I care about Kidwelly, not only because I live here as part of the strong local community with my family. We have so much history, so many attractions and a strong sense of local pride in the town. So I want to ensure we have an effective voice on the County Council for all our community, so we are not overlooked and get the support and resources we need and deserve.
My pledges therefore are:
1: Promote tourism and regeneration. In other counties Kidwelly would be a jewel in their tourist crown. We have so much potential, for so much more than the usual quick visit to the castle. We have the Quay, with its rich bird life, the historic Kymer’s canal, the industrial museum, even plans for this Country’s only velorail! It annoys me therefore that there is no marketing or celebration of the town, not even basic signage in the town or at the station. Big industries are gone, but Kidwelly could have a unique niche position rejuvenating our town centre supporting local small shops and businesses.
2: Support education. I was lucky enough to have teachers who saw beyond the stereotype of someone living in social housing with a single parent in low paid work and encouraged and supported me to get in to Oxford University. I want all children in the County to have their opportunity to fulfil their potential, whatever that is, be it academic or vocational. I will therefore support protecting the education budget, valuing teaching and learning staff and here in Kidwelly push for resources to improve our local schools.
3: Work to keep streets clear of litter and dog mess. Budgets are tight, but this is a bread and butter issue and should be prioritised. I have had to clean children’s shoes, pushchair and wheelchair wheels covered in dog mess. I will support increasing the cleansing budget and putting more bins and people on the street to stop mess by enforcement and clear it up when it happens.
4: Tackle the traffic issues. Given the infrastructure of our town, I have no magic resolve everything solution, but as a resident, I see the speed of traffic on Meinciau road and other streets in Kidwelly and have nearly been clipped by a wing mirror on the corner of Bridge Street. I see the absence of crossing here in Kidwelly and that for example a crossing by the Spar would slow traffic on Water Street, make access into Ferry Road easier and above all be safer for the many children crossing. I don’t want to wait for an accident before things get done and therefore will listen to residents’ concerns and push for long standing issues to be resolved.
5: Promote co-operative working. I carry around with me a card holder, on which I have had engraved one of my favourite quotations which comes from the ‘Mabinogion’, “A fo ben bid bont” “He who wants to be a leader should be a bridge”. I have worked with and for local authorities, the third sector and community groups. I have seen at first hand how negative sectional infighting between groups with people and organisations protecting their own interests rather than thinking about the community. If elected as a Labour and Co-operative party candidate, I will promote co-operative values and joint working for the benefit of the community.
I don’t promise to deliver instant solutions, but as a trade union officer, advice worker, barrister and more recently local Councillor, I have always fought for those I represent and do promise to work my hardest for the whole community.