Elizabeth Clark is the parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats.
Transport and the environment are key issues in Cardiff North. How would you balance the need for more housing, with the protection of the green belt and improving transport links?
As the transport spokesperson for the Cardiff Council Liberal Democrat Group I believe that new housing developments should be contained on brownfield sites. This would protect Cardiff’s green belt.
There needs to be a far better public transport infrastructure in Cardiff. This needs to include a park and ride facility to the north of Cardiff, more train stations and bus priority measures.
I am the local Councillor for Cathays which includes the city centre. So I have been campaigning hard to ensure there is a proper bus station to the North of the railway line next to Cardiff Central train station. I am shocked that Cardiff Council have submitted a planning application for the BBC headquarters on the site of the current bus station with no accompanying bus station planning application. I cannot understand why this has happened as plans for a new bus station on the site of Marland House were first drawn up years ago. I attended the Cardiff Council Planning Committee on 29 April 2014 to ask for the BBC Planning application to be deferred until the bus station application is ready. I don’t understand the delay and am worried that we won’t have a proper replacement bus station.
I am very pleased that the Liberal Democrats in Government have secured funding for the electrification of the mainline from London to Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys lines. This will improve Cardiff’s transport links.
What would you do to support and promote local businesses and community groups in Cardiff North?
I would meet and listen to the views of local businesses and community groups in Cardiff North. I would call for business rates to be reviewed to allow businesses to thrive. I believe that community groups should be empowered and restrictive red tape kept to a minimum.
Will you commit to responding to all constituents’ queries in a timely fashion? How will you keep residents informed about the work you’re doing?
Yes. I would commit to responding to constituent queries in a timely fashion. I would keep local residents updated of developments and successes through issuing regular focus leaflets, which is a Liberal Democrat grassroots newsletter issued in local areas across the UK. Cardiff North residents living in Gabalfa will be very familiar with the focus leaflets they receive every 2 months or so.
In addition, I would have an office in the constituency, engage through social media, attend community events and call on local residents.
If you could introduce a Private Members’ Bill to Parliament for something you’re passionate about, what would it be?
I would introduce a Private Member’s Bill to ensure there was more transparency into how much the producers of the goods we buy in the UK are paid. I am very concerned that some of the low price goods we buy in the UK are produced through sweated labour in other countries. The horrific collapse of the Rana Plaza clothes factory in 2013 when over 1,000 people, who were working nearly 100 hours a week in awful conditions, died should never be repeated again,
I believe more transparency about how much the producers were paid would make people more aware in the UK and thus improve salaries.