Wrexham Council

Cyngor Wrecsam
Wrexham County Borough Council.svg
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 1996
Preceded byClwyd County Council
Leadership
Cllr Brian Cameron, Independent Group
since 24 May 2022
Leader of the Council
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Independent Group
since 24 September 2014
Deputy Leader of the Council
Cllr David A Bithell, Independent Group
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Dana Davies, Welsh Labour
Structure
Seats56 councillors
Wrexham Council composition
Political groups
Administration (30)
  Independent Group (21)
  Conservative (9)
Opposition (26)
  Labour (14)
  Plaid Cymru (9)
  Non-aligned independent (2)
  Liberal Democrats (1)
Length of term
5 years
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Guildhall at Wrexham
Guildhall, Wrexham
Website
www.wrexham.gov.uk

Wrexham County Borough Council (Welsh: Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam) is the governing body for Wrexham County Borough, a principal area in north Wales.

Governance and political composition

Elections take place every five years. The Labour Party held power on the council after the 2012 election, but lost it after splitting because of an internal row. Several Labour councillors became independent, allowing the Independent group to take control in alliance with the Conservatives.[1]

At the 2017 election, the independents retained their dominance. A coalition of the Independent group, the Wrexham Independents group and the Conservatives agreed to run the council for the next 5 years to 2022.[2] On 28 November 2018 Councillor Paul Rogers left the Conservative Group to become non-aligned.[3] He then went on to join the Independent group on 15 May 2019.[4] On 7 November 2019, Councillor Ronnie Prince also joined the main Independent group having been non-aligned since the last election.[5] Independent councillor for Gwersyllt North, Barrie Warburton, resigned his seat on 16 January 2020,[6] and was subsequently replaced by Plaid Cymru's Phil Rees who won the by-election on Thursday 27 February.[7] On 29 September 2020 Paul Jones, Labour Councillor for Maesydre, resigned his seat for personal reasons,[8] he was replaced by Plaid Cymru's Becca Martin in a by-election on 18 March 2021.[9]

Following the 2022 election on 5 May 2022, the council was under no overall control with no single party holding a majority of the now fifty-six councillors following a local boundary review. The independents (composed of two managed groups) maintained their position as the largest affiliation with twenty-three seats, down two from 2017 but fell short of the minimum twenty-nine councillors needed for a majority. Labour gained two seats, Plaid Cymru six, Conservatives remained the same and the Liberal Democrats lost a seat.[10] Independents were initially in talks with Welsh Labour councillors over the 7-8 May weekend.

On 10 May 2022, the two formerly separately organised groups of independents in the council (the Independents, led by Mark Pritchard, and the "Wrexham Independents" group, led by David A Bithell) merged into one combined group: "the Independent Group".[11] The group contains twenty-one of the twenty-three independent politicians elected, with Mike Davies and Ronnie Prince being the only two independents not to join the group. It is led by incumbent council leader and deputy leader, Mark Pritchard and David A Bithell respectively.[12] On the start of more talks between Labour and the Independent Group, Labour Cllr Davies questioned whether the merger was an attempt to stay in power, and questioned the relationship between Cllr Pritchard and Cllr Bithell over a rumoured falling out prior to the election.[12] However, Cllr Davies added if they are "able to reconcile their differences" and have a "new and ambitious agenda", then Welsh Labour would welcome the merger.[13]

On 11 May 2022, the Independent Group formed another coalition with the Welsh Conservatives for the next five-year term following an agreement between the two.[14] The coalition would have thirty members, a four-seat majority on the 56 seat council.[15] Labour Cllr Davies said that the Independent–Conservatives deal was based on "pure self-interest" "to protect their own positions".[14] The leader of Plaid Cymru in the council, Marc Jones, also claimed the deal was more focused in retaining power than on representation.[14] Welsh Labour leader on the council, Dana Davies claimed talks between the independents and Labour, failed due to Labour's requirement that any deal involves all councillors undertaking training on addressing anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism and sexism.[16][14] Cllr Davies described the deal involving anti-discrimination training to be a "UK-first" and "ground-breaking" if it had been agreed.[16][14] Talks with Plaid Cymru were ruled out from the beginning by the independents due to Plaid Cymru's disagreement with Mark Pritchard's leadership.[11][17]

