Caerphilly is another valley constituency that has suffered badly due to the collapse of the coal mining industry. It has a more mixed social profile than some other Valleys seats, partially due to its proximity to Cardiff. The seat covers the lower half of the Rhymney Valley, and stretches from Bargoed and Nelson in the north, through Caerphilly town itself, and then runs south to cover the rural areas and villages that border on both Cardiff and Newport. There are areas of poverty and deprivation in the seat, and areas of affluence, mainly located around the southern fringes of the seat, some of which have slowly transformed into a commuter belt for Cardiff. Not for nothing are some areas of Caerphilly referred to as “Rhiwbina North”.
Like many South Wales valley seats, after the decline of coal mining the area has had to reinvent itself. The area now boasts of its rich heritage, not least Caerphilly Castle itself, the second largest by area in the UK. The seat also hosts Llancaiach Fawr manor house, and on a more poignant note the site of the old Senghenydd Colliery, where in 1901 and 1913 two underground blasts claimed the lives of 521 men and boys who worked in the mine. The latter explosion killed 440 workers at the mine and is worst mining accident in the UK.
The seat has had a number of prominent and colourful MP’s represent it in Parliament. Ness Edwards was the Postmaster General from 1950-51, Ednyfed Hudson-Davies was elected as a Labour MP in 1979 and then defected to the new SDP in 1981, he in turn was replaced in 1983 by Ron Davies for Labour, who was Welsh Secretary in the 1997 Labour government. Davies resigned as a Cabinet minister in October 1998 after his notorious “moment of madness” on Clapham Common. He then resigned as the MP for Caerphilly in 2001, but stayed on as the area’s Assembly Member until 2003 when he finally resigned after further unsavoury revelations about his private life. Davies joined Plaid Cymru in 2010 and stood against the Labour candidate Jeff Cuthbert in the 2011 Welsh Assembly elections.
At both Westminster and Assembly levels the seat is held comfortably by Labour. The incumbent Labour MP is Wayne David and Jeff Cuthbert holds the Assembly seat for Labour.
2015 General election results
|Newton, Beci||Plaid Cymru||5,895||14.63|
|Ayesh, Aladdin||Liberal Democrat||935||2.32|
Labour Majority 10,073 (25.01%) 8.61 swing Labour to UKIP
Electorate 62,793 Turnout: 40,283 (64.15%)
2011 Assembly election result
|Davies, Ron||Plaid Cymru||7,597||29.71%|
Turnout: 25,570 (41.21%)
|Labour hold||4,924 majority|
2010 General election results
|Whittle, Lindsay||Plaid Cymru||6,460||16.6|
|David, Kay||Liberal Democrat||5,988||15.4|
Electorate 62,134 Turnout: 38,992 (62.75%)
Jeff Cuthbert (Labour) became an Assembly Member in 2003. He became the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty in June 2013 in the reshuffle following Leighton Andrews abrupt departure from the cabinet. He had previously been a Deputy Minister for Skills and in March 2013 was appointed Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology.
In the last Assembly Jeff Chaired the Committee on Standards of Conduct and also sat on the European and External Affairs Committee, the Enterprise and Learning Committee and Public Accounts Committee.
He grew up in South Wales and was educated at University College Cardiff. He has a degree in mining engineering and was President of University College Cardiff Students Union from 1974-1975. He is currently an active member of the Unite trade union. Has been active in Labour politics in Caerffili having served the party in numerous offices including chairman of the Constituency party, he was at one time a member of the left wing Militant organization.
Prior to entering the National Assembly in 2003 Jeff was employed by the Welsh Joint Education Committee as the Head of the Asset to Industry Unit. This unit worked on the development of vocational and industrial qualifications and standards.
Member of Parliament
Wayne David (Labour) has been the MP since 2001. He was a Welsh office Minister from 2008 to 2010. He was appointed on 11 October 2010 by newly elected Labour leader Ed Miliband as his Shadow Europe then his Shadow Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform he is now the leader’s eyes and ears in Westminster as his Parliamentary Private Secretary.
Before entering Westminster he was a member of the European Parliament for South Wales from 1989 to 1999 and was leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party between 1994 qnd 1999 he had previously been the group’s treasure. He stood in the safe Labour constituency of the Rhondda in the first Assembly elections and despite a Labour majority of nearly 25,000 at the 1997 general election, David lost the seat to Plaid Cymru by a margin of over 2,000 votes.
Born and brought up in Bridgend attending the local schools before attending Cardiff University where he read history. He became a history teacher when he left University teaching in Brynteg Comprehensive School, Bridgend.