Statement from Jim Roberts
We invited them to tell you a little about who they are, any political history and about their political leanings.
I am standing as the Welsh Labour candidate for Penycae and Ruabon South. I am also standing as a member of the community council in both wards. I have lived in the area all my life. I went to school in Ysgol Rhiwabon and then went to Bangor University to study history and classical studies. Subsequent I went on to be a teacher in a secondary school and was head of Department and head of Year, I taught for 39 years.
I have been married for 37 years to Judith and we live in Pont Adam Crescent Ruabon. We have two children but tragically our daughter passed away in 2015. I have played hockey for Monsanto. I am a season ticket holder at Wrexham and enjoy most sports. I am a keen dog walker and enjoy meeting people along the way.
I have always believed that local government is important for communities, and if elected I will work within this ward to meet the issues facing people today. Welsh labour is the only Party that will address the needs of its electors. I would be a strong voice for the ward and would be honoured to serve if elected.
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 issue that needs resolution within the ward and the area is access to the local railway station which has been an ongoing issue since before the pandemic. I will endeavour to return this issue to the top of the agenda for Penycae and Ruabon and the wider community. Also a priority must be to address the hardships where possible facing those who are dealing with the current cost of living crisis.
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 ?
The pandemics legacy is one of uncertainty and it needs leadership and direction from the council. This needs to be vigorous and proactive in order to develop the town centre and create a vibrant economy that provides well paid and highly skilled jobs and support local businesses.
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?
Welsh Labour is democratic and will first need to be in a position to form an administration after the due democratic process. As a democratic party selection will take place of those elected members; to take the variety of responsible roles available. My particular area of interest is education.
4. What do the words climate emergency mean to you and your ward?
Wales declared a climate emergency in 2019. This has to be the most challenging issue facing any administration. There needs to be collaboration between local and central government to ensure that all council buildings are energy efficient. Vehicles are where possible environmentally friendly and develop an integrated transport policy.
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?)
The current administration has not delivered in reinvigorating the local economy and has not been seen to be proactive since the easing of covid regulations. Schools in Wrexham are in need of support as several have been in special measures in both primary and secondary sectors. This needs to be addressed because the young people of Wrexham deserve the best education the county can offer. These schools with the various agencies should work to ensure that this achieved. Social services have not been performing to the level required and this have been highlighted by external agencies. This has to be a priority of a new administration to have a root and branch review and develop models of best practice for all to adhere to. In order to achieve these improvements the administration has to be open and communicate to the electors the problems faced’ transparency is the key. It would also be beneficial a sense of collaboration were to emerge not the cabal like appearance of the executive board.
6. Local health pressures are well documented, from delayed ambulances to issues in the hospital. How can the council help resolve those problems?
We are all aware that health pressures have increased during the pandemic. There needs to be a collaborative approach between the council and the health board to return services where possible to pre pandemic levels , however this may take time as a result of access to doctors’ practices being limited, thus it is perhaps necessary to work towards health board led surgeries with nurse practitioners. Also work more closely with the health board to support those patients that need care plans to be discharged from hospital. If this service were brought in house( and not privatised or out sourced as it is at present) it may speed up the return of patients to their families and communities.
7. What will you do on a local level to help support people in your ward affected by the cost of living crisis?
There must be a coherent plan to support those who are suffering the most from the economic crisis we all are facing. The council needs to ensure it exhausts every funding opportunity available to make sure that no one is cold and hungry in the future. It will place a strain on services so these must be staffed and funded to meet these challenges.
8. How would you improve the local education system?
Schools and education establishments within the remit of the county borough have gone through some difficult times. The first priority is to support those students who are or will be facing examinations in the next two years. Secondly those schools that were not deemed to be meeting the required standard are challenged to manage change and improve their performance. It is here that the council’s school improvement team must support and on some occasions take the lead. As a council it is imperative that this work is rigorous and robust in order to achieve successful outcomes; this must be the role of the education committee to make sure Wrexham has schools to face the new curriculum and the demands of the twenty first century.
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?
This is one for the electorate of Wrexham to decide on the 5th May. Whatever the future holds I know that Welsh Labour in Wrexham will make the right choice for the people of Wrexham.
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 ?
Engagement with the new elements of the electorate is difficult as they feel detached and to some extent isolated as a result of the pandemic. Many of these new voters have not registered for the local elections and this is something that needs to be addressed. The only way to stimulate the interest of the young people is by education.
Social & Web links
Where is my polling station?
Your polling station address should be on your poll card, delivered by post before the election.
How do I vote?
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.
OTHER CANDIDATES FOR Penycae and Ruabon South
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