Carmarthenshire County Council
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin
|Founded||1 April 1996|
|Preceded by||Carmarthen District|
Dyfed County Council
Chair of the Council
Cllr Ieuan Davies, Independent
since 10 June 2020
Leader of Council
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Plaid Cymru
Cllr Mair Stephens, Independent
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Robert James, Labour
Length of term
|First past the post|
|4 May 1995|
|4 May 2017|
|5 May 2022|
|County Hall, Carmarthen|
Carmarthenshire County Council (Welsh: Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin) is the local council for the county of Carmarthenshire, Wales, providing a range of services under the control of elected county councillors that include education, planning, transport, social services and public safety. The council is one of twenty-two unitary authorities that came into existence on 1 April 1996 under the provisions of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994. It took over local government functions previously provided by Carmarthen District, Dinefwr Borough, Llanelli Borough councils and the Carmarthenshire area of what was Dyfed County Council.
- % Water
|ONS code||00NU (ONS)|
- Total (2017)
79 / km²
- Any skills
|Carmarthenshire County Council|
|Control||TBA (council NOC)|
The council is based in County Hall in Carmarthen.
It is the second body of this name; the previous Carmarthenshire County Council was formed on 1 April 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888 and was abolished on 31 March 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972.
The first election to the original council were held in January 1889 and the majority of the seats were won by the Liberals. This pattern continued until the 1920s from which time most rural seats were held by Independents while the Labour Party dominated the industrial part of the county.
The authority has adopted the Cabinet system of running the county, and since 2004 ran by the Independents and Labour groups. Currently there are 37 Plaid Cymru councillors, 19 Independents and 18 Labour. The Leader of the Council is Cllr Emlyn Dole (Plaid Cyrmu). The Chief executive, Mark Vincent James, was awarded the CBE for services to Local Government in Wales in the 2012 New Year Honours. James was forced to step aside temporarily in 2014 after a criminal investigation was launched into his affairs.
In 2013 Chief executive Mark James was sued for libel by Jacqui Thompson, a local blogger and trenchant critic of the council. He brought a counterclaim against Mrs Thompson; his legal action was funded by the council. Although he won his action, this indemnity was ruled unlawful by the Auditor General for Wales, on the grounds that councils cannot sue for libel nor indemnify others in private defamation actions. It also found that the payment of his pension contributions to him in cash was unlawful. In July 2013 Thompson initiated the process of appealing the ruling on a point of law. Local AM Peter Black commented that 'The way that the Council has handled this whole affair has been a public relations disaster from start to finish. These latest claims do not help.'
In February 2014, a criminal investigation was launched into these payments by Gloucestershire Constabulary: Mark James stepped aside for the duration of the investigation. The episode led to criticism of senior councillors, including the council leader, Kevin Madge, who had agreed these financial arrangements and supported James in his actions. Local politicians Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Jonathan Edwards both called for Mark James' full and final resignation, along with that of Kevin Madge. Madge survived a vote of no confidence by 41 votes to 28. However, the council accepted the findings of the Wales Audit Office on the illegality of the payments, and Madge admitted that the council's reputation had been damaged by the episode.
In 2019, Mark James announced his intention to retire as the Council's Chief Executive after 17 years in the post. Wendy Walters took over as Chief Executive in June 2019.
Kevin Madge resigned as leader of the Council in May 2015 having lost the leadership of the Labour group. Two days later it was announced that Plaid Cymru would form a new coalition with the Independents.
Elections take place every four years. The last election was held on 4 May 2017.
|Year||Plaid Cymru||Labour||Liberal Democrats||Conservatives||Independents|
The county is divided into 58 electoral wards returning 74 councillors. Most of these wards are coterminous with communities. Most communities in Carmarthenshire have a community council. For each ward, councillors are elected to sit on Carmarthenshire County Council. The following table lists council wards, community councils and associated geographical areas. Communities with their own community council are marked with a *.
