Amanda Williams – Coity Ward

I am pleased to announce that I will be standing for election to represent Coity on Bridgend County Borough Council as an Independent Candidate.

I grew up in Coity Higher, attending Litchard Junior School and Brynteg Comprehensive School before studying law in university. I have lived in Coity for the past 13 years. I have three young children all attending Coety Primary School, where I have been a Parent Governor for the past 5 years. I have worked in both the private and public sector, most recently for the NHS.

I am one of the co-founders of Coity Festivals, that organises several events in Coity, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Spirits in the Castle and Jam in the Castle.

Coity is my home and it is where I want my children to grow up safe and happy. I’ve been fortunate to make many friends here and I continue to do so as Coity grows.

I am standing as an independent candidate as, for the past 13 years, I’ve watched Coity be pushed aside and fobbed off with excuses for why things can’t or won’t be done. I can’t sit on the side-lines any longer.

Commuters are using Coity as a rat run and residents are left with no safe pavements on a number of the roads. All we are told is it will cost too much! Why then can other wards have new pavements?

The old school site was sold off hastily, without Coity being offered the opportunity to utilise the playing field as a community resource, particularly as it could not actually be built on.

Coity Primary School has a brand new building, which opened in November 2015, and yet the children still have no access to any playing fields. In addition, children are using photocopied text books because budgets are so tight that there aren’t enough to go around. Yet BCBC want to reduce school budgets even further! As a parent I have a duty to ensure that my children are given every opportunity to succeed in their education and as an adult I have a duty to all children to help them have the same opportunities that I have had. Buildings do not make schools, it’s what’s inside that matters.

BCBC seem to be content to make u-turns on their decisions regarding planning restrictions, to the detriment of residents and are trying to shoe-horn extra houses into small spaces, such as the proposed increased development in Parc Farm. However, there are 397 houses that have remained empty in the county for the past 2 years. Council tax is currently being collected at only 50% on these properties, despite legislation allowing BCBC to charge 200%. This would either bring in additional income or force individuals into making these properties habitable.

Residents of Parc Derwen have been patiently waiting for BCBC to adopt their roads so that they can be afforded simple things such as bins. And despite being in their houses for several years, some residents are still driving over roads that are littered with pot holes and waiting to be finished. Children are still waiting for their playgrounds. This is unacceptable!

It is time for there to be new blood representing Coity and fresh eyes looking at the issues we face. Without change, we will continue to be fobbed off on the matters that are most important to us. This is an opportunity for a new approach over the next five years, rather than reaching 2022 hearing the same old excuses. I will roll up my sleeves and I will get stuck in! Those who know me know that I always give 100%!

I am an Independent candidate. I have never been a member of, or affiliated to any political party, and I do not believe that party politics should feature at community/ward level. All decisions/actions should be for the benefit of the community and as a truly independent councillor, I will put Coity first.

I have been fortunate to receive support from a group of like-minded independents, under the banner of Change for Bridgend, who are standing throughout the borough. I truly believe that our borough is in need of change.

Bridgend is a market town, rich in history, with so much potential, and yet each time I go into the town I feel sad at how many empty shops there are. I remember the thriving town of my childhood and I’m disappointed at how it has declined. I worked in the pet shop in the market whilst studying for my a-levels, where there were 7 of us working on a Saturday because it was so busy! Now, half of the stalls seem to be empty. Bridgend has received too much bad press over recent years. There are so many wonderful volunteer groups and traders putting on events to bring people to the town. However, I believe that more should be done by BCBC to support our town. Bridgend deserves to thrive again.

I am passionate about Coity and I am passionate about Bridgend. I am committed to doing all that I can for the benefit of both. I look forward to playing my part in changing Coity and Bridgend for the better!

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