Sketty (Welsh: Sgeti) is the name of an electoral ward, a community and a suburb in the City and County of Swansea, South Wales. The community is coterminous with the electoral ward.
It is bounded to the, North by Cockett, East by Uplands, South by the coast, South West by Mumbles and West by Killay. It does not have a Community Council.
The electoral ward is divided into a number of polling districts by the City and County of Swansea. They are Tycoch, Sketty Park, Vivian Road, Sketty Green, Derwen Fawr, Gwerneinon. It is the largest ward in the UK Parliament and Welsh Assembly Swansea West.
Sketty could also be described as consisting of some or all of the following areas: Carnglas, Clyne Valley (Gwerneinon), Derwen Fawr, Hendrefoilan, Killay, Singleton Park, Sketty, Tycoch, Cwmgwyn, A very small part of the Cockett postal district is in the Sketty community, and a part of the Sketty postal district is in the Uplands community.
Sketty comprises a mix of housing, from Victorian and Edwardian villas, through pre- and post-war semis and detached houses to the council estate at Sketty Park.
Due to the large size of Sketty, there are recognisable sub-divisions of Sketty. Whilst the boundaries used for electoral or postal purposes are clearly defined, although they do not always correspond, in the public mind the boundaries are not totally clear. Indeed many residents of some of the sub-divisions would describe themselves as a residents of the sub-division rather than use the term Sketty. Indeed residents of the western part of the Uplands would consider their vicinity as part of "Sketty", as indeed would the post office.
Districts of Sketty
The village of Sketty is located about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the west of the Swansea City Centre on Gower Road. It is now essentially a suburb of Swansea. The area approximates to the Vivian Road, and Sketty Green. The village is centred on Sketty Cross, the junction of Gower Road, Vivian Road, and Dillwyn Road. Directly on the cross, on the West Gower Road- Vivian Road junction, the Vivian pub, known as "The Vivs" can be found. A second pub "The Bush" is also on the East side of this junction. In the immediate vicinity of Sketty Cross and the nearby Eversley Road a variety of businesses can be found, these include several shops, two banks and a sub post office. A small public library is located on Vivian Road to the North of the cross. Located slightly further to the North is Swansea College (A further education college) on the corner of Vivian Road and Tycoch Road. The current site of the Bishop Gore Comprehensive School is on the North Western corner of Singleton Park. The School has been located in the area on De La Beche Road since 1952. Also on De La Beche Road, the Sketty Medical Practice can be found, and on the junction with Gower Road, St Paul's Church, (Church in Wales) can be found.
Derwen Fawr (English: Large Oak tree) is a district of south Sketty village, shown as Lower Sketty on Ordnance Survey maps. It is named after the principal road, Derwen Fawr Road, which joins the village of Sketty with Oystermouth Road. It is regarded as an up-market area, gaining its popularity because of the proximity of the sea, Singleton Park, the centre of Swansea and the ease of access to the Gower. It also has a number of well-established large houses to which have been added a large number of more modestly sized houses.
It has a miniature model railway (open to the public on bank-holidays in the summer) and is home to The Bible College of Wales. The edge of Derwen Fawr and Clyne Valley Country park is also the location of a civic amenity site, still open to the public. However, the landfill site which was once the main facility for the City of Swansea, closed in the 1980s, when the Tir John site in St. Thomas, Swansea took over as the Swansea's main refuse site.
A number of sporting facilities are located within the Derwen Fawr district. These consist of the Welsh National Swimming Pool, Blackpill Municipal Golf Links, and the King George V playing fields.
This area is centred around a council estate, although much of the housing has been bought by the former tenants under the right to buy scheme. The edges of the Sketty Park area have housing more typical of other areas of Sketty and Derwen Fawr. A parade of shops (including a sub post office and supermarket, food takeway and newsagent) and the Spinning Wheel public house are located in the centre of the area. Parklands Primary School and Olchfa Comprehensive School are located in the area. There is also a large church, Parklands Evangelical Church.
Tycoch is a village north-west of Sketty Village. Facilities in Tycoch consist of several shops located within Tycoch Square. These shops include Swan CD Computers, J's Food store, Carnglas Road Sub Post Office and Tycoch Newsagents. The only educational facility in the area is Sketty Primary School. Cefn Coed Hospital is also located within Tycoch near the boundary with Cockett. Also there is a church and two chapels in the area, but no pub.
Housing around Tycoch Square tends to be pre-Second World War. On the higher ground at Llwyn Mawr the housing dates from the 1970s to the 1990s.
The Sketty Ward is the largest in the Swansea West Parliamentary/ Welsh Assembly Constituency, and is one of only two five member wards for the purposes of City and County of Swansea Elections. This single ward five member structure allows the electorate to vote for upto five candidates, and electors are free to either put all their votes behind one party or to split their vote between parties.
The three main UK-wide parties seem to have reasonable local infrastructures in the area, and have contested the vast majority of seats since the first elections to the City and County of Swansea authority in 1995. The Conservative Party, which only contested four out of five seats in 1999, is an exception. A defeated independent candidate in those elections then stood, and won, as an official Conservative candidate in a 2000 by-election. Plaid Cymru, whilst it has not contested every seat, contests every election. There have in the past been a small number of non-party candidates, and in the 2004 elections the Green Party also put up a full slate of five candidates.
The area has seen considerable electoral volatility, and there appears to be evidence of split ticket voting. Whilst party factors remain strong, there seems to be evidence of voters taking into account other factors, such as personality and perhaps geographic factors due to the size of the ward. In recent elections, (post 1995) whilst there is evidence of considerable voting shifts between parties, no party has ever had the igmony of its vote completely collapsing, and the area has seen some hotly contested local elections.
In 1995, the ward elected four councillors. This election was a "mid-term election" towards the end of the Conservative period in Government. Labour won three seats, and an Independent candidate one one. The Independent councillor later joined the Liberal Democrats. These elections were probably the worst for the Conservative Party in the area, and the best for Labour.
In 1999, the ward elected five councillors. This election was held the same day as the first elections to the National Assembly for Wales, and was set against a controversial backdrop concerning a Welsh Labour leadership election, and the Labour vote predictably suffered. The results were the most eclectic seen. The Conservatives won two seats, the Liberal Democrats also won two seats and Labour won one.
In 2000, there was a by-election caused by the death of the Labour Councillor. The seat was then won by the Conservatives. This election confirmed the previous year's re-emergence of the Conservatives, although of course this election took place on a lower turnout than the other elections.
In 2004, the ward again elected five councillors. These elections were set against the national backdrop of a controversial war in Iraq, and the local backdrop of the closure of Swansea Leisure Centre. These elections saw Labour lose control, and a coalition of Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, and independents take control of Swansea Council, the main local issue at the time was a planning issue concerning a proposed ASDA store in Derwen Fawr; however, there was little if any dispute between the parties on this matter. In Sketty, the Conservatives won two seats and the Liberal Democrats won three.