THIS Thursday (May 4) sees Wales go to the polls as the country elects county, town and community councillors to serve for the next five years.
In this election special we offered all candidates in the race to win seats on Monmouthshire County Council in the Abergavenny Chronicle area, the opportunity to introduce themselves and in their own words explain why they should win your votes this week
COPNER Christopher James (Independent)
“I work in the accountancy and finance industry with over eleven years experience and have been a member of the ACCA for thirteen years. I am financially trained with up to date legislation. I am the current treasurer of Abergavenny Round Table and as an active member help to raise money locally to then give away to local good causes. I am the most easy to approach candidate you will have the chance to vote for. I live in the ward and operate my local independent ice cream selling business there. I was placed in the top four mobile ice cream sellers for UK and Ireland in 2016. I have also designed and promoted my own road safety character posters for children on a national scale. I’ll listen to the needs of residents and put you first, be honest and open, keep you well informed, work with other parties to bring benefits to the ward and town and support our voluntary groups and local organisations.
JORDAN Paul(Welsh Conservative Party)
“?I was first elected to MCC in May 2008, and since that date have held positions of Chair of Audit and Children and Young people select Committees; I am currently Vice-Chairman of the Council. I have lived in the Cantref ward all my life. I work part time as a Consultant Solicitor, am an active member of Abergavenny Rotary Club and sing with a local choir, Synergy. I have been a Governor and am a past pupil of King Henry VIII School.?If re elected I will endeavour to ensure they your council tax is spent wisely to protect essential services.”
SIMCOCK David Richard (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“Abergavenny has been my home for 20 years and I am proud to be the first Labour Councillor in Cantref for many years. As a councillor I have worked on the Town Council and its Committees. I now also want to be part of a Labour-led County Council targeting the issues that really matter: making schools better, improving the state of roads and pavements, making public transport more convenient and providing better support for lonely and isolated residents. I support the Labour values of integrity, fairness, accountability and good governance.”
ROBBINS Jane Mary Julia (Liberal Democrats)
HEAD Stephen Nathaniel (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I moved to Abergavenny in 2002 as my wife comes from the town. I am a solicitor in the civil service. In my professional life, I am used to listening to and representing the views of victims and witnesses. I believe that my experiences of life socially and professionally make me the right person to represent Castle Ward. I promise to hold the County Council to account when making decisions that affect the ward and residents of Monmouthshire. I will listen to the arguments and make decisions based on what is fair and in the best interests of the many – not the few.”
POWELL Maureen (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I have been County Councillor for Castle Ward for the last nine years. I was involved in alleviating the flooding around Station Road, widening the footpath on the A40, getting a bus shelter erected in Park Rd for the benefit of Castle constituents, repairs to the footbridge in Castle Meadows and eventually lowering the speed limit to 30mph from Hardwick roundabout to Plas Derwen. I have done my best to answer the requests from residents whenever possible and if not, passed them to the relevant department.?If re-elected I will continue to work diligently for the people of Abergavenny and Monmouthshire.”
DUCHET Didier Jack Louis(Liberal Democrats)
ANTHONY Stephen Graham (Welsh Conservative Party)
“ I am proud to be the son of a miner. I have lived in South Wales for over 20 years working in the steel and consultancy industries. With a young family I am passionate about good local services and if elected will work hard to get the very best I can for all residents of the Croesonen ward. Using my industry experience I want to become a councillor to help small business flourish in the Abergavenny and Monmouthshire area.”
CHAPMAN Jason Leslie Ralph (Independent)
“Although a newcomer to the local political arena, I believe that I can represent the people of the Croesonen Ward in a fair and determined manner.
Living within the ward has given me a unique opportunity to see first-hand the issues that affect people’s lives. Issues that are often ignored by our council officials. I have discovered that the residents of the Croesonen area are very diverse and welcoming. I believe that every resident of the Croesonen ward has a right to have their say. As an Independent candidate for the forth-coming local election, I stand behind the residents of the Croesonen Ward and will work hard to make their voice a force within local government.
