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Councillor elections May 2022 – what’s it all about?

Did you know that on May 5th this year, the people of Splott and surrounding areas will get to vote on who they want to represent them at a local level?

It’s true!  All local authorities in Wales will host a vote this Thursday and the polling stations in Splott and Tremorfa will be open from 7am to 10pm for us to cast our vote. 

But what are councillors exactly and what do they do?

(Scroll to the bottom of the article for a list of candidates and a list of polling stations in our electoral ward and a bit on what you need to vote).

Councillors are elected members of a local authority – in our case, Cardiff Council.  They are members of a political party (our current three councillors, Edward Stubbs, Huw Thomas and Jane Henshaw are members of the Labour Party) but have a duty to fairly represent their community, be it on a collective or individual basis, and balance this with what their party is striving for and also the strategic ambitions of the council. 

Councillors help determine how local services are provided, funded and prioritised.  Basically, it is the role of the Councillor to work on behalf of the people of their electoral ward (in our case, Splott and Tremorfa).

So what kinds of things do they have a say on?  More than you might think.  Councils have control over things like education (providing schools, school transport, adult learning); Housing (social housing); Social Services (caring for and protecting children, older people and disabled people);  Highways and Transport (road maintenance, traffic diversions); Rubbish collection (though they call this ‘Waste Management’) and recycling; Leisure and Cultural Services (libraries, leisure services and arts venues); Trading standards and licencing taxis; Environmental Health (hygiene certification for restaurants etc); Planning (local planning permission and building safety); Economic Development (touting for new businesses and encouraging tourism); Emergency planning for floods, terrorist attacks etc).

But what are Councillors expected to do?  Sometimes it’s as personal as assisting one single person who asks for their help.  ‘Mrs Splott, you say your whole street is fed up with this pothole? Let me take that to the council for you.’  ‘Mr Splott, you say your community group wants to take over that building that may be otherwise demolished?  Let me show you who to speak to and how to get your voice heard.’ ‘People of Splott, OK, I hear you – we want more trees!  I’m on it!’

However, it’s not all about doing everything for us.  Councillors are also there to show us the way.  They can point us in the right direction when we want to take up a cause ourselves.  When the paperwork and bureaucracy is so complex it may stop us before we start, Councillors may be able to clear the mire and help us find direction.  

But being a councillor isn’t easy.  It takes up a lot of time (going out and about meeting people, running Councillor Surgeries, attending meetings, campaigning for what they believe in, sitting in Council, Cabinet and Scrutiny meetings) and that’s on top of their normal jobs!  Did you know that Councillors are paid £14,368 before tax a year, which means that most need to supplement these earnings by bringing in another salary?  So most Councillors will also have a ‘day job’.

So, that’s it in a nutshell.  So now to the important questions…

Who can we vote for?

In Splott and Tremorfa we can elect three County Councillors.  Here are our choices:

BARTLETT (Dave)

Welsh Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

BEATTIE (Pip)

Plaid Cymru, Green Party, Common Ground / Plaid Cymru, Plaid Werdd, Tir Cyffredin

COATES (Tom)

Plaid Cymru, Green Party, Common Ground / Plaid Cymru, Plaid Werdd, Tir Cyffredin

EEDY (Anthony)

Propel: Not Politics As Usual / Propel: Nid Gwleidyddiaeth fel Arfer

EVANS (Malcolm)

Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru

HENSHAW (Jane)

Welsh Labour / Llafur Cymru

JAMES (Thomas Harry)

Welsh Conservative Party Candidate / Ymgeisydd Plaid Geidwadol Cymru

JAMIESON (Alex)

Green Party, Common Ground / Plaid Cymru, Plaid Werdd, Tir Cyffredin

KIRKHAM (Christopher)

Welsh Conservative Party Candidate / Ymgeisydd Plaid Geidwadol Cymru

LAWRENCE (Bob)

Welsh Conservative Party Candidate / Ymgeisydd Plaid Geidwadol Cymru

STUBBS (Ed)

Welsh Labour / Llafur Cymru

THOMAS (Huw)

Welsh Labour / Llafur Cymru

VAN DER WALT (Gary)

Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru

Where can we cast our vote?

East Moors Community Centre, Sanquhar Street, Splott, Cardiff, CF24 2AD

The Old Library Sports & Community Centre, Bute Room, Singleton Road, Splott, Cardiff, CF24 2ET

Oasis Cardiff, Splott Road (Burnaby Street Entrance), Splott, Cardiff, CF24 2BW

Moorland STAR, Moorland Road, Splott, Cardiff, CF24 2LG

Star Hub, Muirton Road, Cardiff, CF24 2SJ

Belmont Baptist Church Hall, Tweedsmuir Road/Taymuir Road, Tremorfa, Cardiff, CF24 2RG

Tremorfa Community Centre, Tweedsmuir Road, Splott, Cardiff, CF24 2QZ

Tesco Superstore, (Inside Main Entrance), Pengam Green, Tremorfa, Cardiff, CF24 2HP

How can I vote?

(Taken from https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote/voting-in-person)

You must register to vote in local and national elections. Unfortunately the deadline to register has now passed. If you would like to register to vote in future elections, you can find out more information here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

When you get to the polling station

Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive.

You’ll be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or options you can vote for.

ID you need to bring

If you live in England, Wales or Scotland you do not need to bring any identification to vote.

You will need to show photo ID to vote in Northern Ireland (your passport, driving licence, Electoral Identity Card or certain kinds of Translink Smartpass).

You do not have to take your poll card with you.

Filling in your ballot paper

Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote.

Voting if you have a disability

If you have a disability, your local Electoral Registration Office can tell you about:

physical access, for example wheelchair ramps and disabled parking spaces

low-level polling booths

equipment for voters with a visual impairment

Every polling station must provide at least one large print display version of the ballot paper and a special tactile voting device (TVD) to help people with sight loss.

I hope that’s helped navigate this coming election. Happy voting this Thursday!

Inksplott