Statement from Tina Mannering


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

Hi my name is Tina.

I might be known locally for previously owning Club Cars Taxis and Bradley Village Shop. Between these two Businesses I employed over a 100 people across a 26 year time frame. I have always been community minded and have worked with the local community to raise much needed funds for local residents and community groups. Being involved in fundraising with the village it partly what inspired me to want to be come a councillor; to help more people.

In 2017 I was privileged enough to be elected to Gwersyllt East and South Ward by its residents. For me, community and people come before politics! I am and always will be an Independent Councillor. My priority is to be a voice for the residents. As a new councillor and not knowing the ropes I was mentored by the Leader of Wrexham Independent Group, David A Bithell. David's support and guidance has been invaluable in helping me settle into the role and for that I am extremely grateful to him and the Independent Group.



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?

The housing crisis is something I am contacted about regularly. I feel that the move to centralisation of housing allocations within the local authority caused problems for local residents with housing issues. I'd like to see the responsibility for housing allocation be returned to local management so that local peoples voices can be better represented and families can-where possible-be housed nearer to their own support networks. I will continue to lobby to have this policy reviewed again. Parking is another issue that is regularly reported about in the village. To help alleviate this problem, I will continue to use to our Housing Revenue Grant (HRG) to fund off-road parking in social housing wherever possible. Youth support is another key priority during this difficult climate. Our youths are our future and need to be supported. Last year it was brought to my attention that the local Active8 gym did not have adequate changing facilities for its users. This is a place where the community can get together to exercise and socialise, which is so important for mental and physical health during a time where households are struggling to recover from the pandemic. I worked with the gym and together we successfully obtained a grant to install the changing rooms with showers and disabled facilities, making it more accessible for everyone in the community. I will continue to support the gym and listen to any other ideas our residents might have on ways to improve recreational activities for our youths, as well as for all ages.

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 ?

Regeneration is key. One of the best ways to regenerate our town is to support those amazing small businesses who keep the heart of our community alive. By supporting local businesses, in turn this helps them to keep local people in jobs. Small (and even the larger) businesses in our town have been hit hard by the pandemic. They've been forced to tackle so many challenges with constant changes to rules, guidance and legislation. This needs to be simplified going forwards. Having been a business owner myself, I understand the stress that comes with the responsibility to sustain cash flow and keep employees in jobs. Local businesses need our support so they can succeed and keep our town and community spirit thriving. We need better transport links to increase trade in our town and more investment to strengthen our local economy. As part of my role, I will continue to listen to small businesses and do anything I can to work with them for accessing grants, funding and to develop ideas that will help to regenerate our town.

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'm already an active member of the Scrutiny Committee. I'm currently involved with scrutiny of planning, licencing and lifelong learning. I'm also a chair of the Employment Business and Investment Scrutiny Committee (EBISC). Having been a self employed business woman for over 25 years, I can bring honest opinions and local knowledge to the attention of the board with the support and backing of local officers from the Council. We are currently working on the exciting Gateway project which involves substantial redevelopment plans for our town.

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

It's a serious concern. Wrexham have been working hard since late 2019 to mitigate the effects of the climate state in our town but we still have a long way to go. We need to liaise more actively with our local residents to understand the challenges they face, so that we can implement practical policies which are realistic and will translate to achievable results to improve climate change. One practical change we have implemented is the change to LED street lighting. Improving public transport links will hopefully encourage less vehicles on the road and help to reduce emissions. For example, upgrades to Gwersyllt train station and improved train timetables will hopefully encourage more public transport use.

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?)

It's fair to say it has been an extremely challenging period, particularly since the start of the pandemic. The whole of the local authority have worked incredibly hard in the face of difficult challenges and there should be some recognition for that, in my view. Of course there are always lessons to be learned and ways to improve. My main focus would be improving on communication and transparency. Where there is shortfall in communication and transparency, there is often a longer and more costly or complicated route before getting to the right goal. Also, the practical step of actually learning from where things have gone wrong and avoiding repetition of mistakes is crucial to improving the administration.

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

Improving our local medical and GP services is crucial. If we can take the strain off the hospitals, this is going to help practically. However, there is no avoiding the fact that our local GP surgeries are also struggling due to staff shortages and being over-worked. We need to listen to our GP professionals. We need to understand what can be done on the ground to improve those services and to incentivise recruitment. Years ago, children would aspire to become GP's. What has changed? How can we reverse this? How can we support our local medical services? These are the questions we need to answer and act upon with the right people who have the invaluable insight to make real progress.

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

The crisis is worse than it has been for many years and I'm well aware that many families are struggling financially at this time. I am always contactable to signpost struggling residents to local support networks and food banks. There are all sorts of grants available which are not widely advertised, for example the pupil development grant, fuel grants etc. I am always here to listen to any residents who are struggling and I will do whatever I can to guide them to the right support.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

As a School Governor at Ysgol Bryn Alyn, we have worked very hard to support bringing the school out of special measures and I am proud to see the school now excelling under its current Headteacher's supervision. Mrs Slinn and her team of teachers have worked tirelessly to improve the educational standards at the school and are doing a great job. I am also a School Governor at Ysgol Heulfan where they are leading the way on the new welsh curriculum. Their Headteacher, Mrs Thomas Haigh, is a joy to work with and is an absolute credit to her school. If elected, I will continue in my School Governor role to help keep improving on local education standards. Practically, this role involves observing class lessons, overlooking marking etc and working with the schools to improve policies and keep standards high. I do encourage all councillors to get involved with the invaluable School Governor role as not enough Councillors take part. As community leaders, we can offer support and represent local parents concerns to help coordinate a better educational system all around.

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 will always be independent and hope to continue being part of the Wrexham Independent Group of Councillors.

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 ?

One of the biggest challenges for our younger electorates is finding employment after education, or knowing what route to take after finishing high school. I am active on Linked In and Facebook to engage with all residents of all ages and I regularly re-post job opportunities when they arise locally. It is important that our younger generation have access to signposting and I'd like to see local authorities continue to encourage and financially incentivise apprenticeship programmes for wider trades and opportunities.



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