HARRIS Roger George (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I have been Ward Councillor since June 2004. I have represented your interests at County Hall by: interacting with relevant Monmouthshire County Council officers to resolve or alleviate your particular problem; providing each household in Croesonen Ward with a quarterly newsletter; being local, active, effective and approachable; participating in regular ‘street surgeries’, with housing association representatives and the Police; ensuring that your concerns are aired on the various bodies that are provided by MCC to alleviate or eliminate problems. I want to continue to work hard for the residents of Croesonen Ward.”
HARRIS Maggie (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“We are bordered by Brecon Beacons National Park and the National Trust and many areas are designated as Areas of Special Scientific Interest. We are fortunate to be able to roam freely through much of the Beacons and be able to enjoy the diversity of wild plants and animals, but that also includes farm animals such as cows, sheep and horses. Maintaining the balance between leisure and livelihoods is a challenge that affects us all. If elected I will endeavour to represent all residents and to keep people up to date with relevant information either by newsletters or surgeries.”
JAMES Andrew Cecil (Welsh Conservative Party)
“Following a horse riding accident 26 years ago, I became involved in my local community in the Crucorney Ward, first as a parent on the PTFA of Llanvihangel Crucorney Primary School and later on the School Governing Body. I served on the Community Council for two years before being elected to Monmouthshire County Council for the Crucorney ward from 2008 until 2012. During that time I championed the issues affecting our area, giving back something to those who have supported me since my accident. It would be a great honour to serve the people of the Crucorney ward once again. “
JONES David Wynne Hughes (Independent)
"I live in Llanvetherine, in the Crucorney Ward, and am a passionate family and community man; taking part in many local activities and events. I have spent all my working life in Monmouthshire, including as the Independent Councillor for Crucorney Ward since 2012. I am proud of what has been achieved during this term. I believe that I am well placed to use my experience and continue my hard work as Councillor to take the Ward forward for the benefit of my fellow residents.”
JONES Bryan (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I have represented Goytre Fawr since 2004 and have fought hard to put the residents of Goytre, Little Mill, Nantyderry and Mamhilad first. Road Safety and speeding are problems particularly in the villages of Goytre and Little Mill. I have succeeded in helping provide a controlled crossing in Little Mill. I would like the same on the A4042 at Goytre. So far the Welsh Government seems unwilling to help, but I will not give up. I would like to be re-elected and give the residents of Monmouthshire a council that is efficient and runs all its services as economically as possible.”
ENGLAND Joseph William (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
DOBSON Lee Andrew (Wales Green Party Plaid Werdd Cymru)
“Throughout my life one thing has always been close to my heart - Community. To me every single person living in Grofield Ward is important. We need tighter controls over constantly rising rents and more opportunities for those on the breadline. We need to give the young the chance to thrive. We need to make our Ward a safer place to live. We need to stop the culture of ‘jobs for the boys’ and get every man, woman and child proud of this great town once again. I believe we all deserve a safer, happier, greener and more inclusive Abergavenny.”
MARSH-JENKS Peter John (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“Grofield has little of the wealth or opportunities often associated with Monmouthshire. There is a clear need for good, accessible, local jobs and controls on ever-increasing rents. Before coming to Abergavenny 10 years ago I was a Councillor with 20 years’ experience. I will prioritise the silent majority who need more from society over the vocal minority who simply want more. Obsessing with Westminster is not what politics should be. Locally Labour has a reputation for working in communities, both with them and for them.”
TATAM Nick (Liberal Democrats)
“I have lived in Abergavenny for over 30 years. For many years I ran the Post Office in Blaenavon. Before that I worked for Wessex Water as a policy analyst and taught science in Uganda for four years. My three grown-up children went to local schools. I am a town councillor and also one of the directors of Team Aber, working with the town council to produce a five-year plan for Abergavenny. I’ve been especially concerned with the future of the town hall, working to improve its facilities, increase trade and develop a sustainable business plan to put it at the heart of Abergavenny’s services. I’ve also been involved in plans to promote Abergavenny as a food and drink town. I believe a councillor should do more than just go to council meetings and take decisions as to what THEY think is best. They should listen and discuss with the people they represent, keep them informed about what is happening and provide a service.
