Cllr Mary McGarry

Experience
I have experience of being on the Board of a several Homelessness Charities, I am used to scrutinising and have acquired the skills required to hold responsible people to account and to analyse policy, risk and operational effectiveness.

I was an Auditor for 20 years and had to look, in depth at the way organisations carried out their statutory responsibilities. My company carried out Audits for many
Voluntary Sector organisations.

Achievements and Goals

I, with my follow Labour councillors, have put in a huge amount of work in the ward. From doing Saturday surgeries to doing Street surgeries and answering correspondence.

We have also produced regular ward leaflets. We have represented residents’ objections at many Planning and Licensing Committees and organized petitions.

I have several things that I feel very strongly about trying to help with but my main concern is homelessness.

I helped set up the Cardiff Bond Board (a charity that helped homeless people to access privately rented homes). I am now on the Board of the Huggard Centre which carries on the work of the Bond Board. The church I attend is part of the Winter Shelter Project that provides a warm shelter and food for the homeless. I have always been passionate about looking after people who need our help and, being on the Communities and Adult Services Scrutiny Committee has made me realise that we can influence Policy and help by giving critical advice to the Cabinet.

I have worked, with my fellow councillors, to achieve a lot for the ward in the last four and a half years.

Getting rid of the unsightly ‘To Let’ boards, bringing in licensing of Landlords, bringing in the new smaller General Waste bins and so increasing recycling and, along with education and enforcement in Waste management, making the area cleaner and tidier. I helped Keep Roath Tidy set up and expand (I supported their recent successful grant application). I also helped get a grant for the small, hall in Bedford Street to help them with the Night Shelter.

This is not at all an easy time to be a Labour councilor because of having to preside over huge cuts. However, I can cope with this and genuinely believe that we can make something good out of something bad. We can do things differently and better, but save money at the same time.

The savings that we have to make in order to balance the Budget are a huge challenge and also addressing the problems that come with Welfare Reform.

I would prioritise encouraging any policies that seek to mitigate the effects of policies coming from Central Government. Also I would encourage developing policies that support partnership working with co-operatives, other councils, statutory bodies and the Third Sector to deliver services expected of us by the residents in this city.

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