too often children are told that they ‘don’t have a clue’ and they feel their opinions don’t count or fall on deaf ears. I’ve always found that young people have some of the best ideas to put forward and more than anything, I find that young people care. They care about their futures; they care about their families, and they really do care about their communities. If I was lucky enough to take on a further role, I feel I’d fit well into one that works for the youth of Wrexham – they haven’t had a strong voice for a long time, and I’d be determined to be that voice and make sure our children were involved in matters that could affect them.

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

Here in Gresford, we know that climate change is important. I see groups out litter picking, I see people tending to the lake and the wildlife there. Maes Y Pant volunteer days happen often, and we all make good use of our recycling bins and make sure food waste is limited! I know from my children’s groups that they are so keen on things like their eco warrior badges and recycling badges. I’m proud that here in Gresford we take this seriously.

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’d have liked to have seen more transparency from the council. I’d also have liked to have seen all political groups listen to the public more, and genuinely take their opinions on board. We only need to look at the city status debate for an example of how the majority of this council has acted. We need more honesty, more integrity and more genuine open debate.

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

By strengthening social care services, it is possible to help reduce some dependency on NHS services. For example, it falls under the remit of the council to promote and ensure wellbeing across the county. If we have a solid social care team, making sure those who need care, have access to advice, support, guidance, and correct equipment and living aids, then this can in turn reduce some pressure on out NHS services. I’d be fighting for better social care services, and whilst the council don’t have the remit to control the health board and make decisions, I still think it is especially important to support residents and fight their corner with any issues they may have concerning the health services in Wrexham.

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

Having spent the majority of my working life in the information, advice and guidance sector, I’d be making use of knowledge and contacts that can help residents and would encourage residents to come and talk to me so I can make sure they are signposted correctly – helping with more practical solutions if that is an option. The cost of living is rising dramatically now, but as well as advice and guidance, right here, in this wonderful village we have ‘The Cupboard’, which has been set up by residents and provides food that would otherwise go to waste. It’s also important to look at council budgets – just recently we have seen a rise in council tax across the county. Plaid Cymru were the only group to vote against this, realising that this would push even more residents into financial hardship. I’d be here, approachable, and willing to help anybody who needed it.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

Education is massively important. We are lucky here to have a great school in All Saints and over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to help at school events, summer fairs and run a youth group at the school, interacting with staff there on a weekly basis – I know how much they care and just how hard they work. Sadly, this isn’t a case across the whole county, and we have seen some schools go into special measures – this isn’t acceptable. Schools need a strong board of governors. Lead members responsible for education and school leaders also need to be held to account. Plaid Cymru within the Welsh Government have also secured free meals for all primary school children, and with the cost of living rising dramatically, this is something that can really make a difference. It’s one small step to make sure our children are looked after and have the best possible experience in their school years. Plaid Cymru are also working on rolling this out to secondary school children, and this is something I support whole heartedly!

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 am a Plaid Cymru candidate, and I’m hoping to be elected to stand along side a strong Plaid Cymru team. I have genuinely never met a group of people in politics who are so in touch with the community and honestly want to make a real difference. I’d be proud to stand along side them.

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 ?

Over the years, working with youth groups locally and in my fostering capacity, I have always been a big advocate for trying to get young people into politics – and let me tell you there is a huge appetite. In my Brownie’s group in the past, we have had speakers from across the political and professional spectrum to talk to our young people and answer questions – I’ve been so proud of some of the questions asked; and amazed by how stumped us adults can get by questions from young people! We also ran ‘Brownie Council Elections’, and those who wanted to ‘stand’ wrote a speech at home and presented it to their peers stating why they wanted to be on the ‘Brownie Council’. This was a VERY popular activity, and I was in complete awe of them. Issue wise, I’ve found that lots of young people worry about their futures; they worry about education and work. They also worry that they won't be listened to, and this is something I'd try my hardest to combat. I’m so excited that this new age group can vote and have a real say on things that affect them and I’d want to make sure I engage regularly with this age group.

Social & Web links

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