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Fierce competition for seats in diverse city centre ward

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 16, 2012

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IT is arguably Swansea's most diverse ward, with a large population and many nationalities living side by side.

Castle ward comprises Swansea city centre, Brynmelin, Dyfatty, Greenhill, the Maritime Quarter, and parts of Mount Pleasant, Sandfields and Waun Wen.

It is full of life, with a population of just under 12,000 — according to the 2001 Census — but has its own challenges.

The ward is a Communities First area — a Welsh Government scheme focusing on the most deprived areas throughout Wales.

The ward has four seats and three incumbent Labour councillors - Swansea Labour group leader David Phillips, Erika Kirchner and Alan Lloyd, who is standing down after 46 years council service.

The other ward seat had been held by the late Labour member Barbara Hynes for around two decades. She died last September.

There are 20 candidates battling it out for the four seats, with the Green Party and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition represented, as well as Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Conservatives and Independents@Swansea.

The Tories are represented by candidates including Paul Morris who wants business rates for small businesses in the city centre abolished, Sonya Morris who is looking to cut the number of councillors to reduce costs, Natasha Tomaszewski who wants to cut the cost of parking to help local business and Steve Gallagher who wants to use his background in policing to deal with the crime and public order issues.

Retired mathematics and computer science teacher Allan Jeffery is one of four Liberal Democrat candidates hoping for election to support local apprentices and improve safety at the Oxford Street and Beach Street junction.

Lib Dem Castle ward candidates also include project officer Gareth Jones who recently spoke for Mount Pleasant residents against a proposed fuel depot in the Stanley Terrace car park, language tutor Tanya May who is pushing for residents' parking on Llangyfelach Street and mum of two Vicky Lewis who is campaigning for the green space in the Sandfields to be open for children to play in.

Retired senior fire officer Phil Crayford is standing as an independent looking to raise living standards, safety, education, social well-being, behaviour, cleanliness for the advantage of all.

The Green Party is fielding candidates including Tai Chi instructor Steve Clegg and renewable energy consultant Ross Walters.

The party is fighting for improved community involvement in decision-making, increased use of renewable energy in public buildings and reducing fuel poverty by increasing funding for energy efficiency improvements to local homes.

Plaid Cymru is putting forward candidates including Patrick Powell who is looking to fight for more affordable housing to deal with homelessness, Harri Roberts who wants to work with small businesses helping develop their businesses and create jobs, Damian Paul Martin is hoping to improve transport to and from major employers so non-drivers can get easier employment and Gez Couch who believes commercial premises should not be left empty.

Martin White is representing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and is a longstanding Swansea anti-cuts and NHS campaigner and a Socialist Party member.

Sybil Crouch, Fiona Gordon, Erika Kirchner and David Phillips will be representing Labour in the Castle ward.

Mr Phillips said: "Only by voting Labour is it possible to bring some leadership, vision and principles back to Swansea Council."

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  • Eliz64  |  April 17 2012, 10:16PM

    ?

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  • westcoastswan  |  April 17 2012, 9:44PM

    Where were the principles of councillors who voted against Swansea University new campus. Name and shame them.

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  • SAswan  |  April 17 2012, 9:32PM

    labour councillors showing vision ? closing down the leisure centre, wanting to put the stadium rent up and supporting a mcdonalds restaurant behind the liberty stadium family stand. more like clueless

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  • deridu  |  April 17 2012, 7:11PM

    I have been fighting with the help of Clr A.Lloyd for an extended residence parking here for 5 years... Clr.A Lloyd told me afyer it was all checked out we would get this, then someone from the counciil told me that if Clr Lloyd wanted the residence parking here he would have to pay for it from his given money.. so a halt has appeared... not going forward on this at all. I cannot see what Lib/Dem will do to change this David Phillips and Erika Kerchner also had emails re this situation but neither of them replied not even once...(so no vote for them from this house) Here is a forgotten area... run down, rubbish , druggies everywhere, selling in front of everyone without a care.... Phoned 4 times re a pot hole... still not repaired but the one I mentioned near the school was done straight away...things won`t change here no one is interested..

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  • tellyon  |  April 16 2012, 9:32PM

    Al the main parties will vote through massive cuts. The IFS say that 88% of the cuts are yet to be made. At the same time the rich and big corporations get away with over £123 billion in unpaid, avoided and evaded tax every year. The big corporations are drowning in cash: over £750 billion in corporate reserves that is just sitting there. Only TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) will refuse to vote through cuts and support the trade unions and the ordinary people of Swansea to get the money we need to run our services properly. Make the super-rich pay. Vost TUSC.

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