Later post 15th May; After the election - a few thoughts
Update 8th May 21:18
In an interesting development, the Labour group on the council have chosen the newly elected councillor for Lliedi ward, Rob James, as deputy leader of the group. Cllr James made the announcement on Twitter. The position was formerly held by Tegwen Devichand, who lost her seat. Jeff Edmunds remains as leader of the group, for now.
Update 8th May
.Only 30 out of 72 Town and Community Councils were contested, the election results are here
Update May 5th 18:14
Emlyn Dole has already headed off to the council press office to confirm that Plaid will continue to lead the council in coalition with the Independent 'Group', now led by Mair Stevens. Apparently 'negotiations' with the Indy Group took place immediately after the election. Instead of five seats each on the Executive Board, Plaid will have seven and the Indies three.
Sounds like business as usual then...pretty much as we were before, minus Meryl
|No change of control at the council... |
Counting is underway for the 74 seats (58 wards) on Carmarthenshire Council so I will update this blog as the results are declared. Well, that's the plan anyway.
The average turnout for the county as a whole was 46.81%. In sleepy Cilycwm, Caebrwyn's home turf, it was a remarkable 67.85%, not so sleepy after all.
The current make up of the council is Plaid 29 seats, Labour 22, Independent group, 20, unaffiliated independents 2 and People First, 1.
Three Plaid candidates and one Independent have already been returned unopposed in Llanddarog, Trelech, Llanybydder and Llanfihangel-ar-arth.
A gain for Plaid's Dorian Williams (622) over Indie hopeful Lisa Fearn (448) for former Independent Group leader Pam Palmer's old seat.
Plaid's Betsan Wyn Jones takes seat from Labour's Ryan Bartlett, 402 votes to 309
Quarter Bach, Llanfihangel Aberbythych, Llangunnor & Cenarth
Plaid hold for Glynog Davies, Cefin Campbell, Elwyn Williams and Hazel Evans respectively
Plaid's Handel Davies gains seat from Independents, former seat of Ivor Jackson
Labour's Derek Cundy holds on to Bynea for Labour with 539 votes against closest rival Ian Wooldridge (Plaid) with 373.
Independent Arwel Davies (307), farmer, wins in a three way contest between him, Maria Carroll (284) for Labour and independent Matthew Paul (191)
Ammanford, Llanegwad, Llangynderyn, Cynwal Gaeo & Llangeler
Deian Harries, Mansel Charles and Tyssul Evans, Eirwyn Williams and Ken Howells hold all five wards for Plaid respectively.
A shock result for Labour as veteran councillor Tegwen Devichand (452 votes) loses her seat to independent Rob Evans (508)
Dai Jenkins holds the seat for Plaid in a close contest with Labour rival, also called Dai Jenkins by 430 votes to 413
Independent group stalwart Huw Richards loses his seat to Labour's Bill Thomas (a different Bill Thomas to previous councillor)
A Labour gain.
Garnant & Pontamman
Kevin Madge and Colin Evans hold both wards for Labour
Unaffiliated independent John Jenkins holds his seat against Plaid and Labour, the Labour candidate, David Darkin is also the parliamentary candidate for Carms East and Dinefwr.
Cynwyl Elfed, Swiss Valley and Llandeilo
Hold for Independent Irfon Jones, who will now be the next Chair of the council, incidentally, Giles Morgan and Edward Thomas respectively.
This two seat ward saw an acrimonious campaign but Labour's Gary Jones and Plaid's incumbent Gwyneth Thomas were elected. This is a Labour gain as it was formerly a two Plaid ward.
St Clears and St Ishmael
Independent group members Phillip Hughes and Mair Stevens have both held their seats. Philip Hughes saw off opponent, former Plaid AM, Rhodri Glyn Thomas.
Penygroes & Hendy
A Plaid hold for new candidate Dai Thomas who takes over from his wife, and a Plaid hold for Gareth Thomas in Hendy
Glyn, Manordeilo and Salem, Laugharne, Whitland & Llangadog
Independent hold for Jim Jones, a member of the Indie Group along with Indie colleagues Joseph Davies in Manordeilo, Jane Tremlett in Laugharne, Sue Allen in Whitland and Andrew James in Llangadog.
