Statement from Andrew Moss

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

I live locally in Little Acton on Frances Avenue. I currently work as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the community for a hospital at home service focused on managing patients in their homes to avoid hospital admission.
I have also worked at a senior level in the NHS, transforming procurement practices and developing new hospitals. I am a passionate advocate, having established a medical charity providing treatment advice and support for patients and healthcare professionals.
I am standing in Little Acton to ensure we have a strong local voice on the Council. I want to develop a strong community that supports all its residents by improving local public transport, reducing the isolation felt by so many in the ward and improving road safety.
I am a member of Plaid Cymru as I believe that their values align most closely with my own. Plaid Cymru is a grassroots party whose priority is to support the people of Wales, whoever they are, wherever they are, and whatever language they speak.
Wrecsam council needs a complete shakeup to ensure it is open and transparent. I believe that our fantastic team of candidates can deliver that change if elected on May 5th.

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?

Access to public transport is something that many residents have spoken about to me. We have lost a vital bus service in the south of the ward, along Smithy Lane. Many older people in this neighbourhood struggle to get into town or the hospital. We need to make sure that there is an equitable provision in the ward to reduce the isolation felt by many. A bus that not only goes into town but carries on to the hospital to allow people to get to appointments. Arriva cherry-pick their routes for-profit, and the Council provides no additional subsidy for these essential routes; this has to change. I will be campaigning to have a proper provision of bus services for Little Acton and doing everything I can as a Councillor to deliver this. Reducing the speed on the Llan y Pwll link road to 50 mph. We have had several fatalities along this stretch, and we have seen vehicles doing over 80 mph. Many residents use the low-level crossing with children, and it really is a danger. It also seems crazy that we have a limit of 50 mph on the main A483 to reduce emissions, but where we have two schools and a nursery backing onto the Llan y Pwll link road, we have a 70 mph limit. I would also like to see some speed deterrent measures along Chester Road around the incline as, again, we see vehicles travelling well over 30 mph. I have recently spoken with and managed to get GoSafe Wales to monitor the issue on the link road. I will also be working with the Council to address these issues and neighbouring Councillors. Repairing roads and pavements within the ward is another essential. Like many, we have potholes that go unfixed for ages, and our roads must be usable and safe. Some of our pavements are also in a state of disrepair; many were damaged by the poorly managed installation of fibre broadband. Many of our pavements are also the victim of dog fouling. It really is a crime that no fines have been issued in the whole of Wrexham over the last year for dog fouling. We need to address that by increasing resources to the department responsible, to manage and police this.

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 feel it is essential that we are innovative in addressing the issues that affect our local economy and environment by maximising opportunities for the Council's budget to be spent locally. Increasing this local spending will help to strengthen our local supply chains, support local businesses, safeguard local jobs and incomes and minimise the impact on our environment.

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 first priority is to get elected and see what options are available afterwards. This will be determined by the balance of power post-election and the opportunities available for Plaid Cymru councillors to play a more significant role.I have previously worked at a senior level in the NHS, project managing capital builds and in the procurement of goods and services. I feel my knowledge and skills could be put to good use to incorporate social value within the Council's commissioning and procurement process, promoting better work, wages and access to skills for a more inclusive economy

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

Many people I speak to in the ward are just as concerned as I am about our environment and the impact we have are having on our planet. I was surprised at how many homes in our ward have electric cars. Although this is a global issue, we must be acting locally to reduce our carbon footprint. •We need to ensure that new council buildings, including homes, are energy efficient and incorporate renewable energy generation so that more buildings become carbon positive.•Get older buildings retrofitted to improve insulation and energy efficiency •Upgrade council vehicles to include cleaner vehicles and electric vehicles•Invest in electric charging points to allow more people the option of electric cars•Improve public transport and increase its usage•Protect our green spaces and encourage more tree plantingPlaid Cymru is also working at a national level to secure 'Ynni Cymru', a publicly owned energy company for Wales that is based on green, renewable energy generation with a specific focuson community-owned projects that support local economies.

