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Independents secure landslide win to unseat Caerphilly Council leader

06 May 2022 3 minute read
Independent Candidates Ynysddu

The leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council has lost her seat following today’s council elections.

The Independent candidates, Jan Jones and Janine Reed, saw a landslide victory in Ynysddu – securing more than 85% of the votes in the ward.

Labour candidate Philippa Marsden received just 213 votes, compared to 720 five years ago. Her daughter Phoebe Marsden was also standing in Ynysddu for Labour and received 182 votes.

Ms Marsden, the first woman to be Leader of the council, was elected as leader in November 2019 after the resignation of David  Poole.

Ms Marsden declined to comment following the announcement of the result, because it was “too raw”.

Deputy Leader Jamie Pritchard described Ms Marsden as an “exceptional leader”.

Cllr Pritchard added: “She has put in absolutely loads of work. Obviously local factors have conspired against her. It didn’t help that Plaid Cymru stood down and done a deal with the Independents.

“But, I know that Philippa is going to be back, she’s a formidable character, and it has been a pleasure to work under her.”

Recycling waste plant

The local factors Mr Pritchard is referring to is the controversy that surrounds a recycling waste plant in Cwmfelinfach.

The plant was granted planning permission in 2015 and has been an issue ever since, especially for the Sirhowy Valley Residents Group – which both successful candidates were heavily involved with.

Successful Independent candidate Janine Reed said: “People in the valley feel that they were betrayed and were not being listened to, this shows in the turnout and the votes.

“This has been six long years of hard work.”

Turnout for the Ynysddu ward was up 11% since 2017, with an overall turnout of 45.78% – the highest in Caerphilly County Borough.

Fellow independent candidate for Ynysddu Jan Jones said:  “We both would thank all those who supported us. It was wonderful to drive through the valley to see all our Vote Independent posters and banners displayed in gardens and windows throughout the ward.

“We enjoyed speaking to people on their doorsteps and are proud that it has been a victory for positive campaigning.”

The ex-Labour councillor added: “We are pleased to have been chosen to represent all the people in the valley and pledge to listen to people and work hard on their behalf.”

Ynysddu ward results:

Jan Jones (Independent): 1,162
Janine Reed (Independent): 1,150
Philippa Marsden (Labour): 213
Phoebe Marsden (Labour): 182

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2 years ago

I’m getting very suspicious about “independents” these days. There seems to be a tendency for people to form de-facto “Definitely Not A Party” parties to get around the costs and responsibilities of having a party whilst still voting as a block on every issue. For instance in Bridgend, hidden in amongst the Independents are the “Change for Bridgend” voting bloc made up of Bridgend shopkeepers and their chums whose sole aim seems to be to change Bridgend in a way that pleases Bridgend shopkeepers. This hidden “party” means it is difficult to identify true community minded independents and has resulted… Read more »

2 years ago
Reply to  Llinos

Some so-called independents are also thinly disguised UKIP supporters who pander to the xenophobia of the “White Flight” of many incomers.

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