WREXHAM Council has confirmed a date for the Smithfield ward by-election.
It has been called after Plaid Cymru Cllr Paul Williams stepped down earlier this week for health reasons, eight months after winning the seat in last year’s local elections.
Smithfield residents are set to go to the polls on Thursday, February 23 should the seat be contested.
Plaid Cymru has already named its candidate aiming to retain the seat, ward resident Jon Jolley, with other candidates expected to contest the seat having until 4pm on Friday, January 27 for nomination papers to be delivered to the Returning Officer at the Guildhall.
Smithfield has proved to be somewhat of a swing seat in recent elections.
It was held for nearly 10 years by Plaid Cymru’s Keith Gregory before he stepped down ahead of the 2017 election.
Welsh Labour’s Adrienne Jeorrett won the seat in 2017 after a contest in which Cllr Williams was also a candidate, but she also stood down ahead of last year’s election which saw Cllr Williams wrestle the seat back for Plaid with 41 per cent of the vote.
He achieved seven per cent more votes than the runner-up in the ward, Labour’s Patricia Williams, in a contest in which there was a 25 per cent turn-out.
The 2022 election saw Plaid Cymru triple its number of representatives at the Guildhall to nine, now reduced to eight as a result of the Smithfield seat being vacated.
Grosvenor Cllr Marc Jones, leader of the Plaid group in Wrexham, has confirmed he will take on the concerns of Smithfield constituents in the meantime until a new councillor for the ward is elected next month.
He said: “I’m sorry to hear that Paul is standing down and wish him well for the future.
“There will be a by-election in Smithfield to elect Paul’s successor and, until then, any local constituent can raise concerns with me as his group leader by contacting [email protected] or on 07747 792441.”