The new Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr David Poole, has formally appointed his cabinet after Labour’s historic win in this month’s local elections.
The former deputy leader was elected to replace the late Keith Reynolds – who passed away last month – at the Annual Meeting of Council on Thursday May 18.
