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No candidate for seat on Powys council

Nominations have now closed for the local elections on May 4 Credit: Powys Council

In most parts of Wales, election leaflets will be landing on doormats with increasing frequency for the next month, as candidates try to win our votes. But in some rural areas, a single candidate has been unopposed and declared elected. And in at least ward -Yscir in Powys- no-one has been nominated.

More than 1,000 voters in the village of Cradoc and its neighbouring communities north of Brecon will be unrepresented when councillors first meet after May 4, which is election day -where there is an election. Nominations will then have to be re-opened and a fresh attempt made to drum up some interest in representing Yscir

It's not yet clear if Yscir is the only ward in Wales with no candidate. At the last local elections in 2012, Bryncrug in Gwynedd had the dubious distinction of being the only candidate-free zone. Two months later, five people stood for the seat and there had to be a by-election.

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  1. Adrian Masters

Powys council leader chosen

Powys council has now chosen a leader, signalling that a deal to run the authority has finally been done. The new leader is Councillor David Jones who leads the group of independents known as the Shire Independents. He narrowly beat the previous leader Councillor Michael Jones.

The new leader has yet to name his cabinet. Close observers of the complicated Powys politics predict that there'll be some former opponents brought into the fold.

  1. Adrian Masters

Conwy council to be run by multi-party coalition

I told you last night that a deal had been done to form a multi-party administration to run Conwy. I got the figures wrong! The new cabinet will actually be made up of 3 Plaid counillors, 4 Independent, 2 Labour and 1 Lib Dem.

Plaid Cymru's Councillor Dilwyn Roberts was re-elected as leader at the authority's annual meeting this morning. His deputy will be Labour Councillor Ronnie Hughes. Stuart Anderson and Liz Roberts were chosen as Chair and Vice Chair respectively. Here's the rest of the cabinet:

  • Councillor Jason Weyman [Ind] - Finance & Resources
  • Councillor Graham Rees [Ind] - Communication, Marketing & Leisure
  • Councillor Chris Hughes [Lab] - Social Care & Health
  • Councillor Wyn Ellis Jones [PC] - Skills & Lifelong Learning
  • Councillor Dave Cowans [Ind] - Environment
  • Councillor Phil Edwards [PC] - Communities
  • Councillor Philip Evans [Ind] - Governance & Regulation
  • Councillor Mike Priestly [Lib Dem] - Highways & Property

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  1. Adrian Masters

Councils' coalition talks - Conwy latest

I've heard tonight that a deal has been agreed to form a multi-party administration for Conwy council. It won't be finalised until a meeting at 10am tomorrow but I gather it's a new version of the 'anti-Tory alliance' which ran Conwy before the election.

I understand the cabinet will be made up of 2 Labour councillors, 3 Liberal Democrats, 2 Independents and 3 Plaid members. The Conservatives will provide the opposition.

  1. Adrian Masters

Councils' coalition talks latest - Powys councillor quits Conservatives just weeks after election

I've managed to speak to Powys councillor Gareth Ratcliffe who confirmed that he has left the Conservative group and become an unaligned Independent as I told you earlier. He said his reason for this was that he wants to take part in decision-making in any new administration.

His group had been in talks to form a coalition, first with Labour until that was halted by both parties' chiefs, and then with one of the independent groups. But Councillor Ratcliffe, says he felt he needs to have a say in the decision on controversial school and supermarket plans for Hay-on-Wye.

I was left with a choice to be in the tent or outside the tent. I could have avoided hard work and blamed the administration or been been honest with my residents. I was in opposition last time. I don't want just to be a voice not being listened to this time.

He admits to some discontent with his party but insists his main aim is to make sure his residents are listened to. He insists he doesn't know whether or not he'll be offered a cabinet role but says he has put his name forward to be part of the emerging Independent administration.

  1. Adrian Masters

Councils' coalition talks - Monmouthshire deal finalised

As I reported yesterday Monmouthshire council will now be run by a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Some final details are still being worked out but it should be agreed at the council's AGM tonight. It's been warmly welcomed by the Conservatives' Assembly leader, Andrew RT Davies:

Under Conservative stewardship Monmouthshire council became a beacon of transparency with all expenditure above one pound made publicly available. Council tax was frozen by the authority, investment in roads was significantly increased, primary schools were rebuilt or remodelled and more efficient services were introduced.

Continued Conservative leadership of the council will ensure local people in Monmouthshire get the very best services and outstanding value for money.

There's been no official response yet from the Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams. But a senior Monmouthshire Lib Dem tells me things will be very different, that there'll be 'a cultural change' in the way the authority is run and that 'it won't be business as usual.'

This is not just a partnership between parties, but will be a partnership with voluntary groups, individuals, anyone who has ideas for improving Monmouthshire. If you have those ideas, come to us: we will back you.

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