THE Liberal Democrats have retained two seats on Powys County Council after a by-election victory the party says puts it on course to win the Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe constituency at the next general election.

The two newly elected Liberal Democrat councillors for the Crickhowell with Cwmdu and Tretower ward are Claire Hall and Chloe Masefield. Claire currently serves as a town councillor and planning expert while Chloe runs a local high street shop.

The duo defeated the Conservative challengers, who included former Powys County Council leader Rosemarie Harris.

The results of the election were 698 and 658 for the two Lib Dem candidates respectively while the Conservatives, Ms Harris and David Lloyd Thomas, finished on 292 and 275 - fewer than they achieved in the full council election in 2022.


The Lib Dems said the result was an "ominous sign" for the Conservatives.

“This spectacular double by-election win shows that despite the Conservatives throwing the kitchen sink into trying to win these seats, the public is fed up with their chaos and mismanagement,” said Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate David Chadwick.

“People are ready to boot them out at the next general election, with the Liberal Democrats on track to win the Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe seat from them.”

The election follows the resignation of former Lib Dem councillors – husband and wife team Matt and Sarah-Jane Beecham - which eroded the Lib Dem/Labour coalition's control of the council chamber.

They stepped down in September, leaving the party after a decision by the Lib Dem/Labour cabinet to close Llanbedr Church in Wales Primary School.

The couple, who had been elected to the ward in May 2022 as Lib Dems, had campaigned to keep it open.

For several months they represented the ward as non-aligned councillors, but resigned after moving to live in Pembrokeshire over the summer.

New Lib Dem councillors Chloe and Claire said in a joint statement: “We want to thank everyone who placed their trust in us during this election.

“We are looking forward to getting to work and serving our local community.”

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Mr Chadwick added: “Our councillors are hard at work trying to repair the damage caused by the previous Conservative and independent administration.

“It is encouraging to see that recognised in these results. Claire and Chloe are fantastic local champions. I know they will go on to serve their communities with aplomb.”

The other candidates included Zoe Allen (Labour) and Sam Games and David Markinson (both Independent).

There is another Powys by-election coming up this month in Talybont-on-Usk.