The people of Wrexham have elected councillors for the next five years, our coverage of how the count day evolved is below.
We switched Wrexham.com to a dedicated results and coverage site for the day, as viewable on https://www.wrexham.com/election2022/homepage.php, a copy of the output is below.
3:30PM As we bring the live election coverage to a close here is a run down of what just happened…
“No party gained an overall majority in the local election as independents still held the most seats with 23. However, both Labour and Plaid Cymru, who were in opposition during the last administration, made inroads, with the former gaining three seats and the latter four.
It takes their total number of councillors to 14 and nine respectively, with the Conservatives also winning nine seats, an increase of one, and the Liberal Democrats standing still on one.
It leaves question marks over who will rule Wrexham Council for the next five years. Power previously lay with a coalition of two independent groups run by incumbent council leader Mark Pritchard and deputy leader David A Bithell, alongside the Conservatives.
But before polling day on Thursday there were rumours of friction between the two independent groups, meaning a new alliance could be in the offing.
Cllr Pritchard, who was re-elected in Esclusham after his seat was uncontested, has said talks would be held over the next few days over the future composition of the council. Meanwhile, Labour group leader Dana Davies, who had a tight result in Ruabon after winning by just four votes, also said she would be open to discussions with other groups.
Several changes were made to ward boundaries in the area ahead of the election following a review by the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission. It saw the overall number of councillors in Wrexham increase from 52 to 56 and the number of wards from 47 to 49.
One of the shocks of the day saw Liberal Democrat Alun Jenkins lose his seat in Offa by just six votes after holding it for more than 50 years. He was defeated by Plaid Cymru’s Katie Wilkinson who gained 212 votes compared to his 206.
Independent executive board members Sonia Benbow-Jones, lead member for children’s services and David Griffiths, lead member for housing, were also beaten. Mr Griffiths, who has been a councillor for the last 23 years, was defeated by 37 votes by independent Tina Mannering. Before the boundary changes, the two had represented different wards in Gwersyllt.
Ms Benbow-Jones lost by just six votes in Cefn West to Labour’s Stella Matthews, who is the mother of Labour leader Dana Davies. ”
3:15PM Just checking the figures – we think it is Labour 14 and with all the independents in one, they are on 23.
Plaid Cymru 9
Liberal Democrats 1
3PM A huge thanks to Rich and the team at Knew Productions, along with Marcin at Red Iris Videography for helping out local democracy coverage, with camera gear and expertise! Likewise, Wrexham Glyndwr University for internet connectivity, and of course Wrexham Council who facilitated the whole count. We are now polishing a quick summary and packing up from the count – otherwise we will be in danger of covering the community council count that is due to start in ten minutes…!
2:55PM No turnout or overall figures on voter registration yet, we will add them in later as / if and when they appear.
2:48PM It appears it was Ruabon being recounted possibly 3-4 times at the end there.
2:24PM Some new councillors floating around outside and some old ones, some group leaders as well. Word is talks will now take place over the coming days to see who offers whom what to form up an administration. Who has the biggest group? Who wants what job? Who gets to chair Scrutiny committees?
…and perhaps most important, who can work with who?
A run down of the overall figures:
Labour 15 Labour 14
Plaid Cymru 9
Liberal Democrats 1
Non stated 1
2PM The sports hall goes quiet…
The community council count will take place from 3pm – but the main event is complete, and Wrexham has a new council, just how it will shape up is yet to be known as there is no overall control. pic.twitter.com/JQVvnX8KIl
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) May 6, 2022
1:52PM That wraps up the County Council count!
1:50PM David A Bithell hangs on to his seat by 15 votes in Johnstown in what was a tight race.
1:47PM Just three more wards to go!
So far our tally has 14 Independents, one lib dem, nine Plaid Cymru, nine conservatives, 13 Labour, one non-alligned and five Wrexham independents.
1:40PM Just inputted the data for that load of results. Looks like the Johnstown huddle has just taken place, so could see a result there soon. If you see winning candidates exiting sharply, they are going to get a picture taken and get given a welcome pack!
1:28PM COUNT COMPLETE – apart from the one ward recounting….
1:25PM Possible recount on one ward underway – or some ballots being reinspected
1:23pm Count still going on in Johnstown. No sign of one of the incumbents, David A Bithell.
1:20 PM ….and there was the flurry of results. Wrexham council stalwart for decades Alun Jenkins loses his seat by 6 votes.
1:03pm Looks as though Johnstown is the only ward still counting.
Results seem to be coming in a flurry after a few minutes break..
12:44PM Big batch of results in Mr Bancroft’s hands.
12:40PM Thought there was a sniff of a recount in Cefn West, two animated candidates talking to the returning officer.
