Bridgend 2017: Town & Community Councils

(Pic: Brackla Community Council)

 

In addition to the county council, Bridgend will also be re-electing our twenty town and community councils (their role is explained at the end of this post).

This is how things stand before the election:

 

There were ten councils whose political membership I was unsure of, so I contacted the clerks for clarification. Four didn’t respond so I’ve had to use the results of the 2012 election for them.

Many town and community councils operate on a non-political basis – meaning party membership doesn’t really matter. This is certainly the case with smaller, rural community councils with small electorates but not so much for the larger town and community councils where party political rows do happen.


Town Councils

Bridgend Town Council (19 seats)

Bridgend Town Council (BTC) covers the Morfa, Newcastle and Oldcastle wards – effectively the pre-war “old town” of Bridgend itself. It’s currently based at Carnegie House in the centre of Bridgend and was “no overall control” at time of posting this, with Independents the largest group.

BTC made national headlines recently for backing a motion that withdrew the council’s support for town twinning, handing responsibility to a local twinning committee. They’ve also had several run ins with Bridgend County Borough Council over its management of the town centre and has played a big role in establishing Carnegie House as an arts/cultural venue.

Labour and Change for Bridgend are already guaranteed seats in the Newcastle ward (precisely how many depends on how the vote goes).

13 candidates from Labour, Greens, Change for Bridgend and Unaffiliated Independents will be standing for 6 seats in Morfa, while Labour, Change for Bridgend and the Tories will be putting up 11 candidates for 6 seats in Oldcastle.

 

Maesteg Town Council (17 seats)

Maesteg Town Council (MTC) covers the villages of Garth, Caerau and Nantyfyllon alongside Maesteg town itself.

Until 2016 it has always been controlled by Labour, but as a result of a row over candidate selection, and the fallout from the “purge”, a mass resignation from the party saw control pass to Independents.

Even if the redevelopment of the town hall/market will be lead by the borough council, MTC will have a big say so Labour will be desperate to retake control amidst a challenge from the Llynfi Independent group of ex-Labour councillors and other apolitical candidates.

Labour are already guaranteed 4 seats (2 in Maesteg West, 2 in Nantyfyllon). The Llynfi Independents are putting up 12 candidates, while Plaid Cymru are also standing 2 candidates.


Pencoed Town Council (13 seats)

Pencoed Town Council (PTC) covers the southern urban part of the Penprysg ward as well as the Hendre and Felindre wards covering Pencoed proper.

PTC was elected completely unopposed in 2012, but this year all three wards will be contested by Labour, Plaid Cymru, Green and Conservative candidates. Labour are guaranteed 3 councillors (2 Hendre, 1 Felindre), while Plaid Cymru will be looking to win a seat/seats in their own right after Tim Thomas’s co-option a few years ago.

 

Porthcawl Town Council (19 seats)

Porthcawl Town Council covers Porthcawl itself as well as the attached historic villages of Nottage and Newton.

The Rest Bay and Nottage wards will be uncontested. Taking all the wards together, Porthcawl Independents are already guaranteed 5 seats, the Conservatives 3, Greens 1 and Labour 1. The remaining 9 seats are likely to lean heavily in the Porthcawl Independent’s favour, meaning they stand a good chance of remaining the largest group, if not taking control of the council.

“Big” Community Councils

Brackla Community Council (11 seats)

The council’s area of responsibility is the Brackla district of Bridgend town. There are no separate wards, just a single big one. 21 candidates are standing with nobody guaranteed a seat so, like the county borough ward, expect this to be keenly contested.

Labour currently run the council and have put up 9 candidates. The Conservatives usually have at least some presence on the council and have 4 candidates. There are 7 Change for Bridgend candidates and 1 Brackla Independent.

You would expect both the Conservatives and Independents to make some gains, but I would be surprised if it were enough to block Labour running the council again.


Coity Higher Community Council (11 seats)

Covers the historic village of Coity, the new village/district of Parc Derwen and the Litchard and Pendre areas of Bridgend. At the moment it’s dominated by Labour.

Labour, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, Change for Bridgend and unaffiliated Independents are all standing. Labour are already guaranteed 2 seats (1 Litchard, 1 Pendre), while Change for Bridgend are guaranteed a seat in Coity.


Cornelly Community Council (9 seats)

The council covers North Cornelly, South Cornelly and the hamlets of Kenfig and Maudlam. Historically it’s controlled by unaffiliated Independents led by veteran councillor, Jeff Tildesley.

There’s a single ward with 19 candidates representing Labour, Independents (unaffiliated) and Plaid Cymru.

 

Garw Valley Community Council (13 seats)

Covers the whole Garw valley north of Brynmenyn, including the villages of Bettws, Llangeinor, Blaengarw and Pontycymer.

