Highfields development in Allensbank Road

The planning application for the development of 42 dwellings, and which will be built using Pasivhaus technology, was given the go-ahead by Council’s planning committee on 7th  February 2018

This development of affordable housing will contain 10 council owned units, the first to be built in Heath for over 60 years.  It is understood that these 10 units will be used to re-house older council tenants who are wishing to down-size from larger properties, and which frees up much needed family accommodation.

Fenella said ‘The plans have been drawn up in full consultation with Heath councillors over a period of some 3 years.  A lot of consultation with residents & the public at large has taken place, and adjustments have been made along the way to accommodate certain aspects of the development’.

Lidl still to provide a new exit in Maes y Coed Road

The HB Independents are frustrated that  even after a lot of pressure on Lidl that the company has sill not yet altered  its exit from the Maes y Coed Road store.

Fenella said ‘ The store has been open some while now and it is still the case that traffic cannot get out of the car park with ease as there is only one exit lane. The original promise of new arrangements, that would see left & right turns installed, are now still some way off as Lidl are telling us that there are problems with utility services that run underground at the entrance.

Just how much longer are residents supposed to wait?  The traffic chaos at this location has been a nightmare at times, with lots of unnecessary queues.  It needs to be resolved – urgently’


It’s Election Day in Heath & Birchgrove


The day has finally arrived!

Over the past  9 years we have delivered tens of thousands of leaflets to residents, keeping them updated on issues that affect them, and reporting back on our activities.

Today it’s up to you!  We hope that you will support us by voting for Heath & Birchgrove Independents.  We’re not aligned to any political party.  We are committed to putting people first and not party interests.  We will listen to our residents & stand up for you.

Our record of achievement is published in our regular newsletters, on our website & on social media.

We are proud to have served you for the past 5 years and hope that you will be voting Heath & Birchgrove Independents.  

You have 3 votes: 

BOWDEN Fenella    X

BOWDEN Steve       X

REECE Jane                X

Thank you!



May 4th Local Elections : Our Pledges

We are delighted to publish our election pledges for the residents of Heath & Birchgrove.

1. Putting people before politics

2. To continue our campaign for Park & Ride facilities in the north of Cardiff to reduce congestion & local parking problems

3. To continue to campaign for much better access to the city centre & locally for the disabled and less mobile, including transport

4. To campaign for a better balance between investment in the city centre and the suburbs including parks & highway infrastructure

5. To continue to support the need for more investment in schools & improved education outcomes for young people in Cardiff

6. To continue our active support for the residents within Heath & Birchgrove in what ever way we can.

You can see read our leaflet here:

HBI pledges 2017

Election Pledge 6 : Continuing our active support for residents in Heath & Birchgrove

Election Pledge 6 : Continuing our active support for the residents in Heath & Birchgrove in whatever way we can.

We know that residents need to feel confident that when they come to us with an issue, that we shall listen & help them to solve the problem.  This can be anything from getting a bin emptied, or dealing with a complex housing or care issue.

Fenella said ‘It has been my privilege to have helped residents within the Ward with whatever issue they have brought with them to talk about.  Listening to residents, understanding their situations, and then helping to get things sorted out, is key to being a councillor. And that is what we shall continue to do’.

Steve added ‘We have a strong belief that residents need to be kept informed of what we’re doing, and alerting them to issues that may affect them such as planning applications or road changes.  We like to consult with residents to hear their point of view so that we can support them & represent them. We produce regular newsletters, and street letters keeping residents in touch’.

Jane commented ‘Being a councillor means being alert to what is happening in the area & making sure that we are pro-active.  Whether that is litterpicking, reporting potholes or getting casework done promptly, it’s about remembering that people come before politics. We care about our Ward; we care about our residents.’

Fenella, Steve, & Jane will continue to give their active support to residents in Heath & Birchgrove in whatever way they can. 


Election Pledge 5. To continue to support the need for more investment in schools

Election Pledge 5 : To continue to support the need for more investment in schools & improved education outcomes for young people in Cardiff. 

We believe that the outcomes for children in Cardiff are still not high enough – especially at Key Stage 4.  Progress has been made over the past few years, but the data shows that only 69% of pupils achieve 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C including English or Welsh first language and Maths by the end of Year 11.  For pupils receiving Free School Meals, this drops to 39%’.

Schools need 21st century learning environments but for many schools it simply isn’t possible as buildings are lacking investment & the buildings are crumbling. Locally we see this in our primary schools, and we have been calling for a nursery for Birchgrove School to serve local families.

The target percentage of schools in Cardiff achieving ‘Green’ in WG categorisation process illustrates the problem that Cardiff is facing : Primary schools 35%, and Secondary Schools 86%.

Only 44% of schools in Cardiff were judged to be good or excellent. Only 33% had the capacity to improve; 25% of special schools had the capacity to improve. 7 schools are in Estyn monitoring; 3 schools are in special measures.

Fenella is currently the Chair of Governors at Birchgrove Primary School and has regularly spoken in Council about education issues.

Fenella, Jane & Steve promise to support measures that will improve education outcome & will be pressing for more investment in school buildings.  