12:28pm: Here’s how the results are looking so far.
Two new Plaid Cymru Councillors elected – Emma Holland for Gwersyllt North and Pete Howell for Gwersyllt South. Conservative Beverley Parry Jones Holds Bryn Cefn for the Conservatives.
Phil Wynn and Frank Hemmings both re-elected. Fred Roberts elected for the new Rhos ward as an independent
12:11PM Only four wards still counting.
12:05 PM It looks like the only wards counting now are the dual member ones – so could be wrapped up by 1pm possibly with a pile of results this hour.
11:59am: Three more votes in – Carrie Harper (Plaid) HOLDS Queensway, Graham Rogers (LAB) holds Hermitage and Paul Williams (Plaid) Regains Smithfield for Plaid from Labour
11:47am: Flurry of votes through, all incumbents holding their seats in those four announcements. Paul Blackwell, Marc Jones, Jeremy Kent and Brian Cameron all re-elected
11:40AM We have had a huddle for Grosvenor and now Gresford East. Results soon on those – the latter being a head to head Jeremy Kent (Cons) v Aimi Waters (Plaid Cymru).
11:32AM The Returning Officer Ian Bancroft is walking around with lots of papers going to some candidate groups – looks like things are picking up in terms of confirming results and possible further announcements shortly. Huddles of candidates some looking happier than others.
11:24AM: The first two results are in. Labour HOLD Wynnstay and Cefn East. Malcolm King and Derek Wright both re-elected.
11:15AM You might see some tables with big white sheets, they are being used in wards where there are two councillors being elected. People there have had two votes to use, so it makes things a little more complicated for the count. There does certainly seem to be inactivity on more tables, perhaps we are waiting for a fifth before the first declaration…
11:03AM Looks like we could have a result soon, Wynnstay candidates being gathered…
10:56am For those who are just joining us, welcome to the Wrexham Council count 2022!
Results will be announced in groups of five and this time, due to covid, there will be no candidates going up to the stage.
Once the winners are announced they’ll be taken for the photos taken and given election packs.
Interesting counting method going on for the dual councillor wards which you should be able to see on our livestream.
10:43am: It looks as though the counting on some tables has begun. Still no indication when results will start being announced.
10:40AM Lots of clear tables as the verification process draws to an end.
10:21: Neighbouring Flintshire has started to announce votes. Still at the verification process here in Wrexham.
For coverage of Flintshire elections check out our sister site, Deeside.com
10:08am Apologies for the dodgy stream today – connection issues meaning the feed is buffering a fair bit.
10am: Voting and verification is now underway.
Clwyd South side of the hall, a few tables still waiting to be given votes to verify and count pic.twitter.com/hLldnVZrE2
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) May 6, 2022
9:40am: And we’re off! The counting and verification is about to get underway
Returning Officer Ian Bancroft is just outlining how the count will take place. County council first and then the community councils will begin at 3pm
There will be about five election announcements in one go, so they’re going to come through thick and fast today.
9:36am: Returning Officer Ian Bancroft has just announced the count will begin in five minutes time
Current council leader Mark Pritchard – who is also unopposed – has just arrived pic.twitter.com/ddim6bSYB2
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) May 6, 2022
9:30am: We finally have audio on the election feed. For those watching the tables nearest the camera are the votes for Wrexham wards and the ones at the other end are Clwyd South:
9:26am: The counting room is starting to fill up, so far everyone seems in good spirits.
It’s a bit odd seeing some of these councillors in person for the first time in two years after all meetings were held remote since the start of the pandemic.
9:06am: The first of the candidates have started being left into the main count hall.
Our live video coverage of the count has also started for all those who enjoy watching our live feed.
8:49am: We are live from the count! Another day time count so hopefully no one was sat waiting at 10pm last night for the results to start coming through.
Candidates are starting to arrive but they’re being kept outside until 9am, when the verification and voting will take place.
Good morning Wrexham!
We have switched the site over to our live election coverage for today’s count. Ballot boxes arrived at Glyndwr University sports hall from just after 10pm last night – video below – and have been securely held overnight.
Today will see the verification process start some point shortly after 9am of ballots made yesterday and postal votes, and then a count will take place for each ward.
There is no firm timetable due to the nature of counts, but we guess this could take all of this morning and into the early afternoon to complete for every ward in Wrexham.
A day time count means there is no wait for boxes to turn up and so we think we could see the first ward result as early as just before 10am.
This page should auto update, and hopefully the video feed will appear as the count process begins.
First ballot box arrived at Glyndwr University – run in by Dylan – count is tomorrow morning from 9ish! They are being held securely overnight 👍 pic.twitter.com/INhiZyrJnF
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) May 5, 2022