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Blaenau Gwent (/ˌbln ˈɡwɛnt/; Welsh: [ˈbləɨ.naɨ]) is a county borough in Wales, sharing its name with a parliamentary constituency. It borders the unitary authority areas of Monmouthshire and Torfaen to the east, Caerphilly to the west and Powys to the north. Its main towns are Abertillery, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar. Its highest point is Coity Mountain at 1,896 feet (578 m).

Blaenau Gwent County Borough

Bwrdeistref Sirol Blaenau Gwent
Location of Blaenau Gwent County Borough
Admin HQEbbw Vale
Largest townEbbw Vale
Government
 • TypeArms of Blaenau Gwent Borough Council
Blaenau Gwent Council
http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/
 • ControlLabour
 • MPNick Smith (Welsh Labour)
 • AMAlun Davies (Welsh Labour)
Area
 • Total109 km2 (42 sq mi)
Area rankRanked 22nd
Population
(2017)
 • Total69,600
 • RankRanked 21st
 • Density640/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Density rankRanked 6th
 • Ethnicity
99.1% White
Welsh language
 • RankRanked 21st of 22
 • Any skills13.3%
Geocode00PL (ONS)
W06000019 (GSS)
ISO 3166 codeGB-BGW

Contents

GovernmentEdit

The borough was formed in 1974 as a local government district of Gwent. It was a merger of the Monmouthshire urban districts of Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Nantyglo and Blaina and Tredegar, along with Brynmawr urban district and the parish of Llanelly in Brecknockshire.

It was reconstituted in 1996 as a county borough, and at the same time the area of Llanelly was transferred to the reconstituted Monmouthshire. The area is now governed by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, which is a principal council.

PoliticsEdit

Blaenau Gwent hit the headlines at the 2005 UK General Election when an independent candidate, Peter Law, won the Westminster seat. He had resigned from the Labour Party after an internal party row following the retirement of incumbent MP Llew Smith, and defeated the official Labour candidate, Maggie Jones, by a margin of 9,121 votes. The seat had previously been held by Aneurin Bevan and Michael Foot, and was considered one of Labour's safest. Law died on 25 April 2006 and in the by-election, a former supporter of his, Dai Davies won, running as an independent candidate. Peter Law's widow, Trish Law, won his former Welsh Assembly seat, also running as an independent candidate. In 2007 she retained her seat. Dai Davies held the Westminster seat for the People's Voice from 2006 - 2010 when he lost his seat in a huge majority to Labour's Nick Smith of 10,516 votes. Alun Davies recaptured the seat for Labour at the Assembly elections in 2011 and then Labour won a landslide victory in the 2012 local elections taking 33 seats out of 42. Plaid Cymru nearly won the seat in the 2016 Assembly election, and Labour lost the council in the 2017 local elections.

Other informationEdit

In 2011 Blaenau Gwent had the highest level of severe child poverty in Wales, as revealed in statistical data published in a report by Save the Children.[1]

According to the 2011 Census, 5,284 residents of the county (or 7.8%) can speak Welsh, in comparison with 6,417 speakers (or 9.5%) speakers in 2001.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Save the Children: Severe child poverty Wales highest". BBC News. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  2. ^ Welsh speakers by local authority and broader age groups, 2001 and 2011 census Archived 29 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine.

External linksEdit