Croeso / Welcome
TCC tackles social injustice by supporting diverse communities to gain the power they need to enact change. We do this through community organising: bringing together local groups, supporting them to set their own agenda, take action, and improve their communities.
Our members are many different faith groups, community organisations, and schools from across Wrexham, Flintshire, and Denbighshire. Any of our members can raise an issue for TCC to work on—so they set our agenda.
We’re always open to new groups who want to join us, so please get in contact.
Proposed closure of Plas Madoc Surgery
The GP surgery on Plas Madoc in Wrexham has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. Now proposals are being submitted to the health board to close it permanently. This would mean that residents of Plas Madoc who usually use the surgery would have to travel to Llangollen or Glyn Ceiriog for their appointments.
The proposed closure would mean several more car journeys being made, increasing traffic and environmental impact. However, many people living on Plas Madoc do not have access to a car, making the journey by public transport much more time consuming, and very challenging for those with caring responsibilities. The journey by bus costs £5.70 for an adult alone, and for someone caring for children, the cost of taking children to the appointment as well would be even greater. Others with mobility issues would rely on the Chariotts Community Transport Scheme, at a cost of £24 per visit.
To share your views on this, please submit our short survey by clicking here. Feedback must be submitted by 4pm on Friday 6th August.
Complete a short survey on how the pandemic has impacted you
TCC is working with the Bevan Foundation to gather information from people living in North East Wales about how they have been impacted by the pandemic over the past year.
We are interested in your views so that we can work together to improve things, and we have created a short survey which asks about your financial situation and how that might have changed since the beginning of the year. All surveys submitted by Saturday 31st July which agree to it will be entered into a prize draw for a £20 gift voucher. The prize draw will be held on Monday 2nd August 2021.
You can complete the short survey here. We want to hear from as many people in North East Wales as possible so please share the link with your networks. All submissions are anonymous and you do not have to answer every question if you do not want to.
TCC works to tackle social injustice by supporting diverse communities to gain the power they need to enact change. We do this through community organising: bringing together local groups, so they can set their own agenda, take action, and improve their communities. The Bevan Foundation aims to develop lasting solutions to poverty and inequality to improve people’s lives.
Wrexham council vote against divestment
TCC (Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru/Together Creating Communities), an alliance of 42 community groups, faith groups and schools, recently called for Wrexham councillors to support the Clwyd Pension Fund divesting its assets away from fossil fuels, to protect pensions and the planet.
TCC brings together local groups from across North East Wales to take action on issues and improve their communities. TCC's members are working on the issue of climate change and have been meeting with decision makers from Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire councils since they agreed to work with TCC on the issue in October 2020.
TCC asked Wrexham County Borough Council to vote to support their pension fund, the Clwyd Pension Fund, in divesting from fossil fuels within the next two years, rather than engaging with fossil fuel / oil corporations, a strategy which hasn’t worked to date. Councillors debated and voted on the issue on Wednesday 23rd June. A named roll call of councillors in the meeting took place with 15 votes in favour of the motion and 19 votes against the motion meaning that the motion was “lost”. You can read the detailed coverage of the council meeting from Wrexham.com here.
Following the meeting, Bleddyn Lake (Campaigns and Development Manager, Friends of the Earth Cymru) wrote an insightful blog including the disappointing result that Wrexham councillors chose to continue investing pensions in fossil fuels. Read the blog to understand the case for carbon literacy and why it's time for better decisions.
The Clwyd Pension Fund holds the pensions of employees Wrexham Council, Flintshire Council, Denbighshire Council, Coleg Cambria, Glyndŵr University, various town and community councils, and several other organisations.
Karen Marie Anderson, from TCC member group Wrexham Quakers said “As a person who has worked for Wrexham Council and paid into the pension fund for many years, I was shocked to find out that my money is being invested in the fossil fuel industry without my knowledge. It’s distressing to think that both my pension subs and parts of my council tax are contributing to an industry which causes environmental damage as well as having a negative effect on the climate.”
Elsewhere, Monmouthshire, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Powys councils have already voted to divest their pension funds from fossil fuels, as have the Welsh Senedd Members. This was an opportunity for Wrexham council to show real commitment to the reduction of carbon emissions.
Wrexham Council declared a climate emergency in September 2019 and has made positive progress on other asks that TCC members presented in 2020, including training councillors and staff in carbon literacy and raising climate change at the North Wales Economic Ambition Board.
Across the UK, local authorities continue to invest around £10 billion in fossil fuels through their pension funds, despite more than 75% of councils declaring a climate emergency. Fossil fuel divestment means moving money out of unethical companies by getting rid of stocks, shares, bonds or investment funds that are harming people and our planet.
Friends of the Earth and Platform recently published a comprehensive report looking at local authority pension fund investments, alternatives and why we need to act now. For the majority of councils, their largest carbon emissions will actually come from their pension fund investments, so it is absolutely imperative that these are acted on at the same time as other climate emissions. The eight Local Authority Pension Funds in Wales still invest over £500million in fossil fuel companies.
Thank you to everyone who took time to email their local councillor in Wrexham asking them to vote in favour of divestment, and pledge to make a real difference locally to the climate crisis. The TCC members working on climate change are considering the next steps following the result, and remain determined to encourage local councils to commit to divesting in the future.
