Statement from Bernie McCann

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

In my own words . My name is Bernie McCann and I have lived in the community of Gwersyllt with my wife Kath and two sons for more than 40 years , my boys were educated and still live in the community. Although now retired I ran my own business for more than 30 years employing many local people. Since the start of my life here I have always been active in the community, helping with the local Scout movement, the original Bradley Youth Club, being a governor at Gwersyllt CP and Bryn Alyn schools , Gwersyllt Community Council, Treasurer of Bradley Park Bowling Club also raised thousands of £ for local charities. Community spirit and helping and supporting people are what is important to me that's why I am standing as an Independent Candidate in this election, Standing for people not a party I have no time for political games . I was elected in 2012 but narrowly lost my seat in 2017 ,I gained a lot of knowledge and experience in that time , one thing I do know is what a councillor can do and what they cannot do , I will not make promises I cannot keep but one thing I do promise is if elected I will give 100% to the role , others may stand with Party Manifestoes saying "vote for me and I will do this or that or the other for the Community" which history tells us are rarely achievable or delivered once elected . My only aim is to help and support people the only way I know how.

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) ASB. As with many areas ASB is a problem and being a victim of this is very stressful as well I know because we have suffered from this in the past, I think that parents should take more responsibility for this knowing what their children are up to where they are etc , I believe that working with the police and other Youth Agencies can help through Education making young people realise that "it's not a game" and understand the misery and distress it can cause (2) . Speeding, in some areas of the Ward speeding seems to be a problem, getting together with the Police and the Highways Department to see what measures can be taken to mitigate the problem. (3).The Environment, an important issue I feel in the Ward is protecting our community from is" over development" taking away our green space and replacing it with housing and potentially hundreds of more vehicles clogging up our roads and adding to pollution. I am well aware of the need for more housing in the Wrexham area , but too much here is strangling our community ultimately leading to loss of separation for our villages .

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 was born and bred in Wrexham, like many others remember what it was like , a busy bustling Market Town full of shops and businesses of all description, but we have to be realistic and get used to the fact that "it will never be the same again" .I know lots of businesses were really struggling before the Pandemic and when that hit it was just the "last straw "so to speak. Technology and online shopping small business cannot compete in addition the "all under one roof shopping"(supermarkets) having said that I believe if we could attract some quality 'Bespoke' shops that could help, also getting people back to the workplace as opposed to working from home would help with footfall in the town, free parking or minimal charge would help bring people into town,. Wrexhams share of the SHARED PROSPERITY FUND £22million should help with regeneration,road repairs etc cannot do any harm , It is down to the council to spend it wisely over the next 3years

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 am standing as an Independent and if elected that's where I will stay , I have never been afraid to step up to the plate and accept responsibility,if I were to be offered a senior role and I knew I had the knowledge and expertise to carry out the role effectively I would give it due consideration, by the same token I would not be afraid to decline the offer .

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

This is something that affects us all and we should all take steps to reduce our carbon footprint, we in Wrexham have a good record for recycling but there is always room for improvement, we should all be encouraged to use our cars less therefore reducing emissions , school runs for example we could encourage car share or even walking to school were possible weather permitting.

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?)

Most people would agree that the most controversial issue of late is 'City Status ' not to be confused with City of Culture , my own personal opinion is that we should have had a Referendum on the subject and let the people decide, such an important issue should not be decided by the Council, Executive Board or even full Council with all 52 councillors , the people's voice should have decided.

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

The Health Service in general nation wide is a mess not just in Wrexham and I don't think Wrexham Council can do much about it no matter who is in charge after the election , it is down to the Heath Board and Central Government for more investment, but I do think the public can help with waiting time and congestion in A and E for example by not turning up with really minor ailments, as for Doctors Surgeries, I think it's unacceptable to have to wait many weeks for an appointment in some practices .

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

All I can do is support those in need the best way I can , these are challenging times but nothing new , the rising cost of living affects us all ,I would encourage community spirit looking out for the most in need and the vulnerable in our community, as a councillor knowing your constituents is key identifying the needs and using people skills to get the right help to where it's needed most through a Community Agent scheme for example.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

In my experience of being a school governor it is essential to support our school staff by being a 'Critical Friend ' is key , ensuring the school have the right staff and a good quality environment for the learning experience is essential, I believe a happy school is a good school, if staff and students are not content this I believe can lead to a drop in standards . I believe our children deserve the best start in life and we should all do our best to achieve this .

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 standing as an Independent and that's where I will be if elected, but when the votes are counted and the dust has settled, I doubt very much that one party/group will have gained enough seats to form a majority administration, therefore negotiation and deals Will take place, parties and groups all hoping to gain power and form an administration. The remaining parties/groups will be left to form the opposition, that's when the games start , plotting and scheming to disrupt and discredit (the easiest thing to do ) . Now just for once wouldn't it be good to have an administration made up of councillors in senior roles chosen for their particular skill knowledge and expertise from across the political spectrum no matter what party or group that belong to ALL WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF THE PEOPLE OF WREXHAM, there would be no petty , political games just an efficient working Council . Now I know that being a bit idealistic so we will just have to see how it all pans out !!!!.

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 are the future and l have always tried to engage with them (not always easy ) from the early days of the original Bradley Youth Club to more recently Bradley Park Bowling Club where we held a six week course in conjunction with the local PCSOs, unfortunately at the end the uptake was poor to say the least . Employment is a big issue for young people, I have always used the vast network of connections I built up throughout my working life to signpost a young person into work , sometimes a word in the right ear can pay dividends. Talking to young people and understanding their needs and frustrations can only be a good thing I am always prepared to listen and do my best to meet their aspirations.

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