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In the run up to the Cardiff Council elections on May 4th we are running Q&As with the candidates standing for the three Grangetown seats. Remember you have three votes in the ballot! More details of all of those standing below.

A to Z of candidates

Tariq Awan, Plaid Cymru

Age and occupation: Councillor since last November; background in in working for the Welsh Government (15 years) and working as a support worker within Cardiff and Bridgend prisons to help resettle the offenders back into the community.

Tell us a little about yourself: I have always been an active member of the local community and I was honoured to be elected as councillor for Grangetown following the by-election last November. Since then I have worked tirelessly serving the community for the past six months. I have lived in Grangetown for the past 34 years and attended Fitzalan and St Teilos High schools. I have spearheaded the delivery of £600k new Mosque project and developed first-hand knowledge of dealing with civil servants and council employees including the local politicians. Currently I am volunteer secretary for local Cultural Centre/Mosque with over 600 members and also development officer for the local cricket club with three senior and four junior teams. I also volunteer with Grangetown Community Action and playing a constructive role for its recognition and development as vice chair. My volunteering roles have equipped me with additional skills and understanding of building cooperative public relationships. I believe I have shown in the past six months that I have both the skills and experience to be a successful councillor serving my local community, along with hopefully fellow Plaid Cymru councillors for the next five years.

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: Provide equal opportunities for the local youth in education, training and employment by engaging and building close working relationships with local schools, colleges and training providers/businesses to tackle deprivation and poverty, so common in Grangetown.

Tacking litter and fly-tipping in the streets of Grangetown by employing more street cleaners, educating residents and children in schools/mosques/community centres, installing additional street bins and lane gates.

Build stronger working relationship with community police and homeless shelters to tackle issues of drug abuse and drug-related crimes that are committed on Grangetown streets and help promote Neighbourhood Watch in areas affected by prostitution and other petty crimes. Promote safer routes to school for children by introducing more 20mph zones and installing safe road crossing measures.

Work toward providing more activities and opportunities for children and young people by investing in youth services and keeping the local play centre open for local children for longer than it is now.

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? I would like to see Grangetown to become more clean and green, with more provisions for youth and elderly residents so they can live better quality lives than at present.  I would like to see less empty shops and more prosperous local businesses.  Also, more investment in affordable houses, better and safer traffic management system and free access to local sport grounds for Grangetown residents.

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? Being a Grangetown councillor for the past six months I have proven that I am a capable councillor with vision and drive to improve Grangetown ward and have a track record of reaching out to the communities that are difficult to engage.

Mike Bryan, Welsh Conservatives

A Welsh Assembly researcher who has lived in Grangetown for six years. No Q&A responses submitted but in last November's by-election he responded with the following: "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."     

Malcolm Evans, Liberal Democrat

No Q&A responses submitted but list of priorities: Clean up our streets by introducing more street sweepers and cracking down on fly-tipping; invest in fixing our roads and pavements; keep council tax rises low; improve junctions and crossings to make roads safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.  

Joe Fathallah, Trades Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Age and occupation: I'm 32 years old, and I'm an IT worker.

Tell us a bit about yourself: I'm an anti-cuts activist, a member of the Unite trade union, and of the Socialist Party. For over four years I lived next to and regularly used Channel View leisure centre, and I was a founder of the Save Channel View campaign in response to the threat to close the centre. I am also involved in campaigns against cuts in the NHS, and against war and racism.

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: I'm standing as a TUSC candidate to make a stand against the ongoing tide of austerity unleashed by the Tory government and implemented by councillors of all parties, Labour included. If elected, I would put forward an alternative no-cuts budget, using reserves and borrowing powers as required, as a starting point to launch a city-wide campaign for adequate funding from central government. In Grangetown, this would mean restoring a full service and full opening hours to the play centre, the leisure centre, the library, and the Buzz. I'm also standing on the issue of housing. If elected, I would push for the reintroduction of rent controls to lower rents, and mass council house building programme, to tackle Cardiff's housing crisis.

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? In five years time, I want to see a Grangetown which has successfully stood up against austerity, and acted as a beacon for others in that struggle. A Grangetown with decent homes, youth facilities, and leisure facilities. 

