Statement from Jeanie Barton
We invited them to tell you a little about who they are, any political history and about their political leanings.
Family background in Gresford, North Wales and Mid.Wales who were involved in Mining and Civil Engineering with the construction of most of the roads in North Wales from the late 19th Century until the 1970's.
Management roles in Transport, Logistics, specialising in Shipping Quay to Quay roll on roll off transportation , Civil Engineering, Construction, Marketing and Finance. Later careers in Social Care, Mental Health, Addictions, Youth, Training and Education and very importantly Funder Finding for Community organisations.
I have stood as a Candidate in local Elections, Senedd Elections and General Elections and I have fully participated in all of the procedures that this entails from personally delivering Election Flyers, attending Hustings as a Candidate, speaking with and dialogue with Electors and the post election procedures in compliance with the Electoral Commission.
My political leanings as an Independent Candidate are to work for the people in a truly altruistic manner and not as a career Politician as can often be the case. I have been fortunate in my various careers to gain insight and experience into people's lives, with a knowledge of their life difficulties, their trials and tribulations and also their goals and aspirations and have always worked hard for them to help to achieve "change" and movement forward in their lives.
Similarly, in our environment. I see deterioration, empty shops closed, high business rates and rent, insufficient housing provision for those on low incomes, rising and exorbitant house purchase prices, high Council Tax charges, in part due to yearly diminishing funding from Central Government , increasingly high utility charges from privately invested utility Companies with no concern for the ordinary person and only interested in how much their annual shareholding value will increase year by year without further investment in their provision.
Public Transport provision in North and mid. Wales is appalling and in some areas non-existent. Bus service hours provided by private Companies cut down or services to some areas completely stopped. Bus services are a necessity, especially for those who are not able to own their own transport or be able to drive and for people to get to work, get to School or College and to attend medical appointments. Not everyone has a car or is able to drive! I have been campaigning for the past 3 years with local M.P.'s, Wrexham Councillors, Arriva Transport for a Bus service that was taken off from Gwynfryn when the last provider ceased trading. In spite of many, many, conversations and requests with Arriva and Wrexham Councillors asking for the Bus service that goes to Minera to go onto Gwynfryn, just one mile away and also to include Bwlchgwyn Village, a further half mile away which would not only be profitable to local people but also to the Company itself. The main reply from Arriva and also Wrexham Councillors has been that the holding Garage of Arriva isn't large enough to hold another Bus! Bwlchgwyn X51 Bus Service has been cut from an hourly service to a 2 hourly service. Better affordable Bus and Train Services would also help the Environment with people hopefully leaving their cars at home, for those who have them, and also less wear and tear on our roads, meaning less maintenance of roads, less exhaust fumes and cleaner air.
I also believe that Health inequality within the Community should be address with an emphasis on preventative measures and improvement to access of medical and mental health. Waiting a minimum of fourteen weeks to Mental Health services, 3 years for Rhuematology appointments (Wrexham Maelor), all Patients being regarded when referred as "routine" even though some could have very serious symptoms, potentially fatal and not being allowed to be referred out to Sir Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital in Gabowen due to Commissioning procedures. the same for for a Hip replacements, 2-3 years waiting list, 2-3 years for a Cataract operation etc. not to mention Cancer Patients waiting up to 6 months to be seen is just not good enough. Postcode and ageism is not acceptable either.
There is a need for more improvement to Youth provision within the Community with regular sessions and for the service to be indefinite with appropriate funding put into place to achieve this.
The same follows with regard to Education from Cradle to lifelong Learning opportunities e.g. universities & good quality Apprenticeships , healthcare, Civil Engineering, Transport, Science and Engineering and access to the National Tutoring Services for the children who request it. Children and our Youth are the future of a Nation and the Nation of Wales needs our children and our Youth to make this a better place for them and all of us that are fortunate to live here.ommunity
I believe that a good relationship within the Community should be held with North Wales Police to address rural crime, drug dealing, County Lines, violence, bullying and knife crime.
The streets in North Wales are appalling with huge potholes, bad lighting and street markings although more recently there has been improvement in some areas with the provision of LED light to some street lighting. Sewers and drainage is also another problem with flooding in many areas and insufficient new drainage put into new build areas by Developers. This point is an absolute necessity but it isn't always the case I sorry to report.
I think that more investment should be explored for Wrexham in general. There have been Investors in the past wanting to open up businesses employing up to 150 people, Tomato Growers under glass, agricultural and engineering companies only to be told that they couldn't by the Council and sometimes using Planning as the reason e.g. in the case of the Tomato Growers, planning regarded this as Commercial rather than Agricultural! This venture would have saved importation from Europe, especially Holland plus environmental issues and wear and tear on our roads due to HGV's use from abroad who pay nothing with regard to Road Tax etc.
