Can’t make your mind up? We’re running a series of Q&As with the candidates in the Cardiff Council by-election for Grangetown on Thursday November 3rd. Here you can find out more about Conservative candidate.
Name: Michael Bryan
Occupation: Researcher in the Welsh Assembly.
1 Tell us about yourself, your experience and interests
I have lived in Cardiff on and off for the last 15 years, having been brought up in West Wales. I settled in Grangetown in 2011 and am a researcher to an Assembly Member based out of Cardiff Bay.
I am a history graduate and have a keen interest in modern history and current affairs as well as watching sport and travelling.
For the last eight years I have served as a local authority appointed governor to a primary school in Cardiff North and am currently the head of the finance committee.
2 What are the main issues you are standing on?
I am standing on a platform of bringing a sense of community back to Grangetown. The ward is one of the most diverse in Cardiff with modern rental properties existing alongside terraced homes dating back over 100 years. We must bring a sense of community back to our area and by doing this we can help to address some of the antisocial behaviour and petty crime that exists.
I am also keen to ensure that I am not just another vote for the ruling group on the council. For too long the votes of Grangetown councillors have been taken for granted and this must change. By electing a councillor who does not represent a party that has ruled the city in recent times I can hold the council to account and not be afraid of upsetting anyone.
3 Litter, fly-tipping and waste management are issues which Grangetown residents keep raising – what should be done to tackle these?
As I have said by bringing a sense of community back to the area, some of these problems can be addressed. I get as frustrated as others seeing litter on our streets and fly-tipping down some of our alleyways. We should not have to wait for the local press to highlight fly-tipping and filthy alleyways before the council does something about this. More patrols are required by the council, more on the spot fines need to be levied to deter the worst offenders and more pride needs to be installed across the community to encourage people to take a pride in where they live.
4 Grangetown is one of most deprived communities in the city, budgets are tight, what can the council do to improve things?
The council can concentrate on spending money wisely. They need to be cutting costs where possible and reducing the money they waste on pet projects and schemes, freeing up resources for more urgent schemes. I would obviously support money being spent in Grangetown, but we must see some real results from the way it is spent. We don’t need to be reinventing the wheel, there are numerous examples of where deprived areas have been turned around by money being properly targeted and the people with the right skills being in place to offer support and advice where needed.
We also need to look at our schools and ensure that pupils are being encouraged to take pride in their community, communicate with their neighbours, play sport with their friends and take advantage of the many green areas that Grangetown has to ensure that they have a healthy start to life.
5 How would you like to see Grangetown in three years time?
I wouldn’t want to see much change in Grangetown over the coming years, other than it having less litter and fly tipping and more of a community feel. The groundwork has already been done and local people just need that extra nudge to regain pride in where they live and demonstrate to those who are committed to causing anti-social behaviour and crime that they are not welcome here. Grangetown has a proud history in our capital city and I want it to once again to be an area that all of its local residents are proud of living in.
6 Sum up – in a sentence why should I vote for you?
I would bring a fresh voice to county hall with a proven record of service to my community but without engaging in any of the petty squabbling which seems to dominate our current ruling group. I would have six months to prove myself up to the job and if I fail you can vote me out again in May.
We hope to run Q&As with Asghar Ali (Lib Dems) and Richard Lewis (UKIP) over the next few days. Voters are being asked to elect one candidate in the ward seat vacated by the sudden death of Councillor Chris Lomax in September.