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? Vote for me and Lianne to elect socialist fighters to the council, who will oppose every cut in deeds as well as words.

Lianne Francis, Trades Unionist and Socialist Coalition

No Q&A responses submitted.  

Jahangir Hussain, Liberal Democrats

Age and occupation: 46, local business owner; freelance court interpreter; also working part time with Royal Mail

Tell us a little about yourself: I have been living in Grangetown since my arrival from Pakistan in 1977 as child with my parents and four brothers. I have always lived in Grangetown, done my primary and secondary education in Grangetown and further education in Barry College and Brunel College, Bristol. I am well known in the community helping people with their needs and guiding them appropriately. I am able to speak Punjabi and Urdu languages fluently. I am always willing to help and share my experiences.

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: Whilst doing our campaign people have been talking about their problems living in Grangetown. They are complaining about potholes in the road and litter problems; also fly tipping which is a big concern. Also tree roots which have uplifted pavements and uncontrollably gone into foundations of properties. Overgrown trees which have not been trimmed which are blocking street lights. People have also complained about green bins not being collected as they should be. Our priorities are:(1) Clean up our streets by introducing more street sweepers and cracking down on fly-tipping; (2) Invest in fixing our roads and pavements and improve junctions and crossing to make roads safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. (3) Keep council tax rises low

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? I'd like to see the Grangetown area clean, safe and prosper in the next five years.

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? I live locally and understand local issues I am available to listen to any issue which arises in Grangetown and deal with all resources available.

Muhammad Imran Latif, Liberal Democrat

No Q&A responses submitted but list of priorities: Clean up our streets by introducing more street sweepers and cracking down on fly-tipping; invest in fixing our roads and pavements; keep council tax rises low; improve junctions and crossings to make roads safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.  

Ashley Lister, Labour

Age and occupation: 24, Caseworker and Community Liaison Officer

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was raised and educated in Grangetown, attending Grangetown Nursery, then Primary, before moving on to Fitzalan High. I then studied History at the University of South Wales, alongside working in schools and youth centres. I worked for Cardiff Council for seven years as a youth worker, most recently working in the Youth Offending Team. I am currently Chair of Grangetown Community Action (GCA), a local residents’ charity and Vice-Chair of Governors at Grangetown Primary. I co-founded ‘Keep Grangetown Tidy’ back in 2015 and have co-ordinated Grangetown Festival Week for three years running, as well as being involved with Cardiff University’s Community Gateway projects.

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: Clean Streets. Residents are regularly raising concerns about the rubbish that litters our streets, which is clearly an issue to everyone who lives in and cares about Grangetown. I helped to start up 'Keep Grangetown Tidy', and have also been working closely with politicians and Council Officers to help tackle this issue. The Council have been very responsive to requests to clear rubbish, move bins and visit properties to educate and enforce any incorrect waste presentation. There is a long way to go to achieve the clean streets we all want, but I do feel that the work that we are doing is getting us there.

Community Safety. As Chair of the 'Partnership and Communities Together' (PACT) meetings and from regularly speaking to residents, I believe I have a good understanding of community safety issues in Grangetown. Some residents often raise concerns about drug-dealing and usage in their streets, whilst others raise issues with illegal trading in theirs. I believe that by working with partners such as the local policing team and trading standards, we can overcome these issues and ensure that residents feel safe in their own community. We already have good relationships in place with these partners and want to see them strengthen in the future.

Community. Part of the reason I love living in Grangetown is the sense of community that is so strong across the area. Being chair of GCA and heavily involved in the community, I come across plenty of great people, causes and organisations and am proud to help them in whatever way possible. There are plenty of groups in Grangetown doing great work, working with people of all ages, ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds, and I want to continue doing my best to support them in what they want to achieve.

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? Personally, in five years’ time I want to see a more vibrant, colourful Grangetown. There are plenty of keen gardeners in the area, as well as plenty of people who take pride in where they live. I want to see clean streets, with on-street planters and well-tendered front gardens, with residents showing how much they love Grangetown.

