Plaid Cymru councillor won’t stand again due to new Gwynedd ‘mega wards’
A Gwynedd councillor will stand down at the next council elections citing the upcoming electoral boundary changes within Bangor as one of the reason for his decision.
Proposals presented by Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales and approved by the Welsh Government mean Bangor will lose four councillors and Gwynedd’s council will go from 75 to 69 members.
With an average of 1,208 electors per councillor, Bangor will face the most significant drop in its representation within the chamber, and the reduction has been blamed on the number of non-registered voters in the city.
Writing on social media Steve Collings, Councillor for Deiniol Ward said that “with a heavy heart” he was announcing that he wouldn’t be standing again in the council elections of May next year.
“When I stood in 2017 I promised voters that I would do something useful in the community,” he said. “This grew into the Sunday food shares and emergency food box scheme during the pandemic.
“The Sunday food share will continue from the Bangor Plaid office and the box scheme has evolved into a food club which now runs from Bwyd Da Bangor, so I’ll still be very much engaged with the community in the city centre.
“The largest part of the decision not to stand probably comes from the boundary changes. For those who don’t know, several new ‘mega-wards’ have been created in Bangor which only take account of the small number of registered voters, but take no account of the amount of businesses, infrastructure and 10,000 students population (plus most of the university campus) which fall in the new ward.
“The new ward – Canol Bangor – is going to require a huge amount of work and I know I wouldn’t be able to do it justice whilst also trying to run the food projects.”
Steve Collings added that he didn’t feel that elections – whether local or national – changed things much as the money and the real power was kept in the hands of a very small number of “self-serving and corrupted people”.
“Having said that, it is always worth voting for candidates you believe in, because although politics isn’t The Answer, it is definitely a worthwhile platform for activist-politicians willing to battle away in this frustrating arena,” he said.
“If you feel disillusioned with the current system, I urge you to not throw the baby out with the bathwater and make sure you still vote for good candidates when they pop up, as they often do in our part of Wales.
“On the topic of babies and bathwater, I will be remaining a member of Plaid where I have many good friends and comrades who are genuinely working towards positive change inside of these highly restrictive systems, as well as in their communities.
“Extra special thanks to the residents in Deiniol who put faith in me last time around. It’s been a privilege to work in the ward, especially during the crisis when so much needed doing.
“Bangor is an amazing, unique place, and we are very lucky to have it.”
The boundary changes are expected to take effect for the 2022 local government elections.
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