WOODHOUSE Sheila (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I wish to use the experience and knowledge I have gained as a Town Councillor over the past five years working in the community, talking and listening to the views of so many of our residents. My involvement in helping people – in Nevill Hall Hospital, (W)RVS, Abergavenny Gateway Club, as a founder member of Abergavenny MIND, to mention a few, has given me the opportunity to hear about people’s concerns or otherwise. Also as a tourism ambassador I get to see the town through the eyes of our many visitors. At this stage I wish to make it clear that I am seeking election on this occasion as a County Councillor, and not as a Town Councillor, as if successful I wish to give this role my full attention.
If elected I will strive to make Abergavenny a safe, clean and welcoming place to live, work and visit.”
CAMP Victoria Helen (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I have a great track record of being responsive to residents, supportive of business and fair at all times, having previously been a City Councillor for six years. I am thrilled to be raising my young family in the town, and am ready to tackle issues such as dog waste on the roads, speeding through town locations, fly tipping and I strongly wish to improve our great local services such as the leisure centre. What matters to you, matters to me and I will be present and engaged if elected.”
GROUCUTT Martyn (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I have lived in Abergavenny for over 30 years. I spent many years in education and I care about getting the best possible schools. Dignity and quality of life in old age is our right, as is trying to ensure that families grow up in safe streets and happy communities. Labour is the only party that is concerned with fairness and equality. I will work with and for all residents. I will be around the ward and am keen to find out what people are thinking – so I can best represent them on the County Council.”
BUTLER Jan (Welsh Conservative Party)
‘It has been a great pleasure to talk with so many local residents in recent months as I’ve undertaken a detailed survey to find out what really matters. I have a clear view about the things which concern people in the Llanbadoc ward: speeding and speed limits, broadband and mobile services, road signs and markings, social isolation of the elderly and our young people and the need for better consultation on planning. If elected, I will stand up for local people and do my best to protect our rural communities.’
SMITH Jane Foulds (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I have lived in South Wales for most of my life – having been a community councillor in Usk for four years. I know Llanbadoc well. It is a beautiful area, but there are many issues that need to be addressed by the County Council. Lack of public transport intensifies the problems of poor internet connectivity, scarcity of affordable housing and unemployment. I have been a member of the Labour Party for more than thirty years, having joined because I believe in social equality and fairness. I want to end the Tory/Lib Dem coalition that has failed us.”
SMITH Val (Independent)
“I have lived in Glascoed for over 40 years and I’ve served on Llanbadoc Community Council, Monmouth District, Borough then County Councils. Among other things I was a founder member of both the Grass Routes bus scheme and the Crossroads Respite Care for Carers charity and have championed the Prison Liaison Committee. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and friends and my work as a councillor is how I give back to my community. I’ve found that often the small things make a big difference.”
BELL Pam (Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales)
“I grew up in Hackney, East London, and worked in West London before moving to Llanelly Hill in 1988. Leaving school with ‘O’ levels, I worked in various shops and offices while studying at the Open University, going on to qualify in Environmental Sciences and Ecology at London University. Alongside a varied career in education, training and travel I trained as a teacher at Newport University and obtained a master’s degree in coaching science at UWIC. My current occupation as a self-employed outdoor activity provider allows me to follow my interest in local and natural history, and I recently achieved a Certificate in Heritage Studies by part-time study at South Wales University.
I have always been involved in voluntary work, including helping in youth clubs, schools and hospitals; ‘Task Force’ work; leading Duke of Edinburgh’s Award groups; working with young offenders; practical conservation projects; and service on statutory committees related to youth work and countryside access. My leisure interests include walking, swimming, boating, studying the Welsh language, natural and local history.”