TCC hosts Accountability Meetings with Senedd candidates
Throughout March and April, TCC leaders have been holding Accountability Meetings with candidates for all constituencies in North East Wales in the run up to the Senedd elections on Thursday 6th May. TCC leaders from across our membership have been chairing and taking part in meetings with candidates standing in their constituency.
These small online meetings with each candidate and TCC leaders have been taking place online via Zoom. During the meeting, leaders have asked candidates about why they are standing for election, as well as specific questions on issues that TCC is working on including the Living Wage, mental health in schools, making Wales a Nation of Sanctuary, housing and climate change. Following all of the constituency candidate meetings, leaders will feed back to their groups and TCC's membership.
On Thursday 22nd April we invited all TCC members to join us for the online meeting with the regional candidates standing in North Wales ahead of the Senedd elections. When voting in the Senedd election you have two votes; the first to elect an MS to represent your constituency, and the second to elect MSs who represent your region. These MSs all represent you equally. You can find out more about how Members of the Senedd are elected in this short video.
The candidates who attended were Calum Davies (Welsh Liberal Democrats), Carrie Harper (Plaid Cymru), Mark Isherwood (Welsh Conservatives), Iolo Jones (Wales Green Party) and Carolyn Thomas (Welsh Labour). This was an opportunity for leaders to hear from the candidates about how they would work together with TCC on issues of local, regional and national importance, if elected. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the event, to the candidates for taking part and particularly to the leaders who chaired the event, managed the timekeeping and asked questions.
TCC and BAWSO ensure people fleeing abuse can access hotels during Covid
Swift action taken by Wrexham charity BAWSO, TCC (Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru / Together Creating Communities) and Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire local authorities means people fleeing domestic abuse can be assured that if they arrive at a hotel seeking a room, the hotel is able to provide that accommodation without checking with the local authority first, due to Covid.
The response follows the experience of ‘Moira’, an elderly lady fleeing domestic abuse who was stranded at a taxi rank. A taxi driver put Moira in touch with BAWSO, whose support worker Shamima Chowdhury-Islam contacted local hotels but was informed by staff that due to Covid, they would need to check with the council first before offering Moira a room.
As a support worker, Shamima knows that it takes great courage for someone experiencing domestic violence to take the first step to leave: “the lady was desperate, she just needed somewhere to stay, and didn’t know what to do”. With BAWSO being a member of community organising charity TCC, Shamima worked with them to approach local authority Covid enforcement teams in Wrexham, Denbighshire, and Flintshire to address the issue.
As a result, the enforcement teams have written to local accommodation providers and support services to advise them that hotels do not need to contact the council to seek permission to offer accommodation to people fleeing domestic abuse, but to inform them after offering a safe place to stay.
Domestic abuse has worsened since lockdown, and demand for services has increased, with police in Wales recording a 9% increase in domestic-violence related incidents in 2020 compared to 2019. Even before Coronavirus, in 2019, over 6% of refuge referrals in Wales were declined due to a shortage of spaces, which is why hotel accommodation is also important in providing a temporary safe place to stay. Currently, Welsh Government guidelines state that people are not meant to be staying in hotels unless exempt and approved by the Welsh Government or local council.
Councillors responsible for safer communities have acknowledged the swift action taken by Shamima, TCC, and their enforcement teams across North East Wales. Cllr Hugh Jones from Wrexham states that “even if this only helps one person, it is worth it”, whilst Cllr Mark Young for Denbighshire and Cllr Christopher Bithell for Flintshire are delighted “we’ve worked together on this issue of keeping people safe”.
Healthy Minds Haven supported by Wrexham Council’s chief officer
Young leaders from TCC’s Youth in Action group have created a resource and award for secondary schools to improve mental wellbeing in their school communities which has been supported by the Chief Officer for Education at Wrexham County Borough Council.
In January 2021, young leaders met with Karen Evans, Chief Officer for Education & Early Intervention at Wrexham County Borough Council, who supported the ‘Healthy Minds Haven’ resource and award and agreed to encourage local schools to use it. TCC’s Youth in Action group explores issues affecting young people and their communities. The group has been campaigning to improve mental health support in secondary schools across North Wales because they passionately believe that school plays a vital role in supporting students, given half of lifetime mental health problems start by the age of 14.
In a survey carried out by TCC leaders from Hawarden High School, 92% of the school community felt more should be done to support young people around mental health. Healthy Minds Haven is unique as it has been designed by young people who are experts by experience, as a resource and checklist of practical things schools can do to improve mental health support for their students. Schools can work towards achieving the Healthy Minds Haven Award by completing all of the actions if they wish, or they can use the checklist as a resource and still benefit from time invested in creating a learning community that feels positive and confident around the subject of mental health.
In January the young leaders held an online meeting with Karen Evans, gaining her support for the campaign and commitment to sharing the Healthy Minds Haven resource with schools in the area. The Chief Officer also agreed to share the toolkit with local authority counterparts in Flintshire and Denbighshire County Councils and to take forward a request for the resource to be added to the Hwb resource platform for schools in North Wales.
Schools across North East Wales are invited to sign up and show their commitment to improving mental health. The group chose to focus on schools as the environment that most young people spend time in, and where the issue of mental health difficulties seems to be on the rise. Schools will benefit and learn from lived experience of school pupils in their area. A 2020 Barnardo’s report said 85% of school staff worried that lockdown has affected pupils’ mental health and over 70% called for additional staff training.
Secondary schools are invited to register for Healthy Minds Haven and use the checklist which they can download here.