PENARTH will go to the polls next week, when the Cardiff South and Penarth parliamentary by-election takes place on Thursday (November 15).

Eight candidates will be on the ballot paper, following the resignation of former Labour MP Alun Michael who is standing in the election for South Wales's first Police and Crime Commissioner - being held on the same day.

Mr Michael represented the constituency - populated by more than 98,000 people - for the last 25 years.

The candidates hoping to replace him in Westminster are: Stephen Doughty (Labour); Robert Griffiths (Communist); Andrew Jordan (Socialist Labour); Bablin Molik (Liberal Democrat); Luke Nicholas (Plaid Cymru); Anthony Slaughter (Green); Craig Williams (Conservative); Simon Zeigler (UKIP).

Voting for both the parliamentary and PCC elections is open between 7am and 10pm at polling stations across Penarth (as per the details on your polling card).

For more information contact electoral services at the Vale of Glamorgan Council on 01446 709748 or at Cardiff Council on 029 2087 2087.


CANDIDATE PROFILES (alphabetical order)

* Stephen Doughty - Labour

OXFAM Cymru head Stephen Doughty is the Labour candidate.

Born in Cardiff and brought up in Llantwit Major, with family links to Penarth, he said Cardiff and the Vale is 'very much his home'.

“I have local knowledge, and have become steeped in the issues people are bringing up on the doorsteps of Penarth - be it the seafront, jobs, parking in the town centre, or the Local Development Plan," said Mr Doughty.

“I have a record as a campaigner who gets things done and that is what I will pledge to do for the people of Penarth."

The 32-year-old held head posts for various departments of Oxfam International, before taking the Oxfam Cymru position last year, and has been involved in politics since the age of 15.

"If elected, expect it to be a team approach towards issues and concerns between myself, AM Vaughan Gething, and the newly-elected Vale Council Labour administration,” he added.


* Rob Griffiths - Communist

STANDING as the Communist Party candidate in next week’s by-election is Splott resident Rob Griffiths.

Brought up in Llanrumney, Mr Griffiths, 60, has a long record of local campaigning.

The full-time general secretary of the Communist Party said he was the 'only candidate campaigning for gas, electricity and the railways to be taken back into public ownership'.

“Why are we slashing public services, benefits and pensions by £213 billion over five years, when six times that amount can be pledged to subsidise the spivs, crooks and gamblers in the City of London?” he added.

“I say, tax the super-rich and big business, instead of attacking the unemployed and single parents.

“Britain is ruled by a wealthy, arrogant and corrupt elite.

“Don't vote for me if you want another greedy careerist at Westminster.”


* Andrew Jordan - Socialist Labour

THE Cardiff South and Penarth Parliamentary seat will also be contested by Andrew Jordan, of the Socialist Labour Party.

Mr Jordan, 24, said he offered an 'alternative to the four main parties in Wales'.

“There is an alternative in this election,” he said.

“I do not accept that 'the cuts' are justified.

“It cannot be right to say that we must cut pay, jobs, services, disability living allowance and pensions whilst at the same time successive Westminster governments have allowed £120 billion to go unpaid each and every year through tax avoidance and tax evasion, as practised by big business and extremely wealthy individuals.”

If elected, he pledged to put local people first.

“You only need look at our local communities, our school funding, our local healthcare practices to see the effect that allowing this to situation to develop, and continue, is having here,” he added.


* Bablin Molik - Liberal Democrat

RESEARCHER and mother-of-two Dr Bablin Molik is standing for the Liberal Democrats.

She lives with her husband and two children in Splott and plays an active part in her community, having established a Saturday school among other schemes.

She said the by-election was a chance to 'send a message to Labour that the people of Penarth want an MP who will work for them, not their political party'.

“I’m standing for parliament because I want to bring jobs to the constituency,” she said.

“The lack of jobs is a huge concern on the doorstep. I’ve seen how the Liberal Democrat apprenticeship scheme is offering skills and training for many young people, and I want to be in Westminster helping direct jobs to this area.

“The Liberal Democrat record of delivering more jobs, more money for education, more investment in our transport system and a fairer tax system is one I am proud of, and one I hope to continue delivering if elected."