By-Election in Ebbw Vale South Ward Draws Three Candidates
ON THURSDAY, February 8, voters in part of Ebbw Vale will go to the polls.
A by-election for a seat in the Ebbw Vale South ward will be contested by three candidates – Jonathan Millard, Jonathan Powell, and Amy Smith.
The by-election is needed following the resignation in November of Labour councillor for the ward and the council’s cost of living champion, Carl Bainton.
Mr Bainton’s resignation was due to a clash between his work and role as a councillor.
He had been originally elected in May 2022 as an Independent but within days defected to join the Labour group.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service has asked all three candidates ahead of the election – what could they do to improve the council and things for Ebbw Vale south residents.
Independent candidate Jonathan Millard said: “I am standing as a true independent voice for the residents of Ebbw Vale South.
“The people of Ebbw Vale still feel angered by the last local elections where an elected independent councillor changed allegiance to Labour the day after the election.
“Residents started a petition, saying they felt horrified and betrayed by the actions of the councillor and the Labour Party.
“This coupled with a second Labour councillor who doesn’t live in the ward, makes the people feel they are not listened to or have someone who represents them in the council.
“The people deserve better than that, they deserve a person who will stand up and challenge and scrutinise the establishment.
“Someone with experience in local government and the issues of the area, who can hit the ground running rather than starting from scratch.
“Someone who lives in the ward, amongst the people, living and breathing it every day, being close to the action and with an ear to the ground who will listen and is approachable.
“I felt it was my duty to stand again to restore faith to the people that they are not just taken for granted, to be a true and independent voice of the people in Ebbw Vale South.
Green Party candidate, Jonathan Powell said: “I will be going in untarnished by any small infighting or disputes that are taking place.
“My business is based on a unit down at the innovation centre on Festival Drive and I have been living in Ebbw Vale for 15 years.
“I would bring a breath of fresh air to the council and a different perspective to things.”
He added he would “listen, understand, and gain first hand insight” to the problems in the area and what needs to be addressed.
Mr Powell said: “On the budget we have to look at all the options which would include asking the Welsh Government for more money.
“I would be very loathe to see any further cuts to local services, that’s not the way.”
On the council’s move towards Carbon Zero by 2030 Mr Powell said that a Green Party councillor would make “a hell of a difference” as a push would become a “shove.”
Mr Powell said: “I intend to be a thorn in the side to make sure that the connection we have between ourselves, nature and habitat is solidified and not just brushed aside as a weak policy to be ignored in the face of hardcore economics.
“I will be really pushing for it to make sure it’s not just box ticking.”
Labour candidate Amy Smith said: “I’m excited to be Labour’s candidate for the Ebbw Vale South ward.
“As a lifelong local with years of experience in our local government, I’m ready to bring fresh ideas to our community.
“I’ve spent 15 years understanding our community’s needs through various roles in local government and the NHS.”
“My volunteer work as a school Governor and with the PTFA (Parents, Teachers and Friends Association) has given me insight into the challenges our schools and families face.
“In our rapidly changing world, it’s crucial that Ebbw Vale South adapts and thrives.
“I aim to champion initiatives that boost our local economy, protect our environment, and enhance the quality of life for all residents.
“I believe in a future where our community not only meets its challenges but also sets an example for others to follow.
“My focus is on sustainable development, improving local services, and ensuring our community’s voice is heard.
“I promise to be an approachable and transparent Labour representative, and I seek your trust and vote to be the fresh, new voice for Ebbw Vale South.
“Working with a new (UK) Labour Government we can transform our community into a beacon of positive change and innovation.”
Mrs Smith added that she would work alongside Ebbw Vale South’s other councillor, Cllr Sue Edmunds to foster a “supportive and inclusive community.”
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