ON MAY 5, residents will get the chance to decide who runs Caerphilly County Borough Council.

There are a total of 69 seats across 31 wards.

Elected councillors form political groups on the council and the group with the largest number has control over the authority. This is usually done along party lines, although independent councillors without a party can also form their own group.

Here we take a look at the independent candidates.

Twenty-two independent candidates are standing in Caerphilly’s council elections on May 5.

Independents are not affiliated with a party and therefore have their own goals and aspirations for their ward.

Currently there are six independent councillors on Caerphilly County Borough Council, some of which formed an Independents group led by Kevin Etheridge.

Mr Etheridge represents Blackwood and is campaigning for re-election.

Being part of a group or party allows councillors to sit on scrutiny committees, something independent candidates alone cannot do.

Although Mr Etheridge is the current leader of the Independents Group, he said this could change following the election.

If Independent candidates are successful in the election, it will be up to them to decide whether to form a group and elect a leader.

Mr Etheridge described the candidates standing this year as “independently minded” people who are looking for “openness and transparency”.

He added: “If there’s a major issue they will be consulting the community and voting for what is best for residents, not voting along party lines – there is no whip.”

Where are the independent candidates standing?

Aberbargoed and Bargoed: Three seats.

  • Belinda Gingell
  • Rob Puddefoot

Argoed: One seat.

  • Iestyn James

Blackwood: Three seats.

  • Nigel Stuart Dix
  • Kevin Etheridge
  • Andrew-Farina Childs

Cefn Fforest and Pengam: Three seats.

  • George Edwards
  • Gerwyn James
  • Louise Phillips

Darran Valley: One seat.

  • Gavin Hughes

Nelson: Two seats.

  • Brett Jenkins
  • Rod Powell

New Tredegar: Two seats.

  • Tracey Gifford
  • Faebian Vann

Pontllanfraith: Three seats.

  • Laura Jane Richards
  • James Freeman Wells
  • Roy Williams

Risca West: Two seats.

  • Rob Derraven
  • Bob Owen

Twyn Carno: One seat.

  • Peter Bailie

Ynysddu: Two seats.

  • Jan Jones
  • Janine Reed

This is part of a series of articles profiling parties standing in Gwent's council areas in next month's elections.

  • To view all the candidates in Caerphilly in next month's election click here.