Homelessness should be addressed and funding should be given to address this and the cause of especially as in present times life is going to get much harder. In cases of drug misuse truly qualified, experienced and vocational staff should be employed and facilities provided for re-habilitation with the right therapies in place e.g. Electro Stimulation Therapy (EST) , Psychodynamic Counselling, Psychologists, Hypnotherapy, Health & Fitness, access to Gym training, experienced Support staff, Training and Education in preparation for the service users to go out into employment with provision for accommodation and aftercare and supervision working with tried and tested other organisations and partners to keep the recovered service user on track as recovery from Drugs and alcohol can and is a lifelong recovery as nicotine is but speaking from my professional experience, with the right procedures and help people have proven to be very valuable assets within the Community
I believe in free speech without offence being taken and also mutual respect towards one another e.g. treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves. I also believe that being a Counsellor means working hard for the benefit of the Town or City to make it a better place for us all to live in and for the people who live in it to be proud of it and to be proud of the way that they are treated.
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. Public Transport as previously stated above in my profile. I will continue to campaign with Transport Providers, Wrexham Borough Council to achieve success no matter how long this will take 2. Very bad Road surfaces throughout the Ward of Minera. Potholes, very badly worn areas on very well used roads. I will Campaign continually and monitor any progress that can or is being made towards improvement that is so badly required. The overuse of both major roads in the Minera, Bwlchgwyn & Gynfryn areas A483 B5430 . The B5430 has now become a major cut through road with motorists traveling to Ruthin, Mold Denbigh Chester and the A55 taking 80% of the through traffic thanks to Sat. Navigation. I have campaigned with Wrexham Council and their employees for almost 14years without success so far but will continue with this work. The street lighting on both roads especially and also minor roads needs updating taking into account the importance of these 2 major roads with regard to health & safety issues taking into account the number of accidents that have occurred on them over the past 20 years, some fatal involving humans and animals. I will keep the Electorate of Minera Ward informed via Community Council Meetings and face to face meetings, social media and written communication. 3. Footpaths and Bridleyways which under Welsh Senedd rulings, Bridleways comes under the management of Footpaths. Footpaths in Bwlchgwyn especially are, in place, in a very dangerous condition e.g. worn, slippery gravel, potholed, overgrown with weeds and hedging and in places non-existent constitutes a health & safety issue. In spite of many notifications to Wrexham Council of this problem virtually nothing has been done to address this issue even though if someone was to hurt themselves via this lack of maintenance it would mean a claim to Wrexham Council for personal injury which could be very expensive whereby if maintenance had been carried out this would not have happened. Drainage in all 3 areas of surface water is very wanting and in the past has incurred claims from householders to Wrexham Council for damage to their properties the same as adequate drain cleaning of road grids by slurry vehicles hasn't been carried out generally.
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 market Wrexham to investors as a place to be with regard to commerce, industry, manufacturing and Glyndwr University which in the past Year has risen from being at the bottom of the Universities list to higher up the list which can encourage not only students from Wales and the U.K. but also overseas students which is very beneficial to both the students and the University. I also think that less working from home, certainly with essential services would help Wrexham, the Electorate and the economy of Wrexham. I would share my views with other Councillors and certainly promote Wrexham in any way possible to potential investors and participating in various Committees and organisations who would be prepared to put beneficial and lucrative projects into being.
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 like to have the opportunity of taking any of the above roles as I have experience in all of them in a management capacity. I especially would welcome Scrutiny and Audit being well experienced in Finance and Accounts.
4. What do the words climate emergency mean to you and your ward?
Climate emergency to me means greenhouse gases, flooding, irrational seasons etc. In my ward alone there has been flooding with many homes experiencing this, rivers flooding, fields being flooded and causing danger to wildlife, an increase in the rat population being flooded out of their nests and invasion of peoples 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 have been aware of the death of Wrexham Town Centre e.g. top brands closing their stores here, closed shops due to high business rates, lack of good free parking as parking has been sold off to outside companies, generally in England or further afield. All shopping retail parks are scattered and not together whereby people without transport have to walk quite long distances to shop around in the case of they aren't able to get an item in one of the places too far for them to walk between. Encourage Companies to come to Wrexham by lowering their business rates and rents. Insist on developers of private housing to construct new purpose built drains to take the volume of increased use efficiently and looking to future use compliance. Discourage working from home as at times it has been impossible to contact anyone in most departments when needed. Social Services should be a priority at all times and be based on 24 hour contact e.g. on call telephone contact and duty Officers.
