LABOUR held control of Torfaen County Borough Council in Thursday’s local government election, losing just one of its 30 seats.

Although the number of seats the party has on the council was cut to 29, it retained an overall majority with independents winning 11 seats, up on three.

While the Welsh Conservatives successfully won all seats the New Inn ward and Llanyrafon East and Ponthir ward they failed to make any gains, with four seats on the council.

Conservative Huw Bevan was re-elected to serve Llanyrafon East and Ponthir over Labour candidate Trevor Neatherway.

Plaid Cymru – which entered five candidates into the election – lost both of their seats to Labour candidates in the St Cadocs/Penygarn and Fairwater wards.

UKIP, the Green Party and the British Communist Party also fielded candidates in the election but failed to win any seats.

In Blaenavon, independent Stuart Evans and Labour’s Alan Jones were re-elected alongside new independent candidate Janet Jones.

Pontypool’s single seat was also won by Labour’s Gaynor James with 218 votes, beating independent councillor Mike Harris with 164 votes.

Former Plaid Cymru councillor, Fiona Cross, was elected to the Coed Eva ward under Welsh Labour while independent Llantarnam councillor, Maria Graham, lost her seat to Labour.

Torfaen CBC’s cabinet member for communities and anti-poverty and former Llantarnam Labour councillor, Dave Daniels, was re-elected in Pontnewydd ward.

The chairman of Pontypool Community Council, Jon Horler, also won a single county council seat in the Pontnewynydd ward.

However, some new independent candidates also made gains in Labour areas.

This included Louise Shepphard who won a Trevethin seat over Torfaen CBC’s cabinet member for regeneration, Lewis Jones, and Gwyn Jenkins who took Snatchwood from Labour’s Barry Taylor.

The hotly-contested Upper Cwmbran ward – which saw nine candidates take to the polls – resulted in Kathy Evans and Steven Evans, Labour, and independent Robert Kemp being elected.

Speaking after the result, leader of the council’s Labour group, Anthony Hunt, who was also re-elected as a ward member for Panteg, said “this is just the start”.

“We need to now focus on delivery for the next five years delivering on people’s priorities for their areas,” he said.

“It’s been a great pleasure to stand, to talk to many people in the public and see what their priorities are”.

Mr Hunt – who is also the youngest council leader in Wales – added he wanted to “take that forward with a fantastic group of candidates and with a real balance of experiences and fresh faces”.

“I really think we can build a positive council trying to deliver on peoples’ priorities,” he added.

Turnout was not available at the time of the count.