Cllr Ioan Thomas - Menai, Caernarfon

Ioan Thomas is a Plaid Cymru Councillor representing Menai, Caernarfon

Cllr Ioan ThomasName: Ioan Thomas Age: 58

Where were you born?

I was born in a small village called Pwll near Llanelli

Where do you live?

I live in Cae Gwyn, a housing estate on the outskirts of Caernarfon

Do you have a family?

I’m married to Siân and we have three children Mathew, Steffan and Catrin. All three have been to Welsh universities and have returned to live and work locally in Caernarfon. One is a Careers Adviser, one is a Marketing Manager and the other is a Pharmacist. I’m also a grandfather to Steffan’s children, Jamie who’s 4 and Lois who’s 2. I am Managing Director of ‘Cofi Roc Cyf’ and prior to my early retirement I worked as a Senior Land Surveyor for the Ordnance Survey. I came to live in north Wales after I was appointed to my first job, nearly 35 years ago.

What do you love about being a Councillor?

Being able to assist my electors to solve problems and alleviate their concerns gives me great pleasure. The Ward I represent, Ward Menai is the second largest in Gwynedd. An example of the kind of issues that I have dealt with recently is introducing a new bus stop on Bethel Road, Caernarfon. Older people were calling for this extra bus stop to assist them in their daily lives, so I discussed this with the authorities. I believe that this bus stop has been of great benefit to these elderly people, some of whom are vulnerable.

Trying to influence the Council’s direction is another important element of my work too. One of the things I’m currently looking at is that public authority roles remain in Caernarfon. I believe that you need one strong administrative town for a local authority, and Caernarfon should remain in that position. Many public posts and departments have been moved out of Caernarfon in the last few months and years, to Pwllheli, Penrhyndeudraeth, Llandudno Junction and so on, and I believe that now needs to be halted.

What do you hate about being a Councillor?

I am frustrated at times by the lack of willingness by some Council Officers to execute tasks, with some too keen to pass the buck! Councillors absence from meetings also makes me mad as these Councillors claim the same allowance as the rest of us, but are reluctant to work and accept full responsibility of their roles. The other thing that annoys me is the need to sort out the parking issue on the Maes. Since the new system was implemented a few years ago to make the Maes a vehicle free zone, there is a lack of consistency to regulate the system. This makes me and the townsfolk frustrated, as the system needs to be properly regulated. It’s no good penalising people one day and not the next. I continue in my endeavours to implement a fair and consistent system here.

What is your greatest achievement as a County Councillor?

I am very proud to have succeeded in assisting many residents with their problems and issues since I was elected to the role. Some of these include requesting yellow lines were painted on Ael y Garth and Lôn Ddewi’s streets, requesting road safety measures on road junctions, successfully requesting a new bus stop at Ffordd Bethel, requesting a new path surface on Ala Las’ public footpath, ensuring a safe crossing area was developed outside Hafan Menai Surgery, Doc Fictoria. Myself and Town Councillor Alun Roberts also work on a project with local residents at Twtil to clear the Park. A few of us come together during the year to clear rubbish and growth at the Park to ensure it remains a positive and safe place – the work gives me a great sense of pride.

Who is your hero / heroine?

On a national level, the rugby trainer and Welsh nationalist, Carwyn James. Locally, Sir Llewelyn Turner who achieved so much for Caernarfon town.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

I remember going to Strade Park, when Llanelli was a great rugby team. It was a very happy time!

What is you greatest fear?

Losing my phone! I use it as a calendar too, so I’d be lost without it.

What is your latest project / issue?

I’m trying to ensure as many Council jobs as possible remain in Caernarfon – that’s one of my priorities. I’m also working with residents at Twtil to sort out some anti-social behaviour problems in the Park. In the same area, I’m working with Council Officers to alleviate residents parking problems. Ensuring local shops and businesses flourish in the town is also a priority of mine.