CARRINGTON Tony (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“If elected I believe I can make fundamental changes to the way Monmouthshire County Council currently operates. Some of my main areas of concern are: stopping excessive developments destroying our countryside; ensuring a stronger police presence in our area, keeping a control on how we recycle and not make the same mistakes as other authorities.
I hope that residents recognise my strong desire to represent them honestly and faithfully and that they will entrust me with their confidence and support.
PRATT Jane (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I feel privileged to be standing for Llanelly Hill Parish where I live. I was born in South Wales and have previously been a County Councillor and School Governors’ Chairman.
I have been campaigning for many months and have been made aware of various concerns and have therefore produced a six point plan: delivering a high standard of education, protecting local services, improving the state of local roads and action on speeding, tackling litter and fly-tipping, consulting better on planning and ensuring safer walking and cycling routes. I hope people will support me so I can tackle the many issues in this ward.
SIMCOCK Penny (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“There are many good things about Llanelly Hill – but we know there is more to do: access to services and public transport, road safety, and the state of the roads and pavements. Young people need more choice of out of school activities and people of all ages with social care needs require better support. As County Councillor I will take up residents’ issues, work on their behalf and liaise with the Community Council. I’ve been a Labour Party supporter since I cast my first vote. It’s the party of equality and fair play (and fair pay) and that’s what I stand for – in every respect.”
HOWARTH Simon George Mark (Independent)
“This my 13th year as an Independent councillor and I hope to be able to return for another term in office. As Independents we’re unique in that we don’t have to follow party policy but can press for what we believe is important - putting the interests of our constituents to the fore on individual issues and doing what we believe is right for Monmouthshire.”
CLOUTH Alan David (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I’ve lived in Abergavenny for 36 years. I understand how to ensure the Council understands and responds to the needs of Llanfoist. Llanfoist is not ‘Abergavenny across the bridge’ and needs to be recognised as a community. The negative impact of rapid expansion, traffic and litter are just some of the problems I would tackle if elected to the County Council. I would aim to bring together Llanfoist people of all ages and backgrounds to do so.
Voting Labour will end the Tory/Lib Dem coalition that has failed both Llanfoist residents and the whole county.”
HOWARD Giles (Welsh Conservative Party)
I am a keen and experienced local campaigner and volunteer, and have a background of working with local government as a qualified teacher and town planner. I am passionate about providing improved and sustainable local government services that matter to people.
If elected to represent the Llanfoist Fawr ward, I would be committed to delivering for residents of Llanfoist, Llanellen and Llanwenarth, many of whom have already told me what matters to them. I would be accountable, accessible, work closely with the Community Council, and above all else, always put the views of those I represent first.
JONES Leonie (Independent)
“I grew up in Llanellen, where my Mum still lives and I still very much consider Llanellen as home. I’m about to complete a Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology, following a three-year voluntary placement at the Office for National Statistics, where I was their professional lead for the Employee Health and Wellbeing Project. I strongly believe more female councillors are needed at MCC to ensure that women’s issues are fully represented at county council level. I also feel that there is currently insufficient representation for disabled people on MCC, which if elected I hope to rectify. The importance of maintaining a strong sense of community is at the centre of my campaign, and I feel that as an independent county councillor I can best represent what matters to you in the community, rather than being constrained by party politics.
WREFORD-BUSH Kerry Joanne (Liberal Democrats)
CLARKE Peter Raymond (Welsh Conservative Party)
“It’s been a great privilege to have represented Llangybi Fawr as County Councillor for over 20 years through which time I have had the pleasure of helping many people in our communities. I am passionate about seeing our young people achieving to their fullest potential and accessing the very best education possible. I serve on the governing bodies of Usk Primary School and Caerleon Comprehensive School and believe these schools offer an excellent education. I am a strong and experienced voice that can continue to represent you and ask you to lend me your vote once again on May 4.”
