Statement from Patricia Maura Williams

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

Pat Williams –Welsh Labour for Smithfield Ward

I have lived in Caia Park for 50 years and have two sons who went to St. Joseph’s RC school. I worked for the NHS at the beginning of my career and then for Wrexham Council until I retired. My role as Development Officer for Older People, People with disabilities and Learning Difficulties left me with a passion to continue this type of work as a volunteer in my own community.
I served on Caia Park Community Council for 10 years and was chairperson for most of that time. My work in the Caia community led me to being awarded the British Empire Medal by the Queen. I was also honoured by Pope John Paul with the Benemerenti Medal.

I was successful in acquiring lottery funding to renovate an old disused community centre into a day centre for older people Deva House I oversaw the complete renovation

I also was granted funding to buy new cookers, microwaves and cooking utensils enabling two weekly luncheon clubs to run at two separate venues in the Smithfield Ward

I have also taken 40 older people away on a free weeks holiday to Llandudno for the past 20 years and we are going this year in May

I am standing for Welsh Labour because I believe we need to invest more in communities like ours. and Welsh Labour is the only party locally which has a vision for the future which is inclusive and will benefit every community and the town centre.

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?

Safer and cleaner streets are an important issue for Smithfield residents. Welsh Labour’s manifesto promises a rapid response unit to ensure all our streets are cleaner and well maintained. Drug Alcohol and Substance Misuse is a matter for concern, so it is important to work with the support agencies in Wrexham to seek resolutions.I will promote the Caia Park Welfare Rights service whose staff assist residents to apply for any benefits.

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 ?

Having a creative plan for the future as we move forward from the pandemic is crucial. Welsh Labour is set on delivering an economic growth strategy which will bring more and better jobs, help local businesses to thrive and will revitalise our town centre which is well overdue. We need to be proud of our town again and we must also ensure that we cater for the young people in our communities with appropriate activities to help them develop and keep safe. A more accessible and better-connected transport system is an important element of the economic growth plan.

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 work in social services has inevitably given me an interest in social care and housing. However, I understand that the Labour Group operates a democratic system which allocates its councillors to roles appropriate to their interests, skills and experience. I would support this system.

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

This is a massive issue and is of particular concern to younger people whose knowledge on these matters is impressive. I would wholeheartedly support Wrexham becoming the greenest county and believe that we must do more to encourage decarbonisation and promote biodiversity. Our green spaces are vital, and we must protect them as well as enjoy them.

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?)

For the past 5 years, the Independent/Tory administration has failed Wrexham people. Some secondary schools have been placed in special measures and the education and social care departments have been shown to have serious shortcomings by regulatory bodies. You only have to look at the sad state of the town centre and Eagles Meadow to realise that our local economy is stagnant. We need a creative plan to give us hope and regenerate our town which has so much potential.

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

Accessible primary care is a UK wide issue as GPs retire and close their practices. To overcome these problems and release some of the pressures felt by our hospital, we need to work with the local health board to introduce community health hubs with salaried GPs and advanced nursing practitioners who can provide a host of services such as cardiac, diabetic, and mental health within local communities.

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

The Welsh Labour Government is acutely aware of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on so many families in Wales and has already introduced some support measures. It is important that the council makes every effort to obtain all the funding available to assist local projects and residents.As a councillor, I would be well placed to help people access support and given the work I already do as a volunteer for the William and John Jones Trust which awards grants for older people and those with disabilities, I have some expertise in this area.

8. How would you improve the local education system?

It cannot be right that several of our secondary schools have been placed in special measures and that problems have been identified by Estyn within the education department. We know that there is a lot of good work happening in our schools, but we cannot overlook the failings which have led to this situation. We must get to the root of the problems and develop a plan which will ensure that all our children get the high-quality education they deserve.

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?

On 5th May, the voters will decide the make up of the council. While it is important that all councillors accept their responsibilities to work in tandem to deliver for Wrexham, I hope that the electorate will vote for change. Standing as an independent means that you have no clear allegiance to particular policies and do not stand on a manifesto. Welsh Labour has a bold plan for the future and all the Welsh Labour councillors will be working hard to deliver the plan. However, we need to be the largest group to achieve this aim. It is possible so if you want a brighter future you will vote for a Welsh Labour candidate.

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 ?

Now more than ever, all governments need to prioritise the young and the vulnerable given the many challenges which lie ahead. Covid has impacted massively on many young people due to disrupted educational experiences and in some cases their mental health has suffered.It is important we encourage our young people to become actively engaged in the political system so that they can make the changes they want for the future.

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  • Take your ballot paper into a polling booth.
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