Carmarthen Town South, North and West
Alan Lenny re-elected for Plaid along with fellow party colleague Gareth John (two member ward)
Plaid's Peter Hughes Griffiths holds his seat now joined by Ken Lloyd for Labour in this two seat ward instead of Plaid's Gareth Jones who has lost his seat.
A second Labour gain.
Plaid hold with Alan Speake and new boy Emlyn Schiavone in this two seat ward.
Tycroes & Bigyn
Labour hold for Calum Higgins former seat, now held by Tina Higgins, a relation perhaps (it's his mum) and in the two seat ward of Bigyn, Labour group leader and veteran Labour colleague Eryl Morgan held their seats.
Plaid hold for Dorian Phillips after Roy Llewellyn stepped down.
Jeanette Gilasbey for Plaid - a gain from Labour
Labour's John James holds his seat and is now joined by Amanda Fox, also for Labour, replacing Pat Jones who has stepped down.
Bit of a shock result in this two seat ward, Anthony Davies held his seat for the Indies but Labour's Anthony Jones loses out to Plaid's Dai Nicholas.
Sharen Davies (Tegwen's daughter) returned for Labour along with Labour colleague Fozia Akhtar,who takes the seat of Independent Theressa Bowen.
Shirley Matthews (Lab) and Hugh Shepardson (Ind) both back in.
Darren Price holds the seat for Plaid, along with new Plaid member Aled Owen.
This is another two member ward, Penny Edwards is back in for Labour but Plaid's Susan Phillips takes the seat from Sian Caiach.
Huge commiserations to Sian, a massive loss to the Chamber.
The vote was close with 408 for Labour, 394 for Plaid and Sian third with 372.
Plaid's Alun Davies is returned along with Carl Harris for Plaid, ousting Labour's Peter Cooper.
Another hotly contested ward, with Rob James elected for Labour, replacing Bill Thomas who was deselected. Also elected for Labour is Shahana Najmi.
Emlyn Dole elected for Plaid, so I guess he'll be back as leader, dear me, and Dot Jones for Labour, defeating fellow Labour candidate and incumbent, Kim Thomas
Plaid hold for Liam Bowen who replaces Joy Williams who has retired
Suzy Curry and Andre McPherson both elected for Labour. Formerly held by Jeff Owen, unaffiliated independent and Keri Thomas for Labour.
Louvain Roberts keeps her seat for Labour and Labour's John Prosser takes the second seat previously held by Plaid. The Plaid candidate lost by one vote.
A gain for Plaid as Kim Broom takes the seat formerly held by Independent Meryl Gravell.
And that's it.
I haven't checked the figures yet but according to the BBC there is no overall control, Plaid have 36 (+8) seats, Labour have 22 (-1) and the Independents 16 (-7).
What will happen next is a scramble for power with Plaid a shade (2 seats) short of a majority; we'll have to wait and see what happens, maybe Plaid will tempt a couple of Indies to join them with the promise of a lucrative Chair or two, who knows, another coalition maybe.
All might be revealed at the first gathering of full council, for the AGM, on the 24th May.
Meryl will still be hovering in the background, heavily involved in the Wellness Thing, still prising ££££s out of the council taxpayers to fund it, with a hotline to the chief executive.
The only one I'm sad to see go is Sian Caiach for the way she has continued, against the odds, to hold the executive, and particularly the chief executive, to account.
I trust the new administration will take on that particular task
with the utmost urgency?
I would also suggest that new members treat any legal advice/threats from the chief executive, or legal eagle Linda Rees Jones, with extreme caution. Readers may recall the opinion of eminent lawyer Sir David Lewis who described the council's 'internal' legal advice as 'cavalier' and 'incompetent'.
You might also recall the opinion of the former Police Commissioner who, after a four year stint, likened County Hall to a Sicilian cartel "..it extracts vast amounts of money from residents which it showers on favourites, hordes property, bullies opponents, co-opts friends and answers to no one, least of all local councillors".”
The Council website was worse than useless throughout the count, a complete disaster in fact, but the voting figures have finally appeared here
I will link to the results for the Town and Community Councils,when they are published.