6. Local health pressures are well documented, from delayed ambulances to issues in the hospital. How can the council help resolve those problems?
More investment in Primary Care and Minor Injuries Clinics open from 7-00 a.m. until 23.00 hrs. Minor injuries Clinics would take the weight off A & E Services in Wrexham. So often Patients go to A & E because they are unable to get an appointment quickly from their G.P. Surgery. Mold Minor Injuries operate very well and in Liverpool the Robert Jones Minor Injuries is excellent open during the above hours where Doctors can be seen on appointment and also emergency walk ins and Nurses trained in stitching wounds, X Rays, fractures etc. can be seen. Our District Nurses in Wrexham are all very well trained in these procedures and their services are excellent but the problem is that there are just not enough of them and there just isn't a service to available. Also, to build on Practitioner Pharmacists who are able to diagnose ailments and treat such things as urinary tract infections etc. or refer onto a more urgent appointment to their Patient's GP. Also, to make available to the Public the cost of calling out an Ambulance which is in the region of £400 for every call out which covers the cost of the trained and qualified staff, the initial cost of the Ambulance and all of its equipment the wear and tear of it, the maintenance and health compliances, renewals etc. If more G.P availability was in place and G.P's working a full week rather that, in some cases just 3 days per week, more minor injury Clinics open for 16 hours daily, 7 days per week, this would take some of the weight off the A & E. meaning more beds for the seriously ill Patients and more Ambulance availability for the seriously ill Patients. Obviously more training of G.P's, Specialist Doctors and Nurses does come into this.
7. What will you do on a local level to help support people in your ward affected by the cost of living crisis?
Having worked with people on very low incomes and various benefits and helped and guided them with regard to acquiring budgeting skills I am and would always be able to help in this area and also to work with partner agencies by referring them with regard to accessing as much help as possible with regard to debt management, better utility companies and deals, negotiating Council issues, advice on Grant applications and referrals to Community Agents to help and support them but always to be available for face to face contact and to give support when required.
8. How would you improve the local education system?
One of the things I would try to make available would be for children to access the National Tutoring Service in Wales. there are children who may have learning difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD, etc. who by no fault of their own may feel isolated and left behind by this not being recognised by a Teacher or a Teaching Assistant that hasn't been trained in recognising this. Training should be available for these Teachers and Teaching Assistants as a matter of course which I feel sure for those who hadn't had the opportunity of this training would appreciate it, as professionals, very much. I also think, that Education has suffered very much recently due to the Pandemic and due to this the School/College day could be lengthened to 30/40 minutes per day for extra tuition that is so badly needed and would be appreciated by most including the vocational Teaching Staff.
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?
If I were fortunate enough to be elected as an Independent Councillor I envisage I would be part the large group of Independent Councillors. As the meaning of Independent implies I would be independent and not part of a political party e.g. Labour, Conservatives etc sand bound by their Manifestos but as I have worked for many years as a member of a team in various organisation and also for the past 5 years had the privilege of being a Community Councillor in both Minera and Brymbo Community Councils whereby members have come from a number of political backgrounds I have always been able to work with my colleagues without exception and where prejudice from me or any other parties has never ever been experienced. The most important thing is to work for and on behalf of and in the best interests for the people of Wrexham and to be impartial, discounting any personal agenda that I or any other member may have.
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 personally delivered all of my Election addresses to the Electorate of the Ward and obviously on my rounds have met with 16 and 17 year old who have asked questions as to why I am standing and why I am campaigning. They have, on occasions discussed voting and politics with me and have also asked about different parties and I have tried to explain to them impartially the differences and the importance of voting and having their say. In a previous role I was responsible for initiating a Youth programme in a deprived area of Liverpool where they didn't have one. It was badly needed and I was responsible for gaining the funding employing a full time unsocial hours Youth Worker, provision of a MU.G.A. and overseeing all accounting procedures. This Youth Worker is still in post after15 years and the Project has grown to an increase of 3 Youth Workers. There are Youth Projects in my Ward that I am involved in and personally work with 16 and 17 year olds in a private capacity within this Ward with regard to training and leisure activities and on occasions Politics, the Elections and the Youth of today have been discussed. Overall according to the 16 and 17 year olds that I have met with the biggest issue is their future, their education, their exams, their job opportunities and their survival in general
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OTHER CANDIDATES FOR Minera
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