Statement from Emma Holland


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

My name is Emma Holland and I have lived in Wrexham for the past 14 years. Both my sons attend/ed local schools.
I recently finished working at a Covid testing site in Deeside after 16 months. I assisted members of the public to carry out covid tests. I am now working as a Heritage Assistant at historic Plas Newydd, which is based in Llangollen.
I have been involved with Plaid Cymru for a number of years and have been part of several campaigns, including the anti-fracking movement which was based at Borras. I also campaigned with Plaid against the introduction of the unpopular Universal Credit system into Wrexham.
When I learnt that Phil Rees, my local Councillor was retiring, I immediately wanted to step up for Plaid Cymru. If I am elected, I wish to continue with the good work that he as already undertaken in the Gwersyllt North ward. Having lived in Summerhill for the past 4 years, I already feel part of this community.



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 three biggest issues that challenge Gwersyllt North are similar to other areas in Wrexham: pot holes, dog fouling and a lack of facilities for children and young people. Phil Rees has done a fantastic job in the two years he has been in office. He has ensured that Top and Bottom Road have been resurfaced and has carried out some sterling work in Sydallt, with regards to improving recreational facilities and tackling parking problems. I plan to continue this work in other areas of this ward. To prevent dog fouling, it may be useful if Wrexham Council actually implemented fines to combat 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 ?

To help overcome the impact of the pandemic upon the town centre, I believe people should be tempted back to the high street by offering free parking. To help Wrexham prosper, I would like to see the council implement a policy of buying locally. This would assist with investment in local businesses as well as offer a greener alternative to current policies of sourcing the cheapest supplier, regardless of carbon footprint.

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 welcome the opportunity to scrutinise council contracts to ensure that Wrexham people are getting the best possible deals to benefit all areas. I would also like to see a tightening up of housing development contracts to prevent developers leaving developments unfinished and ensure that facilities, such as playgrounds stipulated in development plans are actually carried out and completed within a specified period of time.

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

Climate emergency is a real threat to our lives and our way of living. I do not feel that Westminster or the Senedd take this issue seriously enough. This is reflected in the fact that green energy is still not a priority for these governments. The reliance upon fossil fuels means that many people, not just the vulnerable, will now struggle to be able to stay warm in their own homes.

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 would not have insisted on pushing for city status. I would instead have respected the wishes of 70 percent of Wrexham’s residents and concentrated upon investing the money in improving the town centre. In addition, I would not have agreed to increase council tax by 4 percent this year, when people are struggling financially. Wrexham received a decent amount of money from the Welsh government and has a healthy reserve fund which could have been used to prevent this from happening. Squeezing people further financially means less money to spend on the high street.

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

The NHS has been underfunded for many years and suffers from a deficit of doctors, nurses and other medical staff. Plaid Cymru’s National Care Service policy looks at integrating social and healthcare services into one service, headed by local government. The health board lacks accountability and this is something that needs to be addressed.

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

Plaid Cymru helped to pioneer the free school meals service for children at primary schools. For many financially strapped parents this is a godsend. Plaid hope to continue the good work by providing free school meals for all high school pupils. Not only does this help parents, but it takes away the stigma that can be associated with free school meals. In addition, I would like to see the introduction of free school trips. This would ensure that school trips are for everyone, not just those that can afford it. For some children, this may be the only opportunity that they have to escape from everyday life and it seems a shame that the children that need it the most are the ones who often get left behind.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

There is a real problem with a lack of diagnosis for children with additional learning needs, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. Many children are not tested for learning difficulties because of the cost of carrying out these tests. I would like to see testing introduced at primary school level to ascertain any additional learning needs. Failure to do so has left many children floundering in the education system, which is not designed to include the needs of the individual.

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 will sit as part of a team of Plaid members.

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 have always discussed politics with my children and encouraged them to vote. My 16 year-old son is registered to vote for the first time on the 5th May. Many of my policies are targeted at young people, as I recognise that there is a distinct lack of recreational facilities for young people within certain parts of Wrexham. This is something that I shall seek to rectify, should I be elected. It is also the reason that I am standing for Community Council.



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Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 5th May.

If you don't have your poll card, you can go to the polling station and give them your name and address. You don't need any other form of ID.

Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive. You don’t have to take your poll card with you.

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

  • Take your ballot paper into a polling booth.
  • Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote.
  • Put it in the ballot box.
...Done!


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