Cathays (electoral ward)

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Cathays ward
Electoral ward
Cardiff ward location - Cathays.png
Location of the Cathays ward
within Cardiff
Population20,021 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceST181780
Principal area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCARDIFF
Postcode districtCF24
Dialling code+44-29
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places

The Cathays (/kəˈtz/ kə-TAYZ)[2] electoral ward of Cardiff, created in 1890, which since 1974 has covered the Cathays and Castle communities. There is no community council for the area and it has elected three Cardiff councillors from the outset.


The Cathays ward includes some or all of the following areas: Blackweir, Cardiff city centre, Cathays Park and Maindy in the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff Central. It is bounded by Gabalfa and Birchgrove to the north; Plasnewydd and Adamsdown to the east; Butetown to the south; and Riverside to the west. The River Taff forms its western boundary to where it meets the South Wales Main Line, the South Wales Main Line forms the southern boundary to where it meets the Valley Lines northbound branch, this railway line then forms the eastern boundary as far as the A48 road. The Northern boundary follows the A48 as far as Allensbank Road where it follows this road south then turns north again along Whitchurch Road. It turns west along Crown Way, then south along the A470 until North Road where it bears west, passing just south of the student halls, until it meets the River Taff. The tallest building in Wales is here and is also part of the Cardiff's CBD.

The ward contains a large number of Cardiff's landmarks including:

The ward has traditionally had one of the highest percentages of student residents. In 2011 70% of adults in the ward (between 16 and 74) were students.[3]

Local elections[edit]


In 1995 the Cathays ward elected three councillors and, since 1999 four councillors to the Cardiff Council unitary authority.[4]

At the May 2017 elections all four seats were won by the Labour Party.[5]


Between 1974 and 1996 the Cathays ward was represented on Cardiff City Council by three councillors.[6] These included Mike German, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council; and Derek Allinson, Lord Mayor in 1992.

The ward was represented mainly by the Labour Party, until 1983 when the Liberal Democrats, Mike German and Fred Hornblow, won two of the seats. Between 1983 and 1996 the ward was represented by councillors German, Hornblow and Allinson.[6]

1983 Cardiff City Council election[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Alliance Michael J. German 1,742
Alliance Fred J. Hornblow 1,639
Labour Derek R. Allinson 1,531
Alliance D. W. T. Rees 1,524
Labour M. F. Harris 1,496
Labour W. C. Laing 1,335
Conservative F. Moorcraft 961
Conservative S. Phillips 909
Conservative E. Robinson 861
Plaid Cymru Owen John Thomas 261
Ecology K. J. Pearson 225
Alliance gain from Labour Swing
Alliance gain from Labour Swing
Labour hold Swing


Wards of Cardiff, 1890

In July 1890, following the creation of Cardiff County Borough Council, Cathays was the name of one of the ten new electoral wards created in the county borough.[8] It covered an area northeast of the Taff Vale Railway (with much of what is nowadays the Cathays ward, west of the railway, being part of the Central ward).

Each of the three councillors took turns to stand for re-election, on a three-yearly (later a nine-yearly) cycle.


  1. ^ 2011 Census Key Statistics - Cathays Archived 5 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Ask Cardiff.
  2. ^ G.M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 27.
  3. ^ Chris Wood (2 January 2017). "Cardiff students search for better digs beyond Cathays". BBC News. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Cardiff Council Election Results 1995-2012" (PDF). The Elections Centre (Plymouth University). Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Election results for Cathays - Cardiff Council Elections 2017 - Thursday, 4th May, 2017". Cardiff Council. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Cardiff Welsh District Council Election Results 1973-1991" (PDF). The Elections Centre (Plymouth University). Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Election Results S. Glam. - Cardiff City Council". South Wales Echo. 6 May 1983. pp. 6–7.
  8. ^ "Cardiff New Wards - Determining The Boundaries". The Western Mail. 29 July 1890. p. 6 – via Welsh Newspapers Online.

Coordinates: 51°29′42″N 3°10′52″W / 51.49499°N 3.18115°W / 51.49499; -3.18115