Statement from Paul Blackwell

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

I am Paul Blackwell. I have lived in the Acrefair community all my life, as have my family. I attended Acrefair Primary & Ysgol Rhiwabon

I have an honours degree in Politics & Government, am a governor of Ysgol Acrefair & Rhosymedre School & have been a member of Cefn Community Council since 1999. Was first elected to serve the Plas Madoc Ward on Wrexham Council in 2004.

I am a member of the labour party because i believe strongly in workers rights, public services & that communities instead of big business/ rich people having all the say.

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 big issues are car parking, school places & crime/anti-social behaviour. Car parking is needed as our communities were not built with the volume of cars we have today. i have had four new car parks built over the years, one recently built & a couple of off road schemes. I will continue to push for more. Clearly the youth feel they have nowhere to go. . As for school places, with the new Air Products development now underway we clearly need either a substantial extension to Acrefair School or a new school. I will work with the Assembly member, neighbouring cllrs & the Education dept to try & achieve this. I have a good working relationship with the police & i will work with them & others to help reduce crime /anti social behaviour

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 ?

Create a sustainable local transport system as well as a park & ride system for the whole borough To deliver an economic growth strategy that reinvigorates our Town centre, brings high quality,well paid jobs, prioritise local supply chains & combats poverty at its core. Creating a resiliant & inclusive economy that benefits the whole area

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 prefer to spend my time serving serving the people of the ward & bringing in investment. The labour group holds democratic elections based on Cllrs CVs, knowledge & experience I have served on the Homes & Environment scrutiny committee for the past twelve years & prior to that on the previous children & young people Scrutiny, Audit & Corporate Governance, but the ward always comes first.

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

They mean flooding! Some areas of Plas Madoc have experienced damaging flooding in recent years. I have had flood prevention work carried out& more needs to be done plus constant vigilance is a must. However to help combat climate change houses in the ward have had solar panels fitted & fruit trees/ wildflower meadows have been planted in . I will be wanting more trees planted on vacant land in the ward.if re-elected. The community council has also changed its street lights to LED which should save a lot of carbon &my personal contribution is to walk about everywhere locally instead of using the car

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?)

They have failed the local economy & secondary schools as well as Social services have been in special measures. Need to work more with Welsh government to get as much investment into the Borough as possible, instead of blaming the welsh government for the councils failings. I would ensure the roads budget is distributed more evenly so its not all spent in a few wards.

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

I prefer to focus on the local. it is for the government to focus on the strategic direction of health in wales. The health board needs to deliver twenty first century health facilities for my community. Its a community with over 4500 people that deserves better than it has now. My neighbouring Councillor Derek Wright has been working towards this with Ken Skates now the health board needs to act. This would reduce the amount of people going to A&E Plus having to access other services of which their is a waiting list.

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

I continue to support the main community group in my ward & the leisure centre that has done so much, like host a citizens advice clinic, food bank, fruit & veg, free emergency gas & electric top ups. Housing dept have also helped tenants who are struggling paying rent because of universal credit. I myself have not taken a salary increase since 2012l preferring to donate to local charities like Citizens advice that help people

8. How would you improve the local education system?

A better supported & invested education service which is totally inclusive, serves the needs of all our children and enables everyone to maximise their potential

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 entirely up to the public at this election. I am standing as a Welsh Labour candidate so obviously i would be a member of the labour group if elected.

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 ?

Quality Higher Education, Plenty of youth activities, good quality apprenticeships & routes to employment. An excellent fresh air environment , good transport & safe streets

Social & Web links

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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.


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