Vote 2012: Labour retake Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil councils
Published: 4th May 2012 03:50:00
Labour have retaken control of Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil councils as they make significant gains in the local elections.
They were among 21 unitary local authorities in Wales being contested.
The party lost control of both councils in 2008, which have since been run by independent-led groups.
Labour were also making strong progress towards retaking Newport, and were hoping to recapture Caerphilly from a Plaid Cymru-led administration.
The Labour AM for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Huw Lewis, said of the party's win in Merthyr: "Labour group leader Brendan Toomey has led the charge in a great grassroots campaign.
"This result is a testament to his leadership and that of hard working candidates across the borough."
In Caerphilly, former Labour Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, now representing Plaid Cymru, lost his seat on Caerphilly council.
The Plaid leader of the council, Allan Pritchard, also lost his seat as Labour looked to take overall control from the Plaid/Independent coalition.
Most councils are expected to declare during the early hours, but others, such as Rhondda Cynon Taf, are not due until the afternoon.
Labour is defending about 340 seats, Plaid Cymru almost 200, the Conservatives 165 and the Liberal Democrats 140. The rest were filled by independents or small parties.
Polls closed at 22:00 BST on Thursday.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Vote 2012: Labour retake Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil councils [Online] (Updated 4th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426422/Vote-2012-Labour-retake-Blaenau-Gwent-and-Merthyr-Tydfil-councils [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com