Statement from Aled Canter

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

I moved to Wrexham to study for my masters at Glyndwr University and chose to stay after my studies because I liked the sense of community in the town. I feel fortunate to live and work in Wrexham.

I am 28 years old but have been politically active since I was 16 believing that if you want to make a difference in a community, it is important to use your vote and have a voice.

I have observed that the council does not deliver the standard of services Wrexham people deserve and the failings in education, social care and other services are well documented.

If elected to be the councillor for Gwersyllt West, I will be a strong voice for the Gwersyllt West community ensuring that this part of Wrexham enjoys the investment it needs.

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?

From speaking to people on the Gwersyllt West ward, the three main issues that came across to me were keeping the area clean and tidy; protecting the natural bio diversity and having more activities for younger people within Gwersyllt. Furthermore, there is a need for a public transport system which works for all residents.Wrexham Labour has pledged to make Wrexham the greenest county; attract ethical inward investment; drive decarbonisation; promote bio diversity and improve outdoor recreation. Talking toresidents in Gwersyllt West, I believe that this promise will resonate with them and I would be fully on board in making this happen. I would also organise community litter picking sessions to help keep the area clean and tidy.I would work closely with the Wrexham council to develop and promote activities for younger people within Gwersyllt. Children and young people learn and thrive through play and it is important that we offer a play provision so that Gwersyllt children have a range of play opportunities available to them.The state of the roads and pavements is a concern for many residents and we must consider those who are wheelchair users or have young children in prams and pushchairs when we review the condition of the pavements.If elected, I would listen to residents and be honest and open with them. Keeping engaged with monthly surgeries, newsletters and through Facebook would also be a way forward for me as your representative.

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 ?

Wrexham town centre is the heart of the community and should be a place all Wrexham residents enjoy to visit. At present, it is desperately in need of revitalising with more investment to make it attractive to businesses, perhaps with the support of Business Wales. A park and ride scheme would certainly be beneficial and also support the environmental aims.The council has done little to regenerate the town centre and encourage local people to use their entrepreneurial skills and set up businesses. We need a more ambitious and creative approach.

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?

The Wrexham Labour Group has a democratic process which involves getting the best person for each role based on his/her interests, experience and skills. I would support that process and trust that I would be placed where I could best serve my ward and the council as a whole.

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

We must continue to protect the natural bio diversity and natural habitats within Gwersyllt and Wrexham. We must also protect our natural green spaces within the community.If elected, I would continue to work hard within the Labour Group to deliver our environmental pledges. I would also review the situation in the Gwersyllt West community to see what may be done there to help the climate emergency. Cutting down food waste within the local community and reviewing energy consumption may be useful starting points. It is pleasing to note that they have electric charging points for cars at Gwersyllt Resource centre.I would also continue to support our local MS Lesley Griffiths who declared the Wales Climate Emergency on 29th April in 2019.

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?)

For the past 5 years, Wrexham has been let down by the Independent/Tory administration and so badly needs change to secure its future.Unfortunately, Wrexham Council has seen the local economy struggle and secondary schools put into special measures on their watch. Additionally, the Health and Safety Executive have raised some serious concerns which led the council to be taken to court.The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) and Estyn placed the social care and education departments into a cause for concern category so questions must be asked about what is going wrong centrally to lead to these concerning outcomes. Now is the time for radical change in this council and only Wrexham Labour can deliver a better future for the town.

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

Inevitably, the last two years of the global pandemic has caused major pressures to our NHS. The staff at our hospital are amazing but are continuously under pressure. Therefore, the council should work with the local health board to develop community health hubs which would involve salaried doctors and nurse practitioners supporting communities in primary care and taking pressures away from the hospital. This would be especially beneficial to Gwersyllt and there are good practice models to follow elsewhere in North Wales.

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

The Labour Welsh Government has an excellent record of mitigating against the worst impact of poverty brought about by measures taken by the Westminster government. It is important that all the support available is accessed by Wrexham Council and that local councillors are aware of what they can do for their own communities.Wrexham Council must use every penny of support that the Welsh Government gives to help ease the financial burden on people within the community and review its policies to ensure that no one is left behind.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

Schools need to be well resourced to deliver high standards of education so looking at where there are shortcomings in this respect is important. We also need to be clear at what has gone wrong in those schools placed in special measures by Estyn so that we can learn from these mistakes.Teachers have worked tirelessly during the pandemic and it is laudable that they have continued to deliver with so many external pressures. Their wellbeing must be considered going forward as they are a critical part of the solution when school improvement is reviewed.It is important that the council works closely with schools, determines what is needed to support them and enables their ability to deliver a high quality of education for all our children and young people.

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?

On the 5th of May we elect 56 councillors and Welsh Labour are standing 30 candidates, which offers change that Wrexham needs. The election of 29 Welsh Labour candidates would give a majority and we could start to deliver the changes Wrexham deserves.Welsh Labour member is a strong team that believes in working together to deliver a better community in Wrexham. I would be honoured to be part of that team.

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 ?

Throughout the past month, I have been raising the awareness of young people that they can vote in these elections and I have encouraged them to register. I started my political journey before I had the right to vote and feel passionately that young people should be given a voice and be heard. The way to do this is through the ballot box. In these elections, the vote gives young people an opportunity to have a say in the way in which their local community is run. It is important that they become involved as it is their future at stake.I know that young people are genuinely concerned about the climate emergency and the preservation of their environment so I would relish the opportunity of supporting them in their aims to make a difference.

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