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?)

The council leadership's decision for yet another attempt at City Status for me showed just how out of touch the current administration is with the electorateEven after the Council commissioned a report, at a yet to be disclosed cost, which failed to demonstrate any clear economic benefits, it still decided to press ahead. This shows poor judgement and a total disregard for the opinion of Wrexham's residents.I have heard repeatedly whilst out talking to people just how unhappy they are with this decision and how disengaged it has made them from local politics.

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

Obviously, this is an area of great concern to me as a nurse. We have excellent staff in our health services in Wrecsam, who are working above and beyond to deliver. However, they are let down by management, and we have a completely dysfunctional health board that isn't being held accountable by Welsh Government. Urgent discussions are needed with Welsh Government about how this issue is addressed.The Council can also take measures to improve public health by:•Improving public access to amenities such as parks and public transport and encouraging cycling and walking•Working with third sector providers to support lunch & coffee clubs for our older population. Ensuring that they have reliable public transport to get to them, reducing the isolation they feel and improving their levels of activity•Promote and facilitate social prescribing – to encourage participation in community activity and exercise, promoting healthier lifestyles and preventing ill healthCare services also remain a national emergency and a concern for many residents. Firstly, we need to ensure that the total settlement local authorities received from the Welsh Government of between 8.8 and 9.5% for care is spent by Wrecsam on care and not diverted to other services. On a national level, Plaid Cymru is working to secure a National Care service led by local government which integrates seamlessly with the NHS; with care workers receiving parityof pay and conditions with those offered by the NHS.

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

As a group, Plaid Cymru councillors recognised this in trying to reduce the Council Tax increase and voted against the 4% rise that was supported by both the Tories, Labour and most independent councillors. I am committed to rolling out Plaid Cymru's Free School Meals programme to include secondary-school pupils over the next five years. This would ensure every child has the option of a school meal and ease the pressure on many parents' budgets. I would work to deliver Plaid's proposal for free childcare for children under two, allowing families to maximise their earning potential.I would also work with residents to sign-post them to the resources available, both statutory and voluntary, to help them and work with my community council colleagues to set up drop-in sessions in our community centres for advice and support.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

Thanks to Plaid Cymru's influence nationally, we have ensured that every primary school child receives a meal in school from September. In the current climate with the cost-of-living crisis, we need to look at the overall cost of the school day to families. Working with schools to ensure policies on uniforms and extra-curricular activities and events don't create a financial barrier for pupils, ensuring they can fully participate in education.We must address the post-16 provision for education. I would advocate for increasing the number and quality of apprenticeships available and an expansion of lifelong learning opportunities. I will also push for simplifying the supply teacher structure advocated by Plaid Cymru, ensuring access to training and professional development for our supply teachers.

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 member of Plaid Cymru, and I hope to be sitting in Full Council with as many of my colleagues as possible. As I have mentioned previously, Plaid Cymru is a grassroots party whose priority is to support the people of Wales. We have the vision to deliver for Wrexham by strengthening the local economy, working in partnership to deliver a healthier, caring, sustainable and greener community

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 ?

Young people must have a say in how the Council is run. I have been using social media to encourage our younger electorate to register and use their vote in these elections. Within The Plaid Cymru Team standing in this election, we have two of the youngest candidates at 18 and 19, who have been able to articulate the needs of this group. I hope we see them elected to ensure we have representation for our younger population on the Council.The pandemic has had a detrimental impact and has been particularly isolating for young people. We need to invest in Youth Services and Youth Centres – ensuring they include professionals offering advice and support, including mental health and sexual health adviceJobs and training opportunities are essential for our young people's future. By Increasing local council spending and working with our local anchor institutions such as colleges and universities, we can build a more inclusive local economy. This will help provide local young people apprenticeships and fund employment support programmes.

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