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? I have worked very hard in recent years for the community, supporting projects and individual residents. I am standing as part of a well-known, experienced, caring team and believe together we can make Grangetown an even better place.

Jenna Malvisi, Welsh Conservative

No Q&A responses submitted.  

Simon Morton, Wales Green Party

Age and occupation: 31; administrator 

Tell us a little about yourself: Cardiff born and bred and current resident of Grangetown. A fluent Welsh-speaker and part of the first year to go through Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr in Fairwater. First-time allotment holder in my first year with the growing community at the Leckwith Droves site and thoroughly enjoying the experience so far. I never thought I'd be as happy to see a few drops of rain as I have been today after a dry couple of weeks.  The Green Party have always been the political party who align most with my personal values and beliefs and having shown a passive interest outside of election cycles in the past I am now taking my first steps as an active member. I am currently job sharing the position of Welsh Language and Culture Officer for the Wales Green Party. 

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on:I believe that the youth of today are getting a raw deal from current political decisions being made without their consent which will profoundly impact the world that they will grow up in.  I received a very informative community manifesto for Grangetown from the Cardiff Youth Council who ran a recent conference at Fitzalan.  The primary issues identified as areas for improvement in our community were environmental (litter and air pollution) with safety concerns (around the river Taff) and anti-social behaviour (drug-dealing around Clive Street) also highlighted.

I will do my best to represent all residents of Grangetown. I don't know what is realistically achievable but I will listen to anybody that needs help and  where possible I will work together with you to find solutions to the problems and the challenges we face here.

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? Cleaner and greener. I would like to see more grass-roots inititatives emerging from all quarters with people working together for the common good.  I would also like to see more people taking responsibility for their futures and the well-being of future generations.

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? You don't need me or anybody else to tell you who to vote for - make up your own mind.

Liz Musa, Plaid Cymru

Age and occupation: Retired support worker

Tell us a bit about yourself: I've been a Plaid Cymru supporter and member since the 1970s. I have stood for local election before and am proud to have brought the party to the notice of so many people from different communities. I was born in Riverside, went to school in Grangetown (Court Road Infants and Junior School) then on to Fitzalan High School. All my working life has been spent in the caring sector. Before my recent retirement I worked for BAWSO for 14 years working as a support worker assisting women fleeing domestic abuse. I supported women and families mostly in the Grangetown/Butetown areas, guiding them through the homelessness and benefit maze. I assisted them to regain their confidence and return to full independence and re-settle back into their new communities. If voted as one of the councillors for Grangetown my experience working within the housing and benefits sector would stand me in good state for the work ahead.

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: To tackle Cardiff’s homelessness and housing crisis and look again at "joint tenancies". To engage with young people/hold groups and sessions to get them involved in the political process. So many teenagers are not interested in politics, but they need to be as they are our future. To work jointly with the community to clean up our streets get ahead of the curve regarding fly tipping. We’ve heard for years about “affordable housing” and to be honest, I can't get my head around that phrase. What is affordable to you may not be affordable to me. What is needed is more social housing to be built. Family sized housing and one bed flats for younger people; to look into the level of service charges; look into how discretionary housing payments are allocated to claimants.

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? I would like to see more council housing  built in Grangetown. 

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? Voting for me would ensure that someone on the council would bring 'common sense' into the mix.

Andrew Pike, Welsh Conservatives

No Q&A responses submitted.  

Abdul Sattar, Labour

Age and occupation: 47, local business owner.

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am originally from Pakistan but have been living in Grangetown for over 23 years now. I own Millennium Stores which is on Cornwall St and I live there with my wife, and four daughters. I regularly attend Clare Road (Rabbania) and Clydach St mosques and have strong connections with the communities who worship there.

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: I love living in Grangetown because there is such a community spirit. Everyone is so kind, helpful and welcoming and have made me feel at home here. I want to give back to the community which welcomed me with open arms by helping them as their Councillor. Many people come to speak to me in my shop about problems which they have such as roads, housing and parks, and I always do my best to help them in the right direction. I think if I am elected I will be able to help more people as a Councillor.

