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Labour and Independents to start talks after election finishes all square in Merthyr

07 May 2022 3 minute read
Merthyr Tydfil Civic Centre. Photo by Jaggery is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Both Labour and the independents in Merthyr Tydfil won 15 seats at this year’s Merthyr Tydfil Council meaning no one has overall control of the authority.

The election on Thursday, May 5 saw no other party pick up any seats and Labour and the independents both win 15, although there are two independent groups on the council.

Discussions are now set to take place over the coming days over how the council is run going forward.

The voter turnout was 39% which meant that just 15,379 votes were cast from an electorate of 45,875

Lisa Mytton, independent, who went into the elections as the leader of the council and is the first sitting leader to retain her seat in Merthyr Tydfil said: “I think first of all there’s a fantastic feeling for us as independents especially with the last result the Cyfarthfa ward, that is amazing to get Claire in there as well.

“I think there’s conversations to be had. Inevitably we’ll have those over the weekend and perhaps on Monday and just relax and celebrate our achievements today.

“And commiserations to some people we’ve lost some really good people today. We’ll see how it goes over the weekend and have some discussions.”

Darren Roberts, the Labour group leader, said: “We’re very pleased with the results that we’ve got.

“Disappointed obviously for some of the candidates that fell short, they ran an excellent campaign.

“Really pleased with the work and effort that was put in by our candidates and by the party as a whole.

“It’s been a fair campaign across the county borough which, you know, we’re all grateful and I think the electorate is grateful for that as well.

“The worst thing that can happen is politics being run on social media. That didn’t happen this election so I’m really grateful for that.

“So yeah some interesting conversations to be had over the coming days and weeks and months and we’ll see where we go to make sure we deliver the best services for Merthyr.”

Former leader

A number of councillors lost their seats including former leader Kevin O’Neill, Chris Davies, Julian Amos and David Chaplin.

And there were a number of new councillors elected including Anna Williams-Price of Labour in Plymouth ward, independent Julia Jenkins in Town ward, independent Claire Jones in Cyfarthfa ward, independent Paula Layton in Dowlais and Pant, Jamie Scriven of Labour in Penydarren, independent Michelle Symonds in Bedlinog and Trelewis and Louise Minett Vokes in Park Ward.

In 2017, independent councillors took 17 seats, and control of the council. Labour lost 10 seats, all to independent councillors five years ago. However, the outcome of the election wasn’t decided until June 8, because the vote in the Cyfarthfa ward was delayed due to the death of a candidate. Immediately after the May 4 election, independents were the largest group but short of a majority.

However, after the June 8 election they won control of the council. The former Labour leader of the council, Brendan Toomey, also lost his seat at the elections.

Independent: 15

Labour: 15

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