Bridgend County Borough is a rich and varied local authority.
In many ways it could be said to be a community of communities, each with its own identity and challenges arising from their geography, heritage and the choices administrations of all colours have made over the decades.
Very few of us are satisfied with the performance of those who have represented us but it is a sad fact that some of our communities can legitimately hold a sense of grievance that they have been left behind and forgotten by the the decision makers in Angel street.
Some communities feel they have been punished for voting the “wrong way” others have loyally supported the majority party yet have been taken for granted.
The truth is that as an authority BCBC have very little interest in our diverse communities, they don’t “get it”.
Independent candidates who have come together to form Change for Bridgend believe that the communities are at the heart of our county borough and it is through our communities working together that we can collectively meet the challenges that BCBC faces over the next 5 years.
We have already outlined how we would make each cabinet member accountable for representing the interests of an area of the borough.
We will also seek to develop more meaningful partnerships with our town & community councils and other local groups to develop and deliver services that are focused on the needs of particular communities rather than an ill fitting “top down” one size fits all solution.
We will encourage community councils to become more self confident, to deliver more and take ownership of community assets and services.
We recognise that not every community council currently has the appetite or capability to take on a greater role.
Often cost is cited as stopping our community councils from providing training for their community councillors.
We need enthusiastic and capable Community councillors who are well trained to do their role so they’re better equipped to help their communities.
Therefore, we will invest in providing training via One Voice Wales for ALL Community Councils should we be in a position to do so after May.
We will also agree to provide similar training for town and community council clerks to ensure there is consistent and capable governance of community councils throughout the county borough.
We believe that communities are best placed to understand and meet the challenges they face. We will support them by not only providing training but where community councils can demonstrate that they can deliver services and maintain assets more effectively than BCBC, we will transfer the responsibility and pay them to do it.
We will encourage communities to collaborate with each other sharing experiences, forming joint ventures for the delivery or procurement of services. We would also support joint clerk/admin arrangements.
We will establish area forums including BCBC councillors & officers, community councillors, local groups and third sector organisations that will act as a catalyst for community development.
Independent candidates who came together to form Change For Bridgend understand our communities, we are passionate about them and believe that just as we have come together our communities can come together to bring CHANGE FOR BRIDGEND