Communists 'pleased' with local election impact 

'Welsh Communists are pleased with our impact on these local elections', the party's secretary in Wales, Rick Newnham, declared today (May 4).
  'In all eight wards where they stood in Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff and Torfaen, Communist Party candidates raised vital questions about jobs, public services, housing and the environment', he pointed out, 'even though the other parties preferred to focus on litter, dog mess and the alleged misconduct of rival candidates'.
  The Communists' best voting performance came in the large Town ward of Merthyr Tydfil, where local trades union council secretary Tommy Roberts won 9 per cent of the poll, based on the highest individual vote for each party.
  The other Welsh Communist Party candidates in Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenafon in Torfaen all scored above 5 per cent, in two cases finishing ahead of a Liberal Democrat candidate.
  In Cardiff, the four Communists received 2 and 3 per cent of the vote, about the same as in the local elections four years ago. In Adamsdown, Fran Rawlings beat one of the Tory candidates.
  'In the Welsh capital, all the parties were squeezed by the sharp polarisation between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and in most cases the Communist vote was not far behind those for Plaid Cymru, the Greens and the Tories', Mr Newnham explained.
  'The key question now is whether the new ruling Labour group, which includes some campaigning socialists, will put the highest priority on protecting jobs and services, providing more public sector housing and stopping the plans to build a giant polluting incinerator next to working class communities', Mr Newnham insisted.