Following the announcement, the Independent Group and the Welsh Conservatives described it as "an exciting time for Wrexham", and Cllr Pritchard and Conservative group leader Hugh Jones said that they are "pleased to have reached a workable agreement [...] we will continue to build on our success".[14] Opposition in the council would be Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru, the two non-aligned independents, and the Liberal Democrat councillor.[18]

On 24 May 2022, Councillor Brian Cameron was appointed as mayor of Wrexham, after previously serving as deputy mayor.[19]

Current composition

As at 5 May 2022:

Group affiliation Members
  Independent
23
Labour 14
Plaid Cymru 9
Conservative 9
Liberal Democrats 1
 Total
56

Historical results

Year Seats Independent Labour Plaid Cymru Conservative Liberal Democrats Notes
2022 56 23 14 9 9 1 Independent/Conservative coalition controlled
2017 52 26 12 3 9 2
2012 52 19 23 1 5 4
2008 52 20 11 4 5 12
2004 58 20* 18 4 5 11
1999 50 15* 26 0 3 6 Labour majority controlled
1995[20] 51 11* 33 0 3 4 Labour majority controlled

Party with the most elected councillors in bold. Coalition agreements in Notes column

Electoral divisions

Main article: List of electoral wards in Wrexham County Borough

Electoral divisions in Wrexham County Borough
Electoral divisions in Wrexham County Borough

The county borough is divided into forty-nine electoral wards returning fifty-six councillors. There are 35 communities in the county borough, some of which have their own elected council.

Electoral wards for Wrexham County Borough Council
Electoral ward
(2022–)
Welsh name
(if applicable)[21]
No. of
councillors
[21][22]
Communities and community council wards[i][21][22] Councillor elected in May 2022 election[23][24]
Acrefair North Gogledd Acre-fair 1 Cefn (Plas Madoc community ward and Acrefair and Penybryn community ward) Paul Blackwell (Labour)
Acton and Maesydre Gwaunyterfyn a Maes-y-dre 2 Acton (Acton Central, Acton Park and Maesydre community wards) Becca Martin (Plaid Cymru)

Corin Jarvis (Labour)

Bangor Is-y-Coed 1 Bangor Is-y-Coed

Willington Worthenbury (Willington and Worthenbury wards)

Robert Ian Williams (Conservative)
Borras Park Parc Borras 1 Acton (Borras Park ward) Debbie Wallice (Conservative)
Bronington and Hanmer Bronington a Hanmer 1 Bronington (Bronington, Iscoyd and Tybroughton community wards)

Hanmer (Halghton and Hanmer community wards)

Jeremy Alexander Newton (Conservative)
Brymbo 2 Brymbo

(Brymbo ward and Vron ward)

Paul Rogers (Independent)

Gary Brown (Labour)

Bryn Cefn 1 Broughton (Bryn Cefn ward and parts of Brynteg ward) Beverley Parry-Jones (Conservative)
Brynyffynnon 1 Offa (Part of Brynffynon and Offa community wards) Phill Wynn (Independent)
Cartrefle 1 Caia Park (Cartrefle ward) Ronnie Prince (Independent)
Cefn East Dwyrain Cefn 1 Cefn (Parts of Cefn community ward, and Rhosymedre and Cefn Bychan community ward) Derek William Wright (Labour)
Cefn West Gorllewin Cefn 1 Cefn (Part of Acrefair and Penybryn ward, and parts of Rhosymedre and Cefn community wards) Stella Matthews (Labour)
Chirk North Gogledd y Waun 1 Chirk (North ward) Frank Hemmings (Labour)
Chirk South De'r Waun 1 Chirk (South ward) Terry Evans (Independent)
Coedpoeth Coed-poeth 2 Coedpoeth Krista Childs (Labour)