WINDALL Karen Margaret (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I retired to Monmouthshire 18 months ago. I previously lived in Anglesey, raising three children and working as a doctor. This has given me a clear understanding of rural communities’ problems. Increased insecurity in the wake of the country’s decision to leave the EU will increase rural hardship. The Labour Party understands the importance of maintaining transport links and consulting people on how best to fund health and social services. Rather than spend money on expensive groups of ‘experts’ as the Tory-led council has repeatedly done, I would discuss relevant issues with residents. I understand the strength of rural communities.”
EMBLING Barry Christopher (Wales Green Party Plaid Werdd Cymru)
“I am a forester managing woodlands in South East Wales and a passionate believer in using local people and services, contributing to our local economy. I have travelled around the world, studying at first hand our impact on the planet. I understand the need for sustainable transport and housing solutions with affordable options for all. I am concerned about the implications of Brexit, and am looking to Welsh Government take the opportunities that Brexit may bring, and to fully implement their ground-breaking Environmental Acts and see that they are reflected in our lives and local environment.
DUCHET Caroline Frances (Liberal Democrats)
JONES Sara Louise (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I have lived in Monmouthshire all of my life and I am passionate about ensuring we have a county that cares for our local communities, creating a better place for us all that live and work here. As a mum of two young children I want to enable our future generations to have the very best opportunities in a county that they can be proud to call home.
If re-elected I will continue to campaign for better broadband provision, improved infrastructure and local services, and ensuring that our rural areas are supported effectively through the delivery of local government.
WILLCOCK Margaret Elizabeth (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“ I have lived in Llanover Ward for 38 years. If elected, my priorities for our area will be: Education: I fully understand the importance of improving our schools and the provision of appropriate education to meet every child’s individual need. Public transport: The isolation of many neighbouring rural families, highlights the need of focused public transport. Roads: I am well aware of the need for more than patched repairs – fundamental improvements are required for the safety of rural road users. I wish to devote my time and considerable energies to the needs of the people of Llanover.”
CHANDLER Ian Roy (Wales Green Party Plaid Werdd Cymru)
“I live in Llantilio Crossenny ward with children at Cross Ash primary school. I want them to have a future where our air and water is clean and our food healthy; where our energy comes from the wind, the waves and the sun; where the young are encouraged to use their talents and fulfil their dreams; where the elderly and disabled play an active role in our communities; where diversity is valued; where the vulnerable are protected; and where everyone is supported to have good mental and physical health. Together we can help make this future happen. Vote Green.”
EDWARDS Ruth Mabel (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I feel privileged to have served as the County Councillor for Llantilio Crossenny for the past 13 years and throughout that time I’ve had the pleasure of helping many local people. I come from a farming background and understand the issues that affect our rural community and I have made sure that those who live in rural areas like ours are not ignored. I ask you to lend me your vote once again on May 4 so that I can continue representing you and speaking up for our wonderful area.”
EGGLETON Ann Elizabeth (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I have farmed in the Llantilio area since 1989 and understand the ward and its primary activity. Ours is an organic farm so I have sympathy with the sustainability goals of the Welsh Assembly, which should affect the decisions of Monmouthshire County Council. Rural Monmouthshire is not just a rich-person’s haven. The countryside presents many problems including affordable housing, road maintenance, and transport. These all affect access to employment, health/social care, and entertainment. If elected, I will ensure that such issues receive proper attention and the best possible solutions. I firmly believe in the need for social justice and equality of opportunity for all.”
EVANS David Lyn (Independent)
BUTLER Mike (Welsh Conservative Party)
“Born in Hampshire, on leaving school I trained as an Aircraft Technician in the Fleet Air Arm, serving for 14 years. Thereafter I worked mainly in the Aerospace Industry. A Conservative, I served for five years as a Councillor of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Living in this beautiful county, Govilon is exceptional, even for Monmouthshire. With that comes issues and I am acutely aware of many of them: poor broadband coverage, fly tipping, littering, speeding traffic to name a few. I will fight to ensure that the voice of Llanwenarth Ultra is heard and acted upon in County Hall.
