Ely and Caerau residents given chance to “raise their voices in an organised way”

Community charity ACE is appealing to residents to contribute to a Community Plan

A CHARITY group is appealing for residents of Ely and Caerau to contribute to a Community Plan by telling them what they have, what they need and what they want to change in their area.

Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE) wants “as many people as possible to share their ideas and contribute” to the plan, which aims to put local concerns at the forefront of decision-making in the area.

Members of ACE discuss proposals to improve community living at their annual general meeting. Credit: George Keen

The plan was announced after the death of two teenage boys in Ely in late May, which saw riots and unrest in the area.

One of the plan’s objectives is to “understand the underlying factors… which resulted in the disorder on 22 May,” says the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt. 

Whilst the plan is led by residents’ views, it also involves senior members of the Welsh Government who form part of the Ministerial Reference Group, including Cardiff Council Leader Huw Thomas.

Almost six months on from the unrest in May, a spokesperson for the Welsh Government said “the issues raised so far are complex, and will require a long-term strategic approach” but that the plan is “now gathering pace”.

Figures provided by ACE show that 484 people have contributed so far, with 1,230 comments having been logged and organised into 15 overall themes, such as ‘the cost of living’, ‘local safety’, and ‘plan communications’. 

The Dusty Forge on Cowbridge Road, one of the main centres for ACE. Credit: Alan Hughes

ACE has welcomed this “invitation from people who hold power” and made the Community Plan a key point in their annual general meeting, which took place last Tuesday at the Dusty Forge on Cowbridge Road West. Their work on the plan will continue with monthly meetings with local residents and community leaders to further develop the plan. 

ACE aims to use the concerns gathered from residents to present a complete plan “by March 2024”, with help from Cardiff Council and the Public Services Board. The plan will include “defined budgets and timescale” that turn residents’ suggestions into practice.

If you wish to contribute towards the Ely and Caerau Community Plan, you can do so by contacting communityplan@aceplace.org.