Labour are guaranteed 6 councillors (3 Pontycymer, 2 Blaengarw, 1 Bettws), while Independents are guaranteed 2 councillors (1 Bettws, 1 Blaengarw) – at least one of whom is standing as Change for Bridgend. UKIP are also standing here with a 50:50 chance of getting an elected member for the last seat in Bettws.

 

Laleston Community Council (13 seats)

Includes the Cefn Glas, Llangewydd, Broadlands and Bryntirion districts of Bridgend as well as Laleston village.

It’s one of the most politically-diverse community councils in the county by having sitting Green and UKIP members – though whether that will continue remains to be seen.

There are three wards, all of which are being contested. Labour are guaranteed 3 seats and the Lib Dems guaranteed 2. There are also candidates standing for Change for Bridgend, Greens, Conservatives and UKIP.

 

Ogmore Valley Community Council (15 seats)

Consists of the Ogmore Valley north of Bryncethin, including Blackmill, Glynogwr, Ogmore Vale, Lewistown/Pantyrawel, Wyndham and Nantymoel. It also include the“enclave” of Evanstown – which is only accessible by driving through Gilfach Goch in Rhondda Cynon Taf (I don’t know if this is a unique situation in Wales or not).

The election won’t be contested. Labour are guaranteed 3 seats and Independents 5, meaning there are a total of 7 vacancies due to not enough people standing. It also means the council will be in (nominal) Independent control.


Pyle Community Council (9 seats)

Consists of the villages of Pyle and Kenfig Hill. It’s traditionally dominated by Labour and they’re already guaranteed 7 councillors, with Independents and Plaid Cymru standing single candidates each.

 

St. Brides Minor Community Council (13 seats)

Covers the villages of Sarn, Bryncoch and Bryncethin.

The Sarn and Bryncethin wards will be uncontested, returning 6 Labour and 2 Change for Bridgend councillors unopposed in total.

Bryncoch will, however, be contested with Labour and Change for Bridgend already guaranteed 2 seats each.

“Small” Community Councils


Cefn Cribwr Community Council (10 seats)

Includes the village of Cefn Cribwr to the east of Kenfig Hill as well as the hamlet of Cefn Cross and the surrounding farmland. The election will be uncontested with all 9 members being Labour, meaning there’s 1 vacancy.

 

Coychurch Higher Community Council (7 seats)

Despite the name it’s nowhere near Coychurch, and consists of Heol-y-Cyw and the surrounding hamlets like Rhiwceiliog. The election won’t be contested. 4 Labour and 2 Independents have been returned, with 1 vacancy.

 

Coychurch Lower Community Council (7 seats)

A community dominated by the Bridgend and Waterton Industrial Estates, but also includes the village of Coychurch itself and will eventually include the area currently being developed as Parc Afon Ewenni.

The council has historically been non-political with all members being Independent, but there’s a Plaid Cymru candidate standing this year alongside 7 Independents.

 

Llangynwyd Lower Community Council (7 seats)

Covers the village of Coytrahen and the hamlet of Shwt. It’ll be uncontested with 3 Labour and 4 Independent candidates returned unopposed.

 

Llangynwyd Middle Community Council (12 seats)

Includes the villages of Llangynwyd, Pont Rhyd-y-Cyf and Cwmfelin in the rural area just south of Maesteg.

The Cwmfelin ward won’t be contested, with 2 Independent, 1 Labour, 1 Green and 1 Plaid Cymru councillor returned unopposed.

The Pont Rhyd-y-Cyf ward has 8 candidates for the 7 available seats, with Labour guaranteed 2 seats and both Plaid Cymru and Independents guaranteed 1 seat each.

 

Merthyr Mawr Community Council (7 seats)

A predominantly rural community encompassing the area around Island Farm Close and Ewenny Road in the south of Bridgend, as well as the hamlets of Merthyr Mawr, Tythegston and Stormy Down. 7 Independents have been elected unopposed, so the election won’t be contested.


Newcastle Higher Community Council (12 seats)

Covers the villages of Penyfai and Aberkenfig. I’ve been told the council is officially non-political but candidates stand on party tickets.

The Penyfai ward won’t be contested meaning Labour are already guaranteed 2 seats, the Conservatives 1, Plaid Cymru 1 and Independents 1 (with 1 vacancy). The Aberkenfig ward will be contested with Labour already guaranteed 5 seats.

 

Ynysawdre Community Council (10 seats)

Covers the villages of Brynmenyn and Tondu. It made national headlines recently when police were called to deal with the “top boys” from the YCF ultras. Yes, really.

The Tondu ward will be uncontested with only a single Independent candidate standing for the 4 available seats. The Brynmenyn ward will be contested with all 7 candidates standing as Independents (surely it would be a good idea for some of them to have stood in Tondu?). So it’ll be Independent-controlled with 3 vacancies (down from 7 vacancies in 2012).

 

Owen