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Following the death of the late Alun Davies (Plaid), a by-election has been called for Saron ward on 19 July.

Standing for Plaid is Karen Davies, Alun’s widow. Karen is a well-known figure locally and works as a pharmacist. She has been a community councillor in Llandybie since 2012.

As noted in the previous post, Alun was a popular local figure who rose above tribal politics and got along with his political opponents. It was therefore shocking that both Labour and the LibDems contacted County Hall within hours of his death to demand a by-election, showing utter disregard for the feelings of Alun’s family and friends.

Also throwing their hats into the ring are a LibDem, Caryl Tandy, and a Tory hopeful called Aled Crow.

The last LibDem to be elected to the County Council was Ken Rees in Llanelli who subsequently defected to UKIP.

There may be some very elderly readers who remember seeing a Tory being returned to Jail Hill, probably in about 1870, but the Amman Valley, with its memories of what Thatcher did to the local economy, is unlikely to change the party’s fortunes, especially as the Conservatives, with the help of Jeremy Corbyn (a “jobs first Brexit”), are now paving the way for the destruction of what is left of Welsh industry up in the north-east.

That leaves Labour. Readers will recall that the new Labour leader, Rob James, paid a surprise visit to Llandybie Community Council a couple of days after Alun’s death, presumably to familiarise himself with the territory.

Conventional wisdom had it that Labour would field Anthony Jones, the former councillor for Llandybie, but it seems that Anthony was unable to convince the Momentum cadres who now run the party from Llanelli of his ideological purity.

The red rosette has instead been pinned on Tom Fallows who recently went down to a massive defeat in the Iscennen by-election for Ammanford town council, triggered in response to “popular demand” by the Independents. Unfortunately for Tom and the Independents, popular demand did not translate into votes, in Tom’s case despite or possibly because of an extraordinary last minute attempt by Rob and the editor of the SWEP, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star titles to smear senior Plaid figures in the county.

Meanwhile back at Llanelli HQ, Rob is rumoured to be plotting to oust Lee Waters AM when selection time comes round.

The prospect of being asked to choose between Red Rob and Murky Waters is almost enough to make you feel sorry for rank and file Labour members in Llanelli.

Well, almost.