For the first time in history, two thirds of councillors in a Welsh local authority now belong to a Plaid Cymru Group.

Gwynedd Council’s Plaid Cymru group has welcomed independent Meirionnydd councillor John Pughe to join them.

Cllr Pughe, who represents Morfa Tywyn, will join his first group proceedings this week.

The new councillor joins after the recent by-election victory for Plaid Cymru at Criccieth won by Siân Williams who will also attend her first political group meeting.

Plaid Cymru will now hold two thirds of Gwynedd Council’s seats with 46 councillors out of the 69 seats now represented by the group.

Cllr Pughe said: "I'm moving to Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd group mainly because of the support and the team spirit I’ve experienced working with Senedd Member Mabon ap Gwynfor, Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts and Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd Leader Dyfrig Siencyn.

“For me and my electors, getting the job done is imperative, and in this current financial climate, it is important that we work as one to reach our goals. I am grateful to the independent group for their support and friendship during my 20 months with them.”

Born and bred in Tywyn, Cllr Pughe has vast experience as a town councillor having held the chair and the mayor’s role for the town. He is passionate about the health service at Tywyn Hospital and is delighted that his lobbying and perseverance will see extra nurses allocated to the local hospital. His Welsh lineage includes the famous Gwylliaid Cochion of Mawddwy, famous for taking direct action in Welsh folklore tales.

Plaid Cymru Gwynedd chair Cai Larsen said: "Our political group meeting will warmly welcome two new county councillors this week.

“I warmly welcome our newly elected Criccieth councillor Siân Williams to the fold after her resounding win at the recent by-election -72 per cent of voters elected Siân, a huge 30 per cent increase in the vote.

Gwynedd Council leader Dyfrig Siencyn said: “Cllr John Pughe will be an asset to our group. His quiet strength and conscientious work locally are an asset to the people of Tywyn and will, no doubt, strengthen our team here in Gwynedd.

"It is a deeply challenging period for us as local governments across Wales. But as a strong Plaid Cymru team we will continue in earnest to protect the vulnerable, support the weakest within our communities and offer the best possible opportunities, we can, to our residents.”