We’ve asked the candidates in the Grangetown by-election on November 3rd some questions. First up is the Plaid Cymru candidate.
Name: Tariq Awan
Party: Plaid Cymru
Occupation: Part-time community banker
1.Tell us about yourself, your experience and interests?
I have lived in Grangetown all my adulthood life since the age of 13 and went to Fitzalan High School. I have post-grad diploma in Management Studies and BTEC HND in Business Finance. I have worked for Welsh Government for 15 years in the Industry department and then spent two years with a Cardiff-based charity as a support worker and Project coordinator assisting offenders to resettle back into community. I was providing pre-release and post-release support to offenders by developing a close working relationship while they were inside the prisons or released on licence attending the probation centre. I found this role very noble and fulfilling because it gave me access to people’s private lives to understand what are the causes of their offending behaviours and provided me the opportunity to assist them from re-offending. I had the opportunity share share meetings with prison directors and Police Commissioner.
My interest are mainly volunteering and playing cricket. For the past 16 years I have been general secretary for Grangetown Cultural Centre. This role enables me to communicate with people from varied cultural backgrounds and social & economical levels. It helped to strengthen my community building skills and become more proficient in supporting the needs of my local community and promoting professionalism in our conduct and delivery of services. As a cricketer I gained the invaluable experience of working as part of a team and leading from front on several seasons as captain of the team. I have developed a very close understanding with local youth and their parents. My coaching qualifications have taught me to correct the malpractice and fine tune standard practice to achieve the best from the individual or an organisation. I would like to put all my strengths and skills into action, if I get elected, in order to achieve the best for my community of Grangetown where me and my children live with our extended family and friends.
2 What are the main issues you are standing on?
Grangetown has been badly let down by Labour. Cardiff Plaid will clean up Cardiff. We will guarantee the future of Grangetown Play Centre and Channel View Leisure Centre. Tackling anti-social behaviour and close all the places known to being used by criminals and drug dealers. I live in Grangetown and want the best for my community.
3 Litter, fly-tipping and waste management are issues which Grangetown residents keep raising – what should be done to tackle these?
Plaid will make it easier for people to recycle by re-opening recycling centres and employing more cleansing crews. We will reverse Labour cuts in this area. We will bring back community skips and free collection of bulky waste items. Clean streets will be a Plaid council priority.
4 Grangetown is one of most deprived communities in the city, budgets are tight, what can the council do to improve things?
A Plaid-run council will rebuild the play and youth service, decimated by Labour. We will guarantee the future of Channel View Leisure Centre and have zero tolerance to litter. Cardiff’s budget has been made tight by very poor decision making, such as the £2 million on new bins we didn’t need.
5 How would you like to see Grangetown in three years time?
I want to see a Grangetown where my children don’t have to walk through mountains of rubbish to get to the shop. I want a Grangetown with good youth and play provision, so our youngsters have safe places to spend time and don’t fall into mischief that may ruined their lives or lead them towards the wrong side of the law. I would like to see cleaner, safer and inclusive Grangetown with provisions for the youth, elderly and families.
6 Sum up – in a sentence why should I vote for you?
Grangetown is a straight fight between Cardiff Plaid and Labour; unlike the Labour candidate who lives in Caerau, I live in Grangetown and this is my home! I am the best local candidate you have, so vote for me.
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.