Election Pledge 4. to campaign for a better balance between investment in the city centre & the suburbs

Election Pledge 4.  To campaign for a better balance between investment in the city centre & the suburbs including parks & highway infrastructure. 

Fenella, Steve, & Jane believe that there is an unequal balance in the levels of investment between the city centre & the local communites, such and Heath & Birchgrove.

Fenella said ‘Over the past 5 years there has been a noticeable decline in the levels of investment within our Ward.  While residents have had bus lanes forced on them, this ‘investment’ is not being seen in terms of highway reconstructions, resurfacing, and proper filling of potholes.  Our streets are no longer swept on a regular basis while other parts of the city are seeing deep cleansing as routine’.

Steve added ‘I  have discussed with Fenella on many occasions the lack of investment by the Council in Heath Park.  This is a fantastic resource, but the Council has not invested in it like other parks in the city, preferring to franchise out its facilities to private businesses.  This is a park with huge potential & is a much needed area for exercise & developing new activities for all ages’.

Jane commented  ‘Birchgrove used to be a busy & thriving shopping centre & it concerns me that, in spite of replacing the paving & providing some more parking spaces, the businesses are not coming. We have got 6 empty shops at the moment. We need to look at this in terms of how Council can play a part in helping to reduce the burden of business rates & working with landlords to discuss the costs of rents’.

We shall continue to call for a balance to be struck between investment in the city centre & the suburbs including Heath & Birchgrove.

Lane clearance – at last !

We have been campaigning for lanes in our Ward to be thoroughly cleansed to remove flytipping, litter, and dog poo bags.  And we are delighted to say that the lane between Pantbach Road & Grove Place has now been cleansed.

The lane has now been thoroughly cleansed by Cardiff Council & the mulch-type debris on the pathways has been  removed.  We shall also be getting a bin in Grove Place to stop the litter building up and to  enable dog walkers to dispose of any dog poo bags safely rather than dumping them in the lanes, or decorating trees with them.

Fenella said ‘It has been disappointing to see that the lane is filling up again with dog poo bags & discarded rubbish, but we hope that the bin will help with this’.

Now we just need the lane from Kyle Crescent to Cae Gywn Road cleansed…..

Election Pledge 3 To continue to campaign for better access for the disabled

Election Pledge 3. To continue to campaign for much better access to the city centre & locally for the disabled and less mobile, including transport.

Fenella, Steve, & Jane believe that there is much more to be done to enable those with disabilities to access both the local environment & the city centre.

Fenella said ‘Cardiff still has not got a bus station & its train stations are not easy to navigate as a disabled person. We at HBI understand that disability can manifest itself in many different ways – and some are not visible to the onlooker.  We need to ensure that residents are able to use public transport whether they are fully able, or not.  At the moment, we have buses not willing to take wheelchair passengers & actually refusing to assist a customer onto the bus. We have crowded trains which for many with a disability means not being able to use this form of transport’.

Steve added ‘At a time when the Council are looking towards achieving 50:50 modal shift, much more needs to be done to assist the most vulnerable to access public transport. Not every disabled person has access to a car’.

Jane commented ‘As a mobility scooter user, and with a husband who uses a wheelchair, I am finding it increasingly difficult to use pavements.  They are either so badly damaged & in need of repair, or they are blocked by parked cars; and this is an every day occurrence both locally & in the city centre.’

We shall continue to campaign for better access facilities for disabled people & those with mobility problems, and use every opportunity we can to highlight the problems – and get solutions. 



Election Pledge 2 Campaigning for a Park & Ride in Cardiff North

Election Pledge 2 

Fenella, Steve & Jane will continue to campaign for Park  & Ride facilities in the north of Cardiff to reduce congestion & local parking problems.

We have always believed that there should be Park & Ride facilities in the north of Cardiff and were dismayed when the Labour Administration failed to include any provision for them in its Local Development Plan, and its Local Transport Plan.  This has been a grave omission.

Fenella said ‘ I have been making the case for a P & R in Cardiff North for years; and still there is nothing.  Residents in the Birchgrove area  are particularly  burdened with the traffic from the A469 & A470 coming through the Ward each day.  The volume of traffic has increased significantly over the past few years; public transport is not adequate to cope with the destinations of many motorists; and the bus lane has had a detrimental impact on the quality of life for those residents who live on Caerphilly Road’.

Steve added ‘As a former UHW employee, I know how hard it was for colleagues to travel to work by public transport.  It was simply impractical for many.  If we had a P&R facility in the north of the city, and which provided a secure place to leave a car & had a swift, affordable, & regular bus shuttle service to areas of high employment, then UHW staff would use it. ‘

Jane commented further ‘This has been a missed opportunity by the Council as it lacked the political will to get it done.  Their failure to work closely with UHW over the past 5 years is now evident.  More services have been moved into UHW making it increasingly difficult for staff. It is also regrettable that the Cabinet Members refused additional parking provision on the UHW site, and that a bus hub there has not become a reality’.

We shall continue to campaign for Park & Ride facilities in the north of Cardiff to bring relief to our local streets.