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Posted: Tue 10th May 2022

Wrexham Independents merge with Independents to form new mega Independents Group

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Recently elected independents have formally come together to form what will likely be the largest group on Wrexham County Borough Council.

Previously there were two large groups made up of people voted in as ‘independent’ candidates, one called the Independents let by Councillor Mark Pritchard and the Wrexham Independents led by Councillor David A Bithell – the latter standing as a group for the election last week, complete with standardised graphics and a list of ‘key aspirations’.

Last night it was revealed the two groups have joined forces to create what will be the largest group on the council, branded as the “Independent Group”.

Cllr Mark Pritchard will be the Leader of the new Independent Group and Cllr David A Bithell will be the Deputy Leader of the Group.

The group will be the biggest with 21 members, ahead of Labour who returned 14 councillors, Plaid Cymru 9 and the Conservatives also with 9.

Wrexham has 56 councillors under the new enlarged number of seats, meaning agreement among 29 of them to create a body with control is likely needed so the new group will not be able to rule alone without entering an alliance with another group.

The new group noted, “On the 5th May, the public voted for a majority of Independent Councillors totalling 23 for their respective wards. The two groups have now come together as one Independent Group of 21 which is the largest group on Wrexham Council.”

In a joint statement from Cllrs Pritchard and Bithell they said, “We are delighted to form a new Independent Group of 21 which is the largest Independent Group ever formed on Wrexham County Borough Council.”

“There are on-going discussions to form an administration to run the Council for the next 5 years.”

It appears discussions were ongoing over the weekend to form up the new group, and talks between other groups ongoing to discover who will agree to work with who to form up a ruling group.

We are told there is ‘no chance’ that Plaid Cymru would work with a Mark Pritchard led independent group in a coalition, leaving the likely partners either the Conservatives or Labour.

Members of the new super group we have spoken to did not rule out either groups as partners but would not divulge if, or how, talks had taken place.

If David A Bithell had remained independent of the independent group, and kept as the Wrexham Independents he would have only had a group of 7 – meaning his bargaining power – for example to be Deputy Leader of the Council – would have been less than the Conservatives (9).

The move also puts any thoughts of a Labour (14) / Plaid Cymru (9) alliance – a total of 23 – and then wrapping up a deal with David A Bithell’s former group (total 30) to surpass the magic 29 to bed.

We will bring you the developing picture over the coming days over who runs Wrexham Council as it emerges…

 

Top pic: Most of the new mega-group outside the Guildhall last night – large version here.

Below documentary , the now traditional explainer of the Wrexham Independents, The Independent Group, the Independents, the Independent Group – and speculation on how negotiations take place:



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