Gwenda Thomas

Gwenda Thomas (born 22 January 1942 in Neath) is a Welsh Labour politician. Thomas was first elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999 and re-elected in 2003, having almost doubled her majority. She is a fluent Welsh speaker. She is a member of the GMB Union.

Gwenda Thomas
Gwenda Thomas.jpg
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for Neath
In office
6 May 1999 – 6 April 2016
Preceded byNew Assembly
Succeeded byJeremy Miles
Majority6,390 (26.8%)
Personal details
Born (1942-01-22) 22 January 1942 (age 78)
Wales Neath, Wales
Political partyWelsh Labour
Spouse(s)Morgan J. Thomas (1939-2013)
Children1 (Son)
WebsiteGwenda Thomas AM

She was re-elected as Welsh Labour's Assembly Member for Neath on 3 May 2007 for a third 4-year term in office, with a majority reduced from 4,946 to 1,944, and a loss of 398 votes from the 2003 Assembly election. In the 2011 Assembly election, Thomas increased her majority to 6,390.

Responsibilities in the Welsh AssemblyEdit

She was Chair of the assembly's Equality of Opportunity Committee and was appointed in December 2003 by the First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan, to chair a review into safeguarding vulnerable children in Wales. The review's report - Keeping Us Safe - was published on 3 May 2006. She was also a member of the Local Government and Public Services, Voluntary Sector Partnership, South Wales West Regional, and Standards committees in the National Assembly.

In the Third Assembly she was appointed Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services (31 May 2007). She has special responsibility for social services. She retained the position of Deputy Minister for Social Services when the coalition government of Labour and Plaid Cymru was announced on 19 July[when?].

In the Fourth Assembly, she held the position of Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, with her responsibilities amongst others being childcare, child trust funds and parenting programmes.[1]


In the first Assembly (1999-2003), she was Chair of the Local Government and Housing committee.

Mrs Thomas served on West Glamorgan County Council as Chair of the Social Services Committee - the first female councillor to chair such a major committee. She later served in the same position on Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council following local government reorganisation in 1995.

Educated at Pontardawe Grammar School, she worked in the County Courts Division of the Lord Chancellor's Department and at the Benefits Agency as an Executive officer for many years.

Mrs Thomas is a campaigner for carers' rights and a past member of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee. Her interests include health, social services, children's issues, local government and the voluntary sector.

Personal lifeEdit

Thomas was educated at Pontardawe Grammar School, she lives in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen. Thomas was married to her late husband Morgan (1939-2013) for nearly 50 years and they have one son, Geraint and a granddaughter, Charlotte.[2]

On 10 January 2017 she received an honorary doctorate from Swansea University.[3]

External linksEdit

Offices heldEdit

Senedd Cymru
Preceded by
(new post)
Assembly Member for Neath
Succeeded by
Jeremy Miles
Political offices
Preceded by
(new post)
Deputy Minister for Social Services
Succeeded by
Vaughan Gething

(as Deputy Health Minister)


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ JaneHutt AM [@JaneHutt] (10 January 2017). "Congratulations pioneering Social Services Minister @Gwendathomas for honorary doctorate award at Swansea University…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.[better source needed]