Anthony Wedlake (Labour)

Dyffryn Ceiriog 1 Trevor Raymond Bates (Independent)
Erddig 1 Offa (Erddig ward and part of Offa ward) Paul Anthony Roberts (Conservative)
Esclusham 1 Esclusham (Bersham and Rhostyllen wards) Mark Pritchard (Independent)
Garden Village Pentre Yr Ardd 1 Rhosddu (Garden Village ward) Andy Williams (Independent)
Gresford East and West Dwyrain a Gorllewin Gresffordd 1 Gresford (East and West wards) Jeremy Kent (Conservative)
Grosvenor 1 Rhosddu (Grosvenor ward) Marc Jones (Plaid Cymru)
Gwenfro 1 Broughton (Gwenfro ward and parts of New Broughton and Brynteg community wards) Nigel Williams (Independent)
Gwersyllt East Dwyrain Gwersyllt 1 Gwersyllt (East ward and parts of South ward) Tina Mannering (Independent)
Gwersyllt North Gogledd Gwersyllt 1 Gwersyllt (North ward) Emma Holland (Plaid Cymru)
Gwersyllt South De Gwersyllt 1 Gwersyllt (Part of South ward) Peter Howell (Plaid Cymru)
Gwersyllt West Gorllewin Gwersyllt 1 Gwersyllt (West ward) Annette Davies (Plaid Cymru)
Hermitage 1 Offa (Hermitage ward) Graham Rogers (Labour)
Holt 1 Holt (entire community)

Abenbury (part) Isycoed (part)

Michael Morris (Conservative)
Little Acton Acton Fechan 1 Acton (Little Acton ward) Bill Baldwin (Independent)
Llangollen Rural Llangollen Wledig 1 Llangollen Rural Rondo Roberts (Independent)
Llay Llai 2 Llay Rob Walsh (Independent)

Bryan Apsley (Labour)

Marchwiel [ii] 1 Erbistock

Marchwiel

Sesswick

John Pritchard (Independent)
Marford and Hoseley Marford a Hoseley 1 Gresford (Marford and Hoseley ward) Beryl Blackmore (Liberal Democrats)
Minera Mwynglawdd[iii] 1
  • Minera
  • Brymbo (Bwlchgwyn ward)
Jerry Wellens (Labour)
New Broughton 1 Broughton (Parts of Brynteg and New Broughton community wards) Claire Lovett (Independent)
Offa 1 Offa (Part of Offa community ward and Brynyffynnon community ward) Katie Wilkinson (Plaid Cymru)
Overton and Maelor South Owrtyn a De Maelor 1 Overton

Maelor South (Penley and Bettisfield wards)

John Bernard McCusker (Independent)
Pant and Johnstown Pant a Johnstown 2 Rhosllanerchrugog(Johnstown community ward and Pant community ward) Steve Joe Jones (Independent)

David A Bithell (Independent)

Penycae Pen-y-cae 1 Penycae (Eitha ward) John Conrad Phillips (Independent)
Penycae and Ruabon South Pen-y-cae a De Rhiwabon 1
  • Pen-y-Cae (Groes ward)
  • Ruabon (South ward)
Alison Tynan (Independent)
Ponciau 1 Esclusham ( Pentrebychan ward)

Rhosllanerchrugog (parts of Ponciau North, and Ponciau South wards)

Paul Pemberton (Independent)
Queensway 1 Caia Park (Queensway ward) Carrie Harper (Plaid Cymru)
Rhos 1 Esclusham (Aberoer ward)

Rhosllanerchrugog (Rhos ward; parts of Ponciau North and Ponciau South wards)

Fred Roberts (Independent)
Rhosnesni 2 Acton (Rhosnesni community ward) Mike Davies (Independent)

