Tuesday, 29 January 2013

By-Election Preview: 31 January 2013

There are two by-elections on Thursday 31st January to round off the month.  One is in the West Midlands and will be dealt with on the English Elections blog; the other is in a safe Labour ward just north of Bridgend.

Bridgend County Borough Council, Glamorgan; caused by the death of Labour councillor Pat Penpraze at the age of 69.  Cllr Penpraze had worked as a psychiatric nurse and Unison shop steward, and was first elected to Bridgend council in 2008 after serving for several years on St Brides Minor community council.

A4061 looking north in Bryncoch
  © Copyright Colin Pyle and licensed for reuse
under this 
Creative Commons Licence.
This is one of those tiny wards that Wales specialises in.  Bryncoch ward is effectively the eastern half of the larger village of Sarn, described as a large housing estate just north of the M4 motorway.  The village's largest employer these days is probably the McArthur Glen designer outlet on the other side of the motorway, a shopping centre specialising in designer brands at discount prices, together with the Sarn Park motorway service area.  Sarn, together with Bryncethin to the north-east, forms the St Brides Minor community.

As stated, Pat Penpraze was first elected to the ward in 2008 after trying unsuccessfully in 2004, losing out by 101 votes to independent councillor Les Phillips; she got her own back in 2008, defeating Phillips by a similar margin thanks to a split in the independent vote.  In 2012 Penpraze faced only token opposition from the Lib Dems and won by almost three to one.

For the by-election Labour have selected Janice Lewis, who is another of the St Brides Minor community councillors for this ward.  Anita Davies is having a go for the Liberal Democrats; she is a Pendre community councillor and was runner-up in last year's county borough election in Pendre ward.  Tim Thomas, who fought Morfa ward in 2012, has been nominated for Plaid Cymru, while two independent candidates are standing, Shawn Cullen and Michael Quick (who stood last year in Brackla ward).

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Ogmore
Assembly electoral region: South Wales West
ONS Travel to Work Area: Bridgend

Shawn Cullen (Ind)
Anita Davies (LD) (anitadavies.co.uk)
Janice Lewis (Lab)
Michael Quick (Ind)
Tim Thomas (PC) (@TimThomasPlaid)

May 2012 result Lab 313 LD 109
May 2008 result Lab 258 Ind 151/123
June 2004 result Ind 278 Lab 177 LD 78