One of the issues which people mention to me quite often is the roads in Grangetown, especially parking problems. We have lots of residential parking in Grangetown, but a lot of spaces still get taken up by people who are visiting the area or going to town. I want to look at other ways of solving parking problems instead of relying on residents only parking, except where it is wanted or necessary. There are also lots of people who drive dangerously and park without thinking of others, so I want to work with partners in the Council and the police to stop this from happening.

Lots of my customers have young families and it is great to see so many happy faces before and after school, as well as during the school holidays. It is lovely to hear from parents how well their children are doing in school and the improvements all the schools in Grangetown are making. It is also sad to hear that sometimes parents cannot get their children into the school they have chosen. That is why Ninian Park is being expanded, a Welsh medium school is being built and why Lynda, Ashley and I want to make sure that our great schools have enough spaces to meet demand

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? In five years’ time I want to be living in a place where people are proud to live and call their home, a place where there is not drug-dealing on the streets or anti-social behaviour making people feel uncomfortable in their own streets and homes

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? I live locally, and so does the rest of the strong Grangetown Labour team, and I think that living in the area and understanding the problems that affect people means that I am in a better position than other candidates to represent the residents of Grangetown

Lynda Thorne, Labour

Age and occupation: Currently Labour councillor for Grangetown - Retired

Tell us a little about yourself: I live in Grangetown was a Councillor from 1985 to 2004. I was re-elected to Cardiff County Council in 2012. I have a record of delivery for Grangetown over the years for example: the Hub, gating of the lanes, saving Grangetown play centre, getting investment such as the improvements to Clare Road/Penarth Road to name but a few. I have worked with all community groups from the mosques to residents association and the Community Gateway project to secure the Bowls Pavilion. I have held regular surgeries across the ward and in the last five years have dealt with over 2,000 cases

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: 1. Clean streets are important to us all. To me making sure the Council is delivering a good service is a big part of the solution but not all. I believe we can address this issue by investing in the service and building on the good work and working relationships that have developed over the last few years between the Council and Keep Grangetown Tidy.

2. Ensuring our children get the best opportunities and start in life is very important. We can achieve this by ensuring they get the best education possible in our local schools, through our schools sharing best practice and all sharing the same ambition - that our children can achieve the very best outcomes in life. I believe this can be enhanced by working with and supporting Community Groups who already do a lot of unpaid and very often unnoticed work with our children.

3. Traffic, parking and community safety can sometimes collectively cause very real concern and distress to residents. There are no easy solutions and again working collectively with all statutory partners and the community we can alleviate some of the problems.

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? I would like to see Grangetown as a community that is thriving, a community that cares for one another and where we all take some responsibility for our environment, our children and our elderly. A place we are all proud of and a community that celebrates and cherishes our diversity.

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? Abdul, Ashley and I have been working closely together for the past year and all of us bring different strengths. I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience of both how the Council works and how to get things done.

Richard Vaughan, Plaid Cymru

Age and occupation: 35. Musician.

Tell us a bit about yourself: Originally from Ammanford, I’ve lived in Grangetown since 2007. As the conductor of the Cardiff Blues Choir I regularly perform for Blues fans at Cardiff Arms Park, and the choir and I have helped to raise over £20,000 for various charities under my baton. I’m also a piano teacher, and I currently teach 24 children weekly from my home in Grangetown as well as helping out with drama, dance and music schools across South Wales. I’m an award winning pianist and I regularly play with the Welsh Session and British Sinfonietta orchestras, and pit orchestras across the country and as a composer, my works are increasingly in demand by choirs across the world and I’ve had many pieces performed in cathedrals and halls across Europe.

Name three main issues which people are talking about to you and/or which you're standing on: Where do I start? One key issue that is raised all over the area is parking. I think we really need to tackle the issue of our community being used as a car park for city centre commuters head on and find actual solutions, instead of minor remedies. Park and ride systems and public transport links need to be seriously improved. Encouraging commuters to use slow public transport is futile. People need a system that works, and incentives to use it.

