SIX candidates will be standing in the May 6 Llantwit Fardre by-election for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. The by-election for the seat is to take place after former independent councillor Mike Diamond stood down for personal reasons.
The six candidates vying to replace him are Ioan Bellin of Plaid Cymru, Graham Colk of Labour, David Payne of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Tizard-Lee standing as an independent, Sam Trask of the Conservatives and James Williams standing as an independent.
Here is some background about each candidate and why they have chosen to stand.
Ioan Bellin (Plaid Cymru)
Mr Bellin said:
“Plaid Cymru will make politics work again in the post-Covid age, and that starts with making people’s day to day life better at a community level.
“We are putting forward policies in these elections on May 6 that will strengthen our communities by caring for the most vulnerable in our society and protect our children’s future.
“At this election, I’m standing for fairness. I’m disappointed that Conservative councillors including the ward councillor voted against extending free school meals for the most economically disadvantaged children in the county.
“I’m a former journalist for HTV Wales and the BBC, for the last 17 years I have been working for members of the Senedd so I have experience of getting things done for constituents.
“I have lived locally since 2012. I’m pleased to be standing to join the successful Plaid Cymru Pontypridd team on Rhondda Cynon Taf Council including Councillor Heledd Fychan.”
Graham Colk (Labour)
The Labour candidate for the by-election in Llantwit Fardre is Graham Colk who was contacted.
David Payne (Liberal Democrats)
Mr Payne said:
“Liberal Democrats have a strong tradition in this area, which I am proud to have played a part in and I want to continue standing up for causes that matter to local people.
“I have been acutely aware of how our small local businesses have suffered the most this past year, many of which were still recovering from the devastating flooding that hit much of the area back in February 2020.
“As a party, we’re committed to putting recovery first and as such believe that smaller business needs to be put at the forefront of the recovery plan.
“The current government plans seriously overlook the needs of family-owned businesses, which we want to address by calling for a cross-party economic recovery council and supporting self-employed people who have been left out in the cold.”
Nick Tizard-Lee (Independent)
“From 2017 the Conservative and independent councillors formed a group in so far as councillors would discuss issues and agree on a plan before a meeting.
“Being new to local politics I found this very helpful, especially guidance from the then Councillor Mike Diamond whose seat we are now contesting.”
He said the group helped to
Convert the street lighting to LED; install a new gas boiler and central heating into the Parish Hall; move the chamber to encourage public participation, and reduce committees and their cost.
He said committee paperwork adds unnecessary costs.
“A vote for me is a vote to spend your council taxes wisely and sensibly,” he said.
“You can only spend it once, spend it wisely.”