WILLIAMS Kevin Glyn (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I was born in Clydach in 1965, the fourth generation of Williams in the village. I am employed as a Development Officer for Lifelong Learning by the TUC in Wales. I have represented Govilon as the local councillor for the past five years. I feel that being a local person is vital in understanding the issues Govilon faces. I have worked at addressing highways problems, housing issues, street cleansing and many other issues that Govilon residents have faced. As County Councillor I promise I will continue to represent people with integrity and honesty and give Govilon my full attention.”
CHAPMAN Ralph Frederick (Independent)
“I have represented the people of the Mardy Ward for nearly thirty years. I have always believed that people should come before politics. Being an independent candidate has freed me from local political chains which can sometimes bog down local issues which affect local people. I have worked hard in local government for the last three decades, and will continue to give the residents of the Mardy the support they need to tackle local issues that matter to them. I am proud to represent an area where community sprit continues to thrive. The people of the Mardy ward have inspired me to commit myself to tackle local issues which matter to them, issues I care about.”
LANE Malcolm Clifford George (Welsh Conservative Party)
“Over the last couple of months I have been campaigning vigorously on real local issues which currently affect the community which I am proud to live in and I feel strongly that we need someone fighting our corner in County Hall to manage effectively those concerns.
This area deserves a full-time local councillor who will strive to ensure that the issues affecting residents adversely will be fully explored and addressed such as proper planning for development and investing in local services with action on speeding and restrictions of HGV.
MABY Catrin Myfanwy (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I returned to Monmouthshire 16 years ago to bring up my children. I want to be a County Councillor to do what I can to make things better. To me, this means affordable housing, education services, accessible transport, quality care for our elderly and disabled, jobs for our young people, and a strong and resilient local economy. As an engineer I have been working to improve energy efficiency in housing. I was awarded an OBE for my work in the 2012 New Year Honours. As Councillor I would commit to representing the interests of the entire local community and doing all I can to serve the people of Mardy well.”
PROSSER John Leonard (Welsh Conservative Party)John Prosser, Priory
?I live in Priory Ward and have been a Town Councillor for sixteen years and County Councillor for nine years. I was Town Mayor in 2008/9 and County Chairman in 2014/15. I am Scrutiny and Armed Forces Champion for MCC. A retired professional person I am active in our local community over the years including Friends of Bailey Park, Moose, Rotary, Twinning Associations, Eisteddfod, Police Partnerships, Amateur Operatic etc. I have fought to retain local toilets, dog-fouling reduction initiatives and I lead the project to revitalise our Agri Urban industries. If re-elected I will continue to fight anti-social behaviour, protect the vulnerable, improve our environment, deliver a new secondary school, and maintain our front line services.
THOMAS Tudor Edgar (Welsh Labour Candidate/Ymgeisydd Llafur Cymru)
“I was born in the Swansea Valley and grew up in a council house. My parents instilled three beliefs in me: aspiration, education and equality. I taught in Abergavenny for many years and played an active role in establishing Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni. I also worked for the Welsh Examination Board as Examination Officer. I have been Town Councillor for Priory so I know the area and the concerns of its residents. I have focused in particular on tackling anti-social behaviour and working with the Town Team. If elected as a County Councillor, I will use my guiding principles, local knowledge, work ethic and experience in education to confront the major issues affecting Priory and Abergavenny.”
BREWS Jenny (Liberal Democrats)
JONES Penny (Welsh Conservative Party)
“I have been proud to represent Raglan ward as the County Councillor for the last five years. In that time I have worked on the community’s behalf, dealing with such diverse issues as planning, roads, the LDP site, car parking and lighting issues, A40 issues related to accidents, speeding and now signage, solar parks and wind turbine sites. I have also had the privilege of representing the ward as a member of Raglan