The regional returning officers for this year’s Senedd Elections have been announced by Welsh Government.
Michelle Morris, managing director at Blaenau Gwent Council, will serve as the returning officer for the South Wales East region – which includes the constituencies of Caerphilly, Islwyn and Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.
Which constituency do I live in?
Caerphilly constituency: Abertridwr, Bargoed, Bedwas, Caerphilly, Cefn Hengoed, Draethen, Gelligaer, Gilfach, Glan y Nant, Graig y Rhacca, Hengoed, Llanbradach, Machen, Nelson, Penallta, Penpedairheol, Penybryn, Rudry, Senghenydd, Tir y Berth, Trethomas and Ystrad Mynach.
Islwyn: Aberbargoed, Abercarn, Argoed, Bedwellty, Blackwood, Cefn Fforest, Croespenmaen, Crosskeys, Crumlin, Cwmcarn, Cwmfelinfach, Fleur de Lis, Maesycwmmer, Markham, Newbridge, Oakdale, Pengam, Pontllanfraith, Pontymister, Pontywaun, Risca, Trinant, Wattsville, Wyllie and Ynysddu.
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney: Abertysswg, Brithdir, Deri, Elliot’s Town, Fochriw, Llechryd, New Tredegar, Phillip’s Town, Pontlottyn, Princetown, Rhymney and Tirphil, as well as the entirety of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough.
The announcement was made by Welsh Government minister Julie James on Thursday (January 7).
Ms Morris was the returning officer during the 2019 General Election.
What does the returning officer do?
As the returning officer, Ms Morris has overall management of the election and is responsible for coordinating arrangements for the regional poll in South Wales East. She will collect the nominations for the Senedd elections and will announce the results.
Wales is broken into 40 constituencies, each electing one Senedd Member. However, an additonal 20 Senedd Members are elected using a proportional representation system.
Wales is divided into five regions. Caerphilly, Islwyn and Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney are in the South Wales East region.
Each region is represented by four regional Senedd Members.
South Wales East is represented by Plaid Cymru’s Delyth Jewell, Conservative Laura Anne Jones, Mark Reckless of the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, and David Rowlands of the Reform Party (previously known as the Brexit Party).
Housing and Local Government minister Ms James said: “These elections will be particularly challenging as they are combined with the Police and Crime Commissioner elections but, more importantly, they will be the first Senedd elections for the newly enfranchised group of young people and qualifying foreign nationals.
“There is also the additional challenge of ensuring the election can be run safely in light of the ongoing pandemic. This is a significant personal commitment for those who have agreed to take on this role and I am grateful we will have the benefit of their knowledge and experience.”
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