Statement from David John Griffiths

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

My name is David J Griffiths, I was born in Bradley to a family of 4 brothers Have lived all my life here where with my wife Denise we have raised 2 sons.
I am an ex health worker who started in the old War Memorial Hospital 1973 ending my employment in 2001. My political interest started around 1995 which lead to my first election to Wrexham County Borough Council in 1999 and the rest is history so they say

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?

1. Speeding traffic is an important issue and through work with the Community Council we have and will carry on installing traffic speed indicators throughout the ward. I am in constant communications with our PCSO's regarding traffic and parking. I lead with Wrexham Housing department on our environmental work to ease our congested streets with off street parking where possible. 2. Pot holes, worn out roads and pavements are another issue I am constantly contacted about, once informed I will contact the environmental department to have them repaired. 3. Anti Social Behaviour unfortunately is another big problem to help us with this as part of Gwersyllt Community Council I fully supported the funding for Youth outreach workers (from Caia Park partnership) who lead with two sessions of inside work, one in Bradley one in Gwersyllt which has proved very successful in engaging the youths in our Community. I also report and work with our police in trying to reduce anti social behaviours.

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 ?

We need to rebuild confidence in our local economy encouraging people where possible to shop locally thus investing in Wrexham, this needs to be done together, business owners and customers all want the same thing for Wrexham to survive and thrive. As with others I supported the reintroduction of the Saturday market which has increased footfall and proved very successful. This success story now needs to be examined and we need to investigate how we can duplicate this idea to incorporate our Monday market

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 23yrs of being a Councillor has given me experience and knowledge recognised by my appointment of Lead Member for Housing and the homeless. I am the only Lead member to sit on the Governance and Audit committee . Throughout my 23yrs I have sat on nearly all the Scrutiny committees holding the position of chair and vice chair to some giving me vast knowledge and experience of council business. This knowledge has been recognised by my appointment to the Executive Board, I also hold the position of Armed Forces Champion working along side veteran associations and dedicated officers, together we raised £12,000 to secure the future of 4 armed forces standards placed in the Guild Hall permanently .

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

In the first instance it is about Carbon Emission, working as a member of our Community Council we have installed low energy street lights throughout the ward. I encourage recycling by sending out the weekly reminder from the council on which bins are for collection and report all un-emptied bins for recollection. I have recently attended 2 sessions on how to reduce climate change and what the council can do to improve issues. I have also put pressure on the council to purchase covert cameras in areas where continual fly tipping occurs which is proving to have an element of success.

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 have lead on unprecedented investment in our council housing this has helped by being an Independent councillor who can argue cases without being tied to another political parties rules. We built our first new Local Authority council houses after 30yrs wait which is now set to continue (subject to land availability) I also lead on the improvements of bathrooms, kitchens, roofs and water mains in our ward and all other work regarding council stock. I meet with the staff of our Local estate office monthly to discuss relevant issues within our community. I would not have done. anything differently but do feel rules and regulations do restrict the speed things can be done.

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

This is a Health Board responsibility but I feel closer collaboration is needed to improve the health social care in our communities between all the authorities involved. I will continue to work for a more seamless structure between organisations to improve care.

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

Helping people is a vital role of a Councillor and one that I enjoy. Having gained a wealth of knowledge and experience I am able to signpost people in the right direction to help solve their problems keeping in contact for as long as they want. I have introduced financial support officers in every estate office who are there to help individuals in confidence . In recent years I have manned a food bank on Christmas Eve to help people in need with 3 other individuals in Bradley Village Hall and during the lock down where possible we manned stalls with free books, DVD's, CD'S games and jigsaws to help people. which was well attended. I also regularly collected and delivered prescriptions to those in isolation.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

I am fortunate to be a long standing Govenor of two of our local schools, Gwersyllt CP and Ysgol Bryn Alyn. Gwersyllt CP has in recent years undergone an investment to modernise the school which was brought forward through pressures I personally placed on the school modernisation program. I chair the Governing body of Ysgol Bryn alyn and have seen the hard work of all the staff which has resulted in the school coming out of special measures. Covid has altered the education of all our children but our schools are working hard to get the best possible education for each and every child. We are now preparing for the new Welsh Curriculum and staff in both schools are working hard to make the transaction as smooth as possible.

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 have the benefit of being an Independent Councillor and as such I am able to decide where I am best placed to look after the wards best interests and the people who elected me, at present I cannot see me joining any other group except the Independents

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 gave my support to the lowering of the age to vote as young people in our community have strong voices that in the past have been ignored, this is obvious when I listen to the representatives of Ysgol Bryn Alyn school council who play an active part in the school and are influential in our debates and decision making processes. I have also met with our care leavers whom again play a part and have strong opinions on their future regarding housing and other issues.

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