I’ve decided to split my predictions in two to make it easier to read.
For this first part,I’m focusing on wards in the Ogmore constituency – the area north of the M4 and the town of Pencoed.
Incumbent councillors are in italics.
The Uncontested (pan-county)
Blackmill – Hywel Williams (Lab)
Blaengarw – David Pugh(Lab)
Cefn Cribwr – Hugh David (Lab)
Llangeinor – Marlene Thomas (Lab)
Pontycymer – Reg Jenkins(Lab)
Here they are, the uncontested ones
Here they are, see them win
Rest easy now, don’t shit your pants
Your so good and so great, it’s not an affront to democracy
Just thank God you’re not
Elected by STV
Aberkenfig – 1 seat
Mel Winter (Ind)
Gary Hains (Lab)
Nicola Thomas (Plaid)
Small village ward, famous for its sex shop and gun shop. Includes the expanding village of Tondu and Coytrahen. Mel Winter didn’t have the biggest of majorities in 2008, but a Plaid candidate (who’s running an excellent campaign by all accounts) might be able to sway enough votes from Labour – even if it’s only in the ten -, to see him clinging on. Narrow Independent hold.
Bettws – 1 seat
Gareth Harris (Green)
Christopher Michaelides (Lab)
Ancient village combined with 1960s social housing on the side of a hill. Communities First Area. Chris Michaelides has been the borough mayor for the last year, and while doing so has been undergoing treatment for cancer. A comfortable Labour hold.
Bryncethin– 1 seat
Bernie McCleer (Lib Dem)
Gary Thomas (Lab)
Small village ward, with industrial estate, situated between valleys and vale. Another comfortable Labour hold.
Bryncoch – 1 seat
Ian Jacka (Lib Dem)
Pat Penpraze (Lab)
Similar to Bryncethin. Comfortable Labour hold.
Caerau – 3 seats
Ken Hunt, Stephen Smith (Ind)
Wyn Davies, Phil John, Phil White (Lab)
Communities First village at the very top of the Llynfi valley. This will be one of the seats you’d expect Labour to come back strongly in. There’s been quite a bit of investment in the area of late, including a new primary school and village square. How much of that will be credited to Labour depends. I’m going to say 2 Labour, 1 Independent.
Felindre – 1 seat
Mike Gregory (Lab)
Mike Clark (Lib Dem)
The eastern and southern half of the small industrial town of Pencoed, which acts largely as a dormitory for Bridgend and Cardiff. The Conservatives came close to winning this ward in 2008, I’m surprised there’s no candidate this time. Comfortable Labour hold.
Hendre– 2 seats
Laurie Brophy (Green)
Brian Watkins, Kim Watkins (Ind)
John McCarthy, Richard Williams (Lab)
The suburban western half of Pencoed. The Lib Dems have already lost a seat by not fielding a candidate. It’s hard to tell how many of those votes will go to the Green candidate (the Pencoed area has been earmarked for “fracking”) or the Independents. A straightforward notional Labour gain from Lib Dems.
Llangynwyd– 1 seat
Idris Williams (Lab)
Malcolm James (Plaid)
A rural village situated roughly halfway between Aberkenfig and Maesteg, home to the borough’s Welsh-medium secondary school. This is one of the few – perhaps only – Plaid parts of the county. I think Malcolm James will do enough to hang on, but it’s going to be tough. Narrow Plaid hold.
Maesteg East – 2 seats
Delyth Miller (Green)
Keith Edwards, Mal Reeves (Lab)
Kyle Duggan, Gareth Ifan (Plaid)
Covers Garth (I think) and the areas generally east of the river Llynfi. It’s good to see a bit more colour here, but I don’t see anyone but Labour holding the seats. It’s unclear what effect the sluggish action on the Cosi site clearance will have on this though.
Maesteg West – 2 seats
Ian Jones (Lib Dem)
Ceri Reeves, Ross Thomas (Lab)
Dai Berry, Wayne Howells (Plaid)
Covers most of Maesteg town centre. Both sitting Labour councillors have retired. Ross Thomas is one of Labour’s “rising stars” in the area, and will likely end up either Huw Irranca Davies’ or Janice Gregory’s “successor” in the long term. Like Maesteg East I don’t see anything but two Labour holds.
Nantymoel – 1 seat
David Owen (Ind)
David Jones (Lab)
Former mining village at the head of the Ogwr valley. Comfortable Labour hold.
Ogmore Vale – 1 seat
Della Hughes (Ind)
Ralph Shephard (Lab)
Similar village to the south of Nantymoel. Comfortable Labour hold.
Penprysyg – 1 seat
Alexander Owen (Lab)
Carol Davies (Ind)
Rural ward to the north of Pencoed, including the village of Heol-y-Cyw, which is due to lose its primary school in the next few years. Carol Davies is standing as an independent instead of a Liberal Democrat, and she had a big majority in 2008. Will that be enough for her to hang on? Notional Independent gain from Lib Dems.
Sarn – 1 seat
Dave Harrison (Ind?)
Mel Nott (Lab)
Large village directly to the north of Bridgend. Communities First area. Famous for Gareth “Alfie” Thomas and the M4 service station. Mel Nott is Bridgend council leader. However funny it would be to see something different – comfortable Labour hold.
Ynysawdre – 1 seat
John Evans (Green)
Lyn Morgan (Lab)
Danny Clark (Plaid)
The centre of what’s been dubbed the “Valleys Gateway“, home to many of the community facilities for the Sarn-Tondu-Bryncethin area. Probably the most interesting contest in the Ogmore constituency.
Other than Coytrahen in the Aberkenfig ward, Ynysawdre ward is the closest populated area to a new biomass plant, which Plaid Cymru have vocally campaigned against. The presence of a Green candidate may complicate things. Lyn Morgan could well hang on due to the Labour bounce and a major school modernisation project in the area. Too close to call.
Believe me, the contests in the Bridgend constituency are far more interesting. I’ll post that tomorrow.