Lynda was asked to answer this question- You should vote for me in the Abersychan election because– and this is her answer
Hi, I’m Lynda Clarkson. I’m standing in the Abersychan Ward as a Welsh Labour candidate for Borough and Community Council along with Giles Davies and Bob Rogers.
I’ve actively volunteered and campaigned locally for 11yrs since retiring from nursing, a Community Councillor since 2017, Borough Councillor since 2021. I’m strongly committed to the Abersychan Ward where I’ve lived for 35 years, know the area well and the issues that concern us all.
Recent community actions include sourcing funding and organising the installation of Community Defibrillators, working with Abersychan Tin on a Wall collecting food donations for any in need, assisting volunteers with grant applications and securing funding, helping set up committees to keep Community Halls open, arranging extra litter bins, supporting residents with a wide variety of housing, service and antisocial behaviour problems.
I believe a good Councillor should be accessible, well informed, seeking out best practice to drive change and best use of available resources. Listening to and representing the interests of the majority. We all want the same things at the end of the day, a clean, safe and vibrant place to live.
If elected I’ll continue tackling issues such as community and road safety, litter and fly tipping, Anti-social behaviour and crime by forging strong links with Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Housing Associations, statutory and voluntary agencies and residents to ensure all are engaged in dealing with problems in the Ward.
I’m not one for empty promises, I’m direct, seek achievable outcomes, thinking outside of the box to get things done. I’m standing as I care about our Ward, want to see improvements and modernisation of services, realistic investment in green energy and protection of the environment for our future generations. We have a responsibility to look to the future and not get stuck in the past. I want to be part of the changes needed.
We have a fantastic Community who’ve supported local businesses and organisations through difficult times. As a result we still have great shops, Post Offices, Sports Clubs, Churches and Community Halls. Things that have disappeared in many valley areas but make the Abersychan Ward a great place to live and work. Many rely on volunteers who deserve all the support they can get. I’ll provide this and seek out other avenues of support and grant funding to help them continue and thrive. Shop local…it really makes a difference.
I’m proud of the area. Yes, we have issues, challenging times ahead, as do all areas but together as a community we can tackle them, make a real difference. I’d work with and for the Community. I’ve got plans and ideas, with your support I’ll get to work. Things don’t happen overnight but with determination and direction – we can get there.
I’ve been asked about Council Tax increases whilst campaigning.
After years of Central Government funding cuts every Local Authority has suffered the negative impacts, which means we all feel the effects.
A 0% rise this year would have likely meant a higher rise next or potential cuts as costs have risen sharply for all providing services and purchasing materials, including Local Authorities.
This year’s budget is balanced, maintains services and is forward looking keeping Council Tax rises in Torfaen at 1.95% for two years, among the lowest in Wales, a 52p a week increase to band D properties.
The uplift from Welsh Government has been invested to improve priority areas such as an extra £3.5 million to schools, over 500 more domiciliary care hours weekly which will help our local NHS by ensuring people can be discharged promptly to their own homes, an extra £1million to Highways, continues targeted support to those struggling with household cost via the Discretionary Housing Fund and the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for low earners, a Covid Recovery Fund, employment support for school leavers, a wage increase for Social Care staff to the real living wage to help with recruitment and retention and career progression prospects through collaborative working with ABUHB, increased funding to Foster Carers who help keep our looked after children in loving local homes. All much needed after years of cuts in Central Funding.
Improvements we will all benefit from.
I’ve really enjoyed working alongside Giles Davies this past year and Bob Rogers during the campaign and would recommend them both to you.
Please consider using your 3 votes in the Abersychan Ward to elect a team of committed Welsh Labour Councillors who will work together in the interests of the area.
Our Ward, our home, our priority.