PEOPLE power is helping haul Caia Park out of deprivation.

In 2008 the Queensway ward, known for its notorious riots of 2003, was ranked as the second most deprived ward in Wales.

But latest figures from the Welsh Government reveal the area has dropped seven places to ninth in the country’s multiple index of deprivation, which measures factors such as income, employment, health, education, housing, environment and community safety.

Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper, who has represented the ward since 2008, said: “A lot of the improvement is down to the people themselves who have worked hard to turn around the fortunes of the area.

“The Caia Park Partnership, which has made a huge contribution to the ward’s new ranking, has about 150 people from the area who volunteer their time to help out with a range of different projects.

“The partnership has its roots deep in the community and this has meant a lot of engagement by ordinary people.

“They have had the opportunity, which didn’t exist before, to improve their self-confidence in areas such as getting back to work.”

She added: “The ward, which is predominantly council housing, has also received a lot of council investment over the last few years.

“It has received the highest council capital spend in the borough for the last two years, with money spent on installing new central heating systems and a large re-roofing programme which will continue this year. I am also confident the ward will benefit from the council’s forthcoming scheme to install solar panels in some of its housing stock, which starts in October.

“Other investments such as road resurfacing and a variety of environmental improvement projects are also making a difference.

“There is still plenty more work to do but it’s fantastic to see things moving in such a positive direction.”

Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths said: “What these figures show is that the hard work of everyone who has tried over the last few years to improve this area is bearing fruit.

“Welsh Government-funded schemes such as Caia Park Partnership, Caia Park Communities First, improvements in housing and education, and the excellent work of many individuals, have all come together to make measurable improvements in Queensway within just three years.”