The local elections took place across Conwy on May 5 as members of the public voted for councillors to represent their respective wards on Conwy County Borough Council.

The count took place at Llandudno’s Venue Cymru yesterday (May 6), in which 151 candidates from the Wales Green Party, Plaid Cymru, Welsh Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Welsh Conservative Party, along with independent candidates, battled it out for the 55 ward seats in the county.

As well as being key for county-specific policies and spending, local elections are often a reflection of public sentiment at the time.

Independent candidates in Conwy increased the county’s non-affiliated presence from 18 seats in 2017 to 22 this year.

Among the independent advances was the Kinmel Bay ward, in which the Conservatives’ sole seat, held by Geoffrey David Corry, was lost to independent Kay Louise Redhead, who joined the re-elected father-and-son duo Nigel and Michael Smith (both independent).

North Wales Pioneer: Father-and-son Nigel and Michael Smith and Kay Louise Redhead secured the Kinmel Bay ward.Father-and-son Nigel and Michael Smith and Kay Louise Redhead secured the Kinmel Bay ward.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Ms Redhead.

“I’m a council estate girl, this is my first election. I’ve worked so hard these last five years in the community [Mayor of the Town Council for the last 12 months], and I’ve loved doing it.

“There has been a big shift, as that’s why I decided to stand as independent, because of what is going on with political parties at the moment.

“There hasn’t been a female county councillor for Kinmel Bay for quite some time, so I’m really proud to take that role.”

Independent further consolidated the Penrhyn ward, while making gains in the Llysfaen and Tywyn/Towyn wards.

North Wales Pioneer: Aaron Wynne and Nia Clwyd Owen (both Plaid Cymru) secured the new Llanrwst a Llanddoged ward.Aaron Wynne and Nia Clwyd Owen (both Plaid Cymru) secured the new Llanrwst a Llanddoged ward.

The Welsh Conservatives saw the biggest change in the election, losing siX seats in Conwy in what could be seen as the fallout from the party leadership’s conduct, in the aftermath of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fine for breaking lockdown rules, as well as that of other party members.

The Conservative presence on Conwy County Borough Council was nearly halved, falling from 16 seats to just 10.

The party lost the aforementioned Llysfaen ward, their seat on the multi-ward Rhiw, a seat in Gele and Llanddulas, Tywyn/Towyn ward, and a seat on the highly contested Llandrillo-yn-Rhos four-seat ward.

There was some promise for the party, with representative Jacob Samuel Williams narrowly defeating Labour’s Andrew Hinchliff by just seven votes (230 to 223) as the Conservatives took the Bryn ward for the first time in 30 years.

North Wales Pioneer: Abdul Khan (Plaid Cymru) held onto his seat in Glyn ward.Abdul Khan (Plaid Cymru) held onto his seat in Glyn ward.

Welsh Labour capitalised on the apparent lack of Conservative trust, gaining four seats to become the most popular party in Conwy county, rising from 7 to 11 councillors.

Retaining control of Mochdre and Pandy, they made gains on the sought after Llandrillo-yn-Rhos ward, winning two seats, and the Gogarth Mostyn ward, where they removed a Conservative hold, with Mandy Hawkins securing 924 votes.

Plaid Cymru, despite winning the new multi-ward of Llanrwst a Llanddoged, lost three seats, while the Liberal Democrats kept four seats on the Council, consolidating the three-seat Rhiw ward with incumbent Simon Croft joining the re-elected Trevor Stott and John Roberts.

The Wales Green Party won their first seat in Conwy county, with Ros Griffiths-Williams winning a seat on Gele and Llanddulas ward.