Gwynedd loses six representatives in boundary shake up
Gareth Wyn Williams, local democracy reporter
The number of county councillors in Gwynedd will be reduced by six, the Welsh Government has confirmed.
Ministers have approved the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales’ recommendations despite long-running pushback from Gwynedd Council itself.
The move will result in boundary changes and more multi-member wards – with the latter having raised the most opposition.
The reduction is in contrast to the situation in neighbouring Anglesey, which sees its number of councillors increase from 30 to 35, but mirroring that of Conwy’s which is dropping from 59 to 55.
With the current 75 Gwynedd councillors being cut down to 69 in time for May’s local elections, some of the biggest changes will be felt in the city of Bangor which faces a significant drop in its representation within the chamber.
Blamed on the number of non-registered voters in the city, while Glyder and Dewi will remain unchanged, the remaining Deiniol, Garth, Hendre, Hirael, Marchog and Menai wards will be replaced by the “Canol Bangor” and “Dwyrain Bangor” divisions, which will elect two members each.
This is despite Gwynedd Council urging the commission to retain Marchog, which contains Maesgeirchen, due to its large population coupled with the deprived nature of the ward placing an additional burden on its representatives.
On the outskirts of the city, however, a new “Y Faenol” ward will be created out of part of the existing Pentir ward.
Meanwhile, Dyffryn Ogwen will lose the existing Ogwen division but see the creation of new “Canol Bethesda” and ‘Rachub” wards.
In Meirionnydd the existing Llangelynnin ward will lose Llanegryn and be renamed “Arthog a Llangelynin,” with the creation of a new “Bro Dysynni” ward containing Llanegryn and Llanfihangel-y-Pennant.
Elsewhere, two-member wards will be established for “Bethel a’r Felinheli” and “Harlech a Llanbedr, ” replacing the previous single entities in both areas.
In Caernarfon, while the two-member Seiont ward will disappear, its five councillors will remain thanks to the creation of new “Canol Tref Caernarfon” and “Hendre” single-member divisions – with the latter not to be confused with the axed Bangor ward of the same name.
Llanfrothen will be removed from the Penrhyndeudreth ward and join up with the renamed “Glaslyn” ward which will be made up of the existing Tremadog electoral unit.
Nebo will also be cut out of the Llanllyfni ward and join up with Clynnog, meaning that the new division would straddle the existing Senedd boundaries of Arfon and Dwyfor Meirionnydd.
Talysarn, meanwhile, would disappear from the map by becoming part of an amended Llanllyfni division, with the existing Morfa Nefyn and Tudweiliog wards also merged into one.
Although both Pwllheli seats remain unchanged, Llŷn will continue to see its representation cut with Aberdaron and Botwnnog merged as part of a new “Pen draw Llŷn” ward, as well as Mynytho with Llanbedrog and Abersoch with Llanengan.
Shereen Williams MBE OStJ, Chief Executive of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales said: “I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has accepted these recommendations with only minor modifications.
“These changes will mean greater electoral parity for the people of Gwynedd.
“I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the review, the members of the public, councillors, Gwynedd Council, and everyone else who sent us a representation or contributed in any other way.”
The overall number of wards will be reduced from 71 to 65 although 27 will remain unchanged, namely:
Aberdyfi, Dolbenmaen, Nefyn, Abererch, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Penygroes, Abermaw, Efail-newydd/Buan, Dwyrain Porthmadog, Bala, Glyder, Gorllewin Porthmadog, Bowydd a Rhiw, Groeslon, Gogledd Pwllheli, Brithdir a Llanfachreth/Ganllwyd/Llanelltyd, Llanaelhaearn, De Pwllheli, Corris/Mawddwy, Llanberis, Trawsfynydd, Criccieth, Llanrug, Tregarth a Mynydd Llandygái, Deiniolen, Llanystumdwy, Dewi.
The recommendations in full can be found in full here.
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