Statement from Ray Floyd

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

I have lived at my current address in Gerald Street, Rhosddu, for over 30 years. I live with my partner and have two step children and 5 grandchildren. I am retired from my work as a fabricator/welder. I am a fluent Welsh speaker and was educated through the medium of Welsh. I have previously served on the county council so have an insight into the role.

Living in a town centre ward such as Grosvenor gives me an interesting perspective because the issues pertaining to the centre of Wrexham impact on Grosvenor residents and, of course, we have the several areas of concern which are common to other parts of Wrexham affecting us too.

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?

Parking for residents is a constant problem as our ward is so close to the town centre. This is exacerbated by those who work in town and will not use the council car parks. To date, no solutions have been helpful but, hopefully, Welsh Labour’s manifesto plan to introduce a sustainable public transport system with greater connectivity between the outlying villages and the town will be the resolution we need. The inclusion of a park and ride scheme in the manifesto will not only reduce carbon emissions but also tackle the parking issue. I am a season ticket holder at Wrexham FC and look forward to the new Kop development, but I am concerned at how this may impact those living in the vicinity in Grosvenor ward.

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 ?

I hope Grosvenor residents will look carefully at the Welsh Labour manifesto. It offers a local plan to help Wrexham move forward and focuses on developing our local economy so that we have good jobs which are well paid, ensures local businesses are supported and vows to combat poverty. For too many years, Wrexham’s economy has been stagnant under the Independent/Tory administration. Now is the time for change and the election should be a look at the big picture not based just on ward issues. Of course, the town centre’s deterioration is very visible and a realistic regeneration project must be at the heart of the plan.

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 happy to support the Labour Party and the council in any position where I think my skills would fit. I am a fluent Welsh speaker so I expect that this would be an advantage for many roles.

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

There is no doubt that when Lesley Griffiths MS declared a Wales Climate Emergency in 2019, that it was the right thing to do. Governments and local authorities need to work together on this important matter. Prioritising the insulation of properties and ensuring that all housing recommendations set by the Welsh Government are met, is just one way in which we can help the situation as a local level. It is also important that children as well informed of these issues via their formal education.

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?)

Over the past 5 years, I would argue that most Wrexham residents have noticed the failings of the Independent/Tory council. Social care and education are important priorities for Wrexham people yet these departments have been noted as a cause for concern by regulatory bodies. This is just not good enough and Wrexham people deserve better. The council also needs to consult more and make consultation genuine rather than an exercise which just ticks the box. We need a listening council.

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

We are all aware of the difficulties we face trying to access doctors and dental services due to the shortage of professionals in the primary care setting. Community health hubs have been very successful in other parts of North Wales as they provide a broad range of health care services and relieve the pressures on our hospitals. In Grosvenor ward, services are provided for those with drug and alcohol dependency and it is important to work more closely with the agencies providing the services.

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

The cost-of-living crisis is going to hit more and more individuals and families and it is clear that more families have fallen into relative poverty. The UK Government holds responsibility for the benefit system and its recent actions of taking away the additional Universal Credit as well as raising National Insurance has not helped at all as fuel, energy and food prices increase. There are measures the local council can take to ensure that individuals and families do not fall through the net and these must be fully explored.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

Estyn reports do not show our secondary schools and the education department in good light. I am pleased that more primary schools are now incorporating the Welsh language but feel that more should be done to meet these demands in the secondary sector. Our teachers and support staff have worked very hard during the pandemic so it is important that we support their well being and also look at staff retention.

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?

Although I am a staunch Labour member, I appreciate the importance of working with other political parties for the benefit of the people of Wrexham and my own ward, Grosvenor.

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 ?

Climate change will affect our younger members of society most of all, so it is important that they are allowed to fully engage in the decision-making process. The cost-of-living crisis disproportionately affects young adults especially when it comes to affordable housing. The lack of one bedroomed properties for single adults is something the council needs to address.

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

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