Another issue we can’t get away from is litter. It is an issue everywhere I go, and it simply isn’t good enough. There are collection issues: why are green bags not picked up until early evening? There are fly-tipping issues, and the streets are not clean enough. People leaving the city centre use Grangetown as a glorified litter bin on their way through. If teams clean the city centre, then that applies here too. Plaid will re-introduce street cleaning teams and more bins making a proactive effort to protect our streets. Plaid will also scrap bulky item collection fees. I think that there is an onus on us all as citizens to help re-establish the pride back in our area and work collectively to improve standards within our communities.

I’m also worried about the square in Grangetown. (by Tesco). Much as I, as a local resident, appreciate the investment, it simply doesn’t work. Traffic build-up on Corporation, Clare and Penarth roads is vast at most times of day and will get worse given the traffic calming measures soon to be introduced on Taff Embankment. Also, as soon as we have a spot of rain, most dropped curbs are under inches of water. The crossings are dangerous, and it’s only a matter of time until a serious accident occurs. This needs to be addressed.

How would you like to see Grangetown in five years time? Grangetown is one of the most diverse wards in Wales. This needs to be championed. It’s also one of the poorest. This needs to be addressed. In five years, I would like to see a cleaner, safer Grangetown. Less litter and a better control over traffic and parking. We need to work more effectively with great establishments such as the Huggard Centre to keep our parks clear of needles and to aid the issues of anti-social behaviour.

As an exponent of the arts, I would love to work closely with schools in the area including using my links to establishments such as the Wales Millennium Centre, Welsh National Opera, Llangollen International Eisteddfod and Urdd Gobaith Cymru to develop music and drama performance opportunities within schoolas and as extra-curricular activities. There is a wealth of talent and culture here and that needs to be celebrated. A Grangetown Festival of Music and Dance would be a great way of showcasing this talent and aiding with the mutual appreciation of culture within the community.

Sum up - in a sentence why should I vote for you? I’m passionate, energetic and proud of my area, and I would love the opportunity to work with the local communities to make Grangetown an even more engaging place to live.

Parties were all contacted by email and social media and we have published responses from Grangetown candidates which we received back. Q&As returned to

Fifteen candidates to fight for Grangetown council seats

All the challengers to become Grangetown ward councillors on Cardiff Council in May's election are now clear after the close of nominations.

Altogether, 15 people will be battling for the three councillor posts in Grangtown, including full party slates from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru.

There are also two Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates and a Green Party candidate. But UKIP have not put anyone up, despite finishing fourth in November's by-election.

The sitting councillors are Plaid's Tariq Awan, who won that by-election ahead of Labour, and Labour's Lynda Thorne. Her fellow one-time cabinet colleague Ashley Govier has decided not to stand again.

Michael Bryan, a locally-based Assembly official, who came third for the Conservatives in the by-election, is standing again, with Jenna Malvisi and Andrew Pike.

Joining Mrs Thorne on the Labour slate are local shopkeeper Abdul Sattar and Ashley Lister, chair of Grangetown Community Action.

The Liberal Democrats - who had three councillors in the ward before the last local elections - have Malcolm Evans, Jahangir Hussain and Muhammad Imran Latif as their candidates for the poll on May 4th.

Joining Mr Awan in standing for Plaid Cymru, are Liz Musa, a support worker, and Richard Vaughan, a musician and choir director.

Joe Fathallah, an IT worker and Unite union member, and Lianne Francis stand for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Simon Morton is fighting for the Wales Green Party.

City guides: Cardiff Council BIG Cardiff Cardiffians (history/photos) Cardiff city map Cardiff Pubs Real Cardiff
Media: BBC Wales News Wales Online The Cardiffian (Student journalism newspaper) Buzz magazine Local links: Butetown, Riverside, Grangetown Communities First
Grangetown Local History Society The Grangetown Flickr Group
Misc links and interesting city blogs: Anecdotal City Cardiff Third Sector Council Peter Finch We Are Cardiff Brew Wales Pint of 45 (Cardiff pub blog)
Other Cardiff community websites: Cathays Danescourt Lisvane Pobol Caerdydd Radyr Roath Rumney Splott St Mellons Tongwynlais Whitchurch/Llandaff North

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