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The people of Ely ‘are an asset’ – Mark Drakeford

14 May 2024 2 minute read
Mark Drakeford. PA Images/PA Wire

The former First Minister for Wales says the people of Ely “are an asset” to addressing issues in the community, a year on from rioting in the area.

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, died on the evening of Monday May 22 2023 when they crashed on a Sur-Ron electric bike minutes after CCTV had captured them being followed by a police van.

Hours of violence and disorder was sparked when news of their deaths and the suggestion police had been pursuing the pair prior to the incident spread throughout the community and on social media.

An action plan is due to be presented today (Tuesday 15th) to Cardiff Council after it consulted more than 1,200 people from the area.

Mark Drakeford, who is the Senedd Member for Cardiff West which includes Ely, emphasised in an interview with BBC Radio Wales Breakfast this morning that it is “a community plan”.

Strengths

He said: “To my mind, having met with the people who are part of the preparation of the plan, the most important thing is they have approached their job on the basis that people who live in Ely are an asset. Ely is not a problem to be solved.

“These are people who have huge strengths, enormous sense of community identity and the plan is about drawing on those strengths and allowing them to flourish in conditions where people can take some responsibility for their own future, knowing that they will be supported by public services to do that.”

Challenges

Mr Drakeford, who stood down as First Minister earlier this year, said the plan won’t be able to tackle “underlying challenges” in Ely.

He said: “People, I think, are realistic and clear that a community plan cannot tackle by itself some of the fundamental and underlying challenges produced by the cost of living crisis in the lives of so many people who live on the estate and indeed some serious organised crime.

“Some things are beyond the purview of the plan and people I think have recognised that.

“The need is for this to be a long term plan, not a plan that believes that it can put right everything that needs to be addressed in a short period of time.”


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