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Leader, Mayor and Cabinet are confirmed for the year ahead

The annual meeting of Bridgend County Borough Council held on Wednesday 17 May has confirmed who will undertake the authority’s Leader, Mayor and Cabinet roles for 2023-2024.

At the meeting, Councillor Huw David was returned unopposed as Leader of the authority, and the Cabinet portfolio positions were agreed as follows:

  • Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Health - Councillor Jane Gebbie
  • Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Legal – Councillor Hywel Williams
  • Cabinet Member for Education - Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell
  • Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment – Councillor John Spanswick
  • Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing – Councillor Neelo Farr
  • Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Regeneration – Councillor Rhys Goode

Councillor William Kendall will succeed Councillor Martyn Jones as Mayor of Bridgend County Borough, while Councillor Heather Griffiths will act as Deputy Mayor. The new Youth Mayor of Bridgend County Borough will be Ellie O’Connell, and Daisy Davies will act as Deputy Youth Mayor.

Political groups and group leaders were confirmed as follows:

  • Labour - 26 (Councillor Huw David)
  • Bridgend County Independents – 13 (Councillor Amanda Williams)
  • Democratic Alliance – 8 (Councillor Ross Penhale-Thomas)
  • Conservative – 1 (no group leader - requires a minimum of two members)

Three councillors – Councillor Jeff Tildesley, Councillor Sean Aspey and Councillor Rob Smith – opted to remain independent and not to join any groups.

Serving as Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council is both an honour and a privilege, and I would like to offer members my sincere thanks and respect.

I will, of course, continue to devote my full attention and focus to the role, and to do my very best for the people that we serve. I am also grateful to receive the ongoing support of my Cabinet colleagues, and would like to acknowledge their ongoing dedication and commitment.

In order to ensure that we are better prepared to face the challenges of the year ahead, we will be making several changes to three of the Cabinet portfolios.

Council Leader Huw David

Cllr David added: “Councillor Farr will oversee an enhanced Wellbeing portfolio which will cover Flying Start, youth services, cultural regeneration and our partnership with Halo and Awen which is continuing to provide local people with high-quality leisure and library services.

“Her portfolio will be closely aligned with our new Corporate Plan and the focus on developing Bridgend County Borough as a great place to live, work and visit.  

“Elsewhere, Councillor Goode’s portfolio will expand to encompass planning, homelessness, and housing and employment-based regeneration. This will bring together a number of key strategic areas in a more coherent way, and will be clearly linked to priorities that have been identified in our emerging Local Development Plan.

“Finally, Councillor Spanswick’s portfolio will have a greater focus and priority placed upon green agenda issues such as net zero carbon targets, waste and recycling, green space and our cemeteries and crematoria.

“He will also oversee our ongoing investment into highways, including our efforts to provide and improve opportunities for active travel.

“With these changes in place, I am confident that the Cabinet will be able to continue the good work that has already taken place, and will ensure that we can steer the authority through the challenges that lay before us with a steady hand.”

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