On May the 4th, the people of Splott will go to the polls to select their Councillors for the next four years. In the build-up to the elections, Inksplott will be running a series of interviews with candidates, starting with Jane Henshaw, a local business woman and Labour candidate.
Inksplott: Hello! Thank you for being interviewed for Inksplott. Please tell us who you are and which party you represent.
Jane: My name is Jane Henshaw and I represent the Labour Party.
Inksplott: Why did you join the Labour Party and for how long have you been a member?
Jane: I’ve been a party member on and off [mostly on] since about 1996. I joined the Labour party because I was a Labour voter and thought I might like to be more involved in the party.
Inksplott: What brought you to Splott?
Jane: I’m from North Wales. I have worked for CAB as a welfare rights specialist, debt counsellor and tutor. I have also worked in Adult Education teaching Women’s History and Assertiveness Training. For most of my working life in North Wales I was an English teacher. I moved to Splott three years ago. I moved to Cardiff because my children and grandchildren live here. I gave up teaching and set up my acupuncture practice (to read an interview with Jane about her business Acu Cardiff, click here).
Inksplott: Please list your top three ‘successes in Splott’.
Jane: As a candidate. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to have ‘successes in Splott, but I have been lucky to have the opportunity to volunteer in the community. For example I’ve volunteered for Health Days organised by Communities First and Oasis. I am a regular Litterpicker with the Litterpicking group Keep Splott Tidy. I am also a School Governor at Baden Powell Primary School.
Inksplott: Please list the three things that you wish you could have done but they didn’t quite happen and why.
Jane: This is a difficult one because I am not yet a councillor, but I am very aware that what we want in Splott might not be possible for a variety of reasons, usually money. Before I had any idea that I was going to stand in this election, I went along to one of the meetings to save Splott University. I was really sad that despite the best efforts of our councillors, and some very committed people in Splott, the contractors were successful in their planning application to demolish the building and build on the site. The old University was a visually and culturally rich reminder of the value of education in Splott. I would have loved to have seen it used as some kind of cultural centre. It’s good to dream! It was also a reminder that sometimes things don’t happen the way we want them to.
Inksplott: Please list your top five commitments to Splott if you are to be elected. What are you going to do for us?
Jane: People in Splott are concerned about our streets, dog fouling, fly tipping and litter. I am working with our Labour councillors on these issues.
The city is set to grow. Cardiff repeatedly comes out in surveys as one of the best places to live in the UK. With growth comes change and I will want to make sure that everyone in this diverse community benefits from the changes, so that Splott and Tremorfa continue to be one of the best places to live.
I value education. It’s the right of all children in Splott and Tremorfa to have access to the best education, which our schools are providing.
I am really enthusiastic about the work of Communities First in Splott and will continue to support them.
A successful city needs a strong sense of identity, a rich culture, interesting buildings, green spaces and wealth creators. Cardiff has all of these things and it’s important to manage all of them during this period of ‘austerity’.
Inksplott: Please tell us why people should vote for you.
Jane: When I moved to Splott, I didn’t know anyone outside my family. I really appreciated the warm, friendly welcome I got from people in Splott.
I’ve spent a lot of time having conversations with people in Splott and Tremorfa, listening carefully to their issues and concerns, but also listening to the reasons why they think this is such a good place to live. Through listening to residents I think I’ve got a real sense of what people value and what they would like to see improved. It’s important to know how fellow residents feel, so that I will be able to carry out what I think are the two aspects of the role of a Councillor. Firstly, helping residents in Splott with the issues that they feel are important and secondly representing them as residents in the City of Cardiff.
Inksplott: How can the people of Splott get in touch with you and tell you what they would like?
Jane: By phone on 02920464485, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to me at 147 Habershon St, Splott, CF24 2LA.
Inksplott: Please tell us a funny story about Splott.
Jane: There used to be a café in Splott where the lady who kept it used to strain the tea through her old tights!! [Well I thought it was funny!]
Inksplott: This is your free space to tell us anything you like. Off you go!
Jane: Wouldn’t it be amazing if Splott had an art gallery on the Foreshore, such an amazing location. OK just a thought!
Finally, a huge thank you to Ed and Huw, our Labour councillors, who are hugely supportive, knowledgeable and patient!
Thank you Jane. Good luck in the election.
For more information about local councillor elections, click here