|Ward||Community Council||Councillors Returned||Former district council||Population (2001 census)|
|2||Ammanford||Ammanford Town* (Iscennen and Pantyffynnon wards)||1||Dinefwr||2,664|
|4||Bigyn||Llanelli Town* (Bigyn ward)||2||Llanelli||6,347|
|5||Burry Port||Pembrey and Burry Port Town (Burry Port ward)||2||Llanelli||4,209|
|6||Bynea||Llanelli Rural* (Bynea ward)||1||Llanelli||3,091|
|7||Carmarthen Town North||Carmarthen Town* (Carmarthen Town North ward)||2||Carmarthen||5,291|
|8||Carmarthen Town South||Carmarthen Town* (Carmarthen Town South ward)||2||Carmarthen||3,526|
|9||Carmarthen Town West||Carmarthen Town* (Carmarthen Town West ward)||2||Carmarthen||4,313|
|10||Cenarth||Cenarth*, Newcastle Emlyn*||1||Carmarthen||1,995|
|11||Cilycwm||Cil-y-cwm*, Llansadwrn* and Llanwrda*||1||Dinefwr,
|12||Cynwyl Elfed||Cynwyl Elfed*, Bronwydd*, Llanpumsaint*, and Newchurch and Merthyr*||1||Carmarthen||2,743|
|13||Cynwyl Gaeo||Cynwyl Gaeo*, Llansawel* and Llanycrwys*||1||Dinefwr||1,554|
|14||Dafen||Llanelli Rural* (Dafen ward)||1||Llanelli||3,433|
|15||Elli||Llanelli Town* (Elli ward)||1||Llanelli||3,156|
|16||Felinfoel||Llanelli Rural* (Felinfoel ward)||1||Llanelli||1,948|
|17||Garnant||Cwmamman* (Pistillwyd and Twyn wards)||1||Dinefwr||1,965|
|18||Glanamman||Cwmamman* (Grenig and Tircoed wards)||1||Dinefwr||2,261|
|19||Glanymor||Llanelli Town* (Glanymor ward)||2||Llanelli||4,888|
|20||Glyn||Llanelli Rural* (Glyn ward)||1||Llanelli||2,032|
|22||Hendy||Llanelli* (Hendy ward)||1||Llanelli||3,039|
|23||Hengoed||Llanelli Rural* (Hengoed ward)||2||Llanelli||3,829|
|25||Laugharne Township||Laugharne Town*, Eglwyscummin, Llanddowror* and Pendine*||1||Carmarthen||2,924|
|26||Llanboidy||Llanboidy*, Cilymaenllwyd* and Llangynin*||1||Carmarthen||1,982|
|27||Llanddarog||Llanddarog* and Llanarthney||1||Carmarthen||1,833|
|28||Llandeilo||Llandeilo Town* and Dyffryn Cennen*||1||Dinefwr||1,937|
|29||Llandovery||Llandovery Town* and Llanfair-ar-y-bryn*||1||Dinefwr||2,870|
|30||Llandybie||Llandybie* (Llandybie and Heolddu wards)||2||Dinefwr||3,738|
|31||Llanegwad||Llanegwad*, Llanfihangel Rhos-y-Corn* and Llanfynydd*||1||Dinefwr,
|32||Llanfihangel Aberbythych||Llanfihangel Aberbythych* and Llangathen*||1||Dinefwr||1,716|
|33||Llanfihangel-ar-Arth||Llanfihangel-ar-Arth* and Llanllwni*||Carmarthen||2,727|
|34||Llangadog||Llangadog*, Llanddeusant* and Myddfai*||1||Dinefwr||1,951|
|40||Llansteffan||Llansteffan*, Llangain* and Llangynog*||1||Carmarthen||2,209|
|41||Llanybydder||Llanybydder* and Pencarreg*||1||Carmarthen||2,543|
|42||Lliedi||Llanelli Town* (Lliedi ward)||2||Llanelli||5,036|
|43||Llwynhendy||Llanelli Rural* (Pemberton ward)||2||Llanelli||4,276|
|44||Manordeilo and Salem||Manordeilo and Salem*, and Talley*||1||Dinefwr||2,121|
|45||Pembrey||Pembrey and Burry Port Town* (Pembrey ward)||2||Llanelli||3,374|
|46||Pen-y-groes||Llandybie (Penygroes ward)||1||Dinefwr||2,429|
|47||Pontamman||Ammanford* (Myddynfych and Wernddu wards)||1||Dinefwr||2,629|
|49||Quarter Bach||Quarter Bach*||1||Dinefwr||2,933|
|50||Saron||Llandybie* (Saron Ward)||2||Dinefwr||2,467|
|51||St Clears||St Clears Town*||1||Carmarthen||2,820|
|52||St. Ishmael||Llandyfaelog* and St. Ishmael*||1||Carmarthen||2,529|
|53||Swiss Valley||Llanelli Rural* (Swiss Valley ward)||1||Llanelli||2,434|
|54||Trelech||Abernant*, Llanwinio*, Meidrim* and Trelech*||1||Carmarthen||2,092|
|56||Tycroes||Llanedi* (Tycroes ward)||1||Llanelli||2,156|
|57||Tyisha||Llanelli* (Tyisha ward)||2||Llanelli||3,995|
|58||Whitland||Whitland Town* and Henllanfallteg||1||Carmarthen||2,066|