A husband and wife have both been elected in one city in the 2022 Wales local election. Tim Harvey, 58, and Debbie Harvey, 57, have been married 37 years and were both elected in the Alway ward in Newport on Friday, May 6 on a day which saw Labor increase their majority in the city to 35. Tories saw their number of seats almost halved in the city, while Newport also elected its first Green Party councilor. Read the full results from Newport here.
Mr Harvey was a first-time candidate and said the feedback had been “great” while knocking on doors with his wife over the past few weeks. “The amount of steps we’ve covered has been incredible,” he said. “I’ve been involved in Labor for a while but this was my first time running.
“I’m from Alway and have always lived here, so it’s great to represent the area. I already know what it is like – when you are married to a councilor, you hear about everything anyway! It does give me a foot up and it will help a lot.”
See the full results from around Wales here – and follow live updates and reaction on our dedicated blog.
Ms Harvey, who has represented Alway since 2012 and was running for the third time in the ward, said there was an understanding between the pair given her role as councillor.
“He is there when I’m fielding calls at half past midnight sometimes, so he knows what it is like already,” she said. “We are so close-knit here in Alway and it will be great to be able to work alongside each other.”
With a turnout of just 26.5% in Alway on Thursday – one of the lowest in the city – the pair added that they hoped to get more people out to vote in the coming years.
“It’s a generational thing, it really is,” Mr Harvey said. “People who come out to vote tend to be the older ones, I think people become more interested in politics as they get older. So hopefully there will be more people getting involved.”
The pair’s win was not the only family affair in Newport – brothers Matthew and Alex Pimm were also elected for Labor in Beechwood and Alway respectively.
Speaking to WalesOnline, firefighter Matthew, 43, said: “I don’t know how many brothers there are [who ran for election]. We’re both from Newport and are aware of what its needs are,” adding that the city’s young and older populations had suffered during the pandemic and that he would like to improve services for them in the coming years.
Asked if there had been any friendly competition given the pair were competing in separate wards close by to each other, he laughed: “I did put leaflets through some doors on his side by accident once. We’re very different – thankfully I was blessed with the beauty!”
“Our family live in Alway, so he was guaranteed,” he added, while Alex, 39, a logistics worker, said: “Since 2010, austerity and everything has meant a lot of kids have no youth clubs or things to do. We would like to bring that kind of thing back.”