Statement from Nigel Williams

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

I’m Nigel and I have had the privilege to have served as councillor for Gwenfro ward for the last 5years.
Born in Lodge then living in Southsea and New Broughton I have lived within this community my whole life as does most of my family which makes me a truly local candidate.
I have been married to my wife Caroline for 23 yrs who I met as both serving as special constables, we have a 14 year old son who attended Ysgol Penrhyn school and now attends a secondary school in Wrexham.
I have been a school governor at Ysgol Penrhyn for 8yrs and worked closely with the school arranging for them to get involved in planting trees and spring bulbs within the community and making Christmas decorations for the numerous Christmas trees I organise.
A member of Broughton community council for 10yrs and currently privileged to be chair I have been instrumental in introducing many local schemes such as Christmas lights and trees, interactive speed signs, defibrillators and improving the look of the villages with new planters, flower beds and hanging baskets with help and maintenance by a fantastic group of volunteers. I also organise regular litter picks and “tidy ups” throughout the year which has helped forge new friendships between local residents who now look forward to getting together.
I am extremely proud of our community and there have been many positive changes over the last few years.
If I am re elected I will continue with the improvements in our community and work with residents on the issues that affect them.

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?

Talking to residents, people have different priorities and issues that affect them, to me listening to residents the main issues coming forward are - Speeding traffic. - I approached the community council asking to purchase some of the interactive speed signs. To date we have installed 8 with 4 more currently on order. I am in constant contact with local police raising residents concerns. Anti social behaviour. - I have regular meetings with the police, housing and tenancy enforcement regarding issues, I also have regular walk abouts with local police. The community council funded regular outreach work for youths which stopped over the covid period which was out of our control. We are now in the process of introducing a new service for youth. Over development. - this is a big issue across the villages of Broughton in particular over development in New Broughton which is causing pressure on local services and infrastructure. I was a member of the “save Gatewen fields” action group which successfully had the application denied only to be over ruled by inspectors from Cardiff. If re elected I would look to apply for Owain Glyndwr protected land status for several sites in my ward to stop the possibility of any development in the future.

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 ?

We need to build public confidence back with residents to shop in the town. I would like to see more small local independent shops in the town and fully support the re introduction of the Saturday market in addition to the Monday market which acts as a draw to pull residents in who will then spend in other shops around town. The proposed Gateway project and work at the racecourse are also exciting projects in the pipeline. This area is a particular interest of mine as my background is in financial services and have previously worked as a business manager for a large retail bank in Wrexham.

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?

My priority is to the residents who voted me in but I also now know of the importance of being on these committees and holding the council to account under proper scrutiny. Over the last 5yrs I have built up vast experience in various areas through these committees and currently hold the post of “scrutiny champion” chairing meetings of the scrutiny committee chairs. I have been chair of lifelong learning for 3yrs and sat on the safeguarding, Employment business and investment and Audit committees. I have also represented the authority on Clwyd pension fund and the North wales police and crime panel.

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

Having a young family this is very important to me. I sat on our community councils lighting working group which was responsible for changing our stock of lights to LED which reduced our carbon emissions. I have used my environmental budget to plant over 20 mature trees within my ward. We have just had our first public electric vehicle charging points installed within Broughton and would push for more to be installed if re elected.

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?)

This has been my first term and it has been a massive learning curve for me. It has also been an unprecedented time with many difficulties due to the pandemic. One of my main issues is the lack of enforcement on issues such as fly tipping and dog fouling.

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

This has been an issue I have campaigned on for most of my term. I feel each ward member needs to apply pressure to the health authority for change both directly and through more public channels such as the safeguarding scrutiny committee. In my ward we have Forge road surgery which has gone through a difficult period being taken over privately then back under responsibility of the health board. During lockdown it became a “satellite” surgery of Hillcrest in Wrexham. Something I was not happy with as residents had to pay for taxis to Wrexham for routine blood tests etc. Telephone lines were taken out with all calls going through Hillcrest surgery with hours waiting times. I had many meetings with the health board during lockdown resulting in direct phone lines being put back into Forge road and local appointments being re introduced.

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

Broughton community council fund a local advisor to attend the Brynteg community house on a weekly basis. I refer all residents to this service who are the experts.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

This is another very important issue to me personally having a son who attends a secondary school in Wrexham. We already have fantastic teachers and staff in the schools, we need to continue investing in school buildings both primary and secondary levels to ensure pupils and teaching staff have to best learning environment for them. I have had the privilege of being Chair of the lifelong learning scrutiny committee for the last 3 yrs. During this time we reintroduced the schools improvement working group going into schools who are or have been in category to support. I have confidence in our new Chief officer who is very well respected in education on a Wales level and the leadership team, and am confident that Estyn will recognise the journey we have made when they carry out the next review in the autumn.

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?

As an independent candidate my priority is to serve the interests of the residents of Gwenfro and Wrexham. I feel I have gained knowledge and experience of the job from colleagues in my group over the last 5yrs, however I still vote in the best interests of my ward as we do not have a whip dictating how to vote. I have friends in all political parties and feel that at this level it should be all about the best local candidate who can deliver for the ward and not what coloured rosette they may wear. If re elected I will continue to represent every resident regardless of political views.

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 ?

Broughton has traditionally invested and offered a service to youth of the community and now restrictions are easing we are about to introduce a new enhanced service. One of the main priorities for me as a councillor is to offer a quality education provision which will enable our young to enter into employment or higher education. Again with a teenage son these are the aspirations and opportunities I wish to see for him.

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