Andy Gallanders (Plaid Cymru)

Rossett Yr Orsedd 2 Rossett (Allington and Burton wards) Hugh Jones (Conservative)

Ross Edward Shepherd (Conservative)

Ruabon Rhiwabon 1 Ruabon (North ward) Dana Davies (Labour)
Smithfield 1 Caia Park (Part of Smithfield ward and part of Whitegate ward) Paul Williams (Plaid Cymru)
Stansty 1 Rhosddu (Stansty ward) David Bithell (Independent)
Whitegate 1 Caia Park (Part of Whitegate ward and Abenbury ward) Brian Paterson Cameron (Labour)
Wynnstay 1 Caia Park (Wynnstay community ward and parts of Smithfield community ward) Malcolm Christopher King (Labour)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ All wards listed in this column are referring to the community electoral wards for their respective community councils. These wards are within the brackets following the name of the community. Many community wards share names with current and former county borough council electoral wards.
  2. ^ The Welsh name Marchwiail was proposed by the LDBCW to be the name for the ward in both Welsh and English, but rejected by the Welsh Government in July 2021. The ward would be known as Marchwiel in both Welsh and English.
  3. ^ Initially proposed as Y Mwynglawdd by the LDBCW, rejected by the Welsh Government in July 2021 for Mwynglawdd.

References

  1. ^ Bagnall, Steve (5 May 2017). "Local election results: Independents hold onto Wrexham Council". North Wales Daily Post. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  2. ^ Bagnall, Steve (17 May 2017). "Independents and Tories set to run Wrexham council". North Wales Daily Post. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Councillor Paul Rogers leaves Conservative group on Wrexham Council to become unaligned councillor". Wrexham.com.
  4. ^ "Brymbo councillor joins Independents on Wrexham Council after being unaligned for six months". Wrexham.com.
  5. ^ "Cartrefle councillor joins Independent Group at Wrexham Council". Wrexham.com.
  6. ^ "By-election to be held as Gwersyllt North councillor resigns". Wrexham.com.
  7. ^ "Plaid Cymru's Phil Rees wins Gwersyllt North by-election". Wrexham.com.
  8. ^ "Wrexham Councillor resigns". The Leader. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Plaid Cymru's Becca Martin wins Maesydre by-election and is Wrexham's newest councillor". Wrexham.com. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Election results by party, 5 May 2022". moderngov.wrexham.gov.uk. 5 May 2022. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Wrexham Independents merge with Independents to form new mega Independents Group". Wrexham.com. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Questions over whether Wrexham independent group merger is 'marriage of convenience'". The Leader. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  13. ^ ""Change takes courage" as Welsh Labour in talks with new Independent Group". Wrexham.com. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Independents and Conservatives agree deal to run Wrexham Council for next five years". The Leader. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  15. ^ "New mega Independent Group join forces with Conservatives to run Wrexham Council". Wrexham.com. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  16. ^ a b "Coalition deal 'faltered on anti-Semitism, anti-homophobia, anti-racism and anti-sexism' training condition, says labour group leader". Wrexham.com. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  17. ^ ""Independent candidates have taken the public for a ride" say Plaid Cymru". Wrexham.com. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  18. ^ Randall, Liam (11 May 2022). "Wrexham council to be led by Independents and Conservatives". North Wales Live. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Mayoralty | Wrexham County Borough Council". www.wrexham.gov.uk. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Welsh unitary councils". Elections Centre. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  21. ^ a b c "Review of the Electoral Arrangements of the County Borough of Wrexham – Final Recommendations Report" (PDF). ldbc.gov.wales. Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales. November 2020. p. 12. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Electoral arrangements for Wrexham | Wrexham County Borough Council". www.wrexham.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  23. ^ "Wrexham Council Elections 2022". Wrexham.com. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  24. ^ "Election results by wards, 5 May 2022". moderngov.wrexham.gov.uk. 5 May 2022. Retrieved 6 May 2022.