Posted: Tue 8th Jun 2021

Harlech to hit the polls for upcoming by-election

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 8th, 2021

Three candidates will fight it out to represent a Gwynedd community in an upcoming by-election.

Residents living in the Harlech/Talsarnau ward on Gwynedd Council will go to the polls on June 24 to elect a new member on the authority following the recent resignation of Freya Bentham.

Cllr Bentham had sat with the independent group, but a Plaid Cymru candidate will be hoping to return the ward to the hands of the ruling group after being represented for several years by Caerwyn Roberts.

Two candidates, meanwhile, are standing as independents, with all three having been approached by the Local Democracy Reporting Service to comment on their vision if elected.

Lisa Birks, Independent
“As a working parent who lives in Talsarnau,  I am passionate about supporting and being a voice and support for our community.
“I am placing community well-being and shared future at the heart of my campaign.
“As an independent candidate, I will represent everyone on an equal basis.
“If elected I will focus on;

Ensuring that essential services remain available and accessibly such as transport, public toilet facilities and libraries
Promoting leisure facilities that we have and assist in creating a range of community events and sporting events. These facilities and events should be accessible and inclusive to provide a connected community .
Making our community a safe one, reducing speed of traffic through our villages.
Supporting and promoting businesses in the area to grow and create long term employment opportunities.
Ensuring that our community has a sufficient supply of sustainable and affordable housing for local residents and our younger generation.”

Martin Hughes, Independent
“I’m delighted to be an Independent candidate for the ward I’ve lived in since coming to be Coleg Harlech’s Finance Director in 2000 (till 2008). I was born in Wales and brought up near Corwen and have learnt Welsh.
“My work as a community council member, an independent member of Snowdonia National Park standards committee and with other organisations has encouraged me to stand.
“I will be a new voice representing the whole of the local community with surgeries to help people.
“We need to safeguard the future of Harlech and Talsarnau by working together to:

Rejuvenate the Harlech Strategic Plan, commissioned by Cyngor Gwynedd but not progressed
Solve Talsarnau traffic problems
Protect affordable homes from becoming holiday homes.
Diversify the local economy to be sustainable with year round jobs for young
Develop the swimming pool saved by local effort from closure by Cyngor Gwynedd”

Gwynfor Owen, Plaid Cymru
The 61 year old professional translator runs his own business, Geiriau Gwyn and is currently the chair of Governors at Ysgol Hafod Lon, Penrhyndeudraeth.
He previously sat as a Gwynedd Councillor for four years before establishing his own translation company.
“Assisting people, communicating with them and discussing topical issues is something that’s been at the core of my representative work over the years,” he said.
“I’m approachable, interested in local issues, and have the connections, experience and know-how to speak to the right people within local government and partner agencies to try and resolve local matters.
“Three things that are important to me within Harlech and Talsarnau are the economic development of the area, educating our youngsters to a high standard and social justice.
“I look forward to discussing these issues with local people in the coming weeks.”

The polls will open on June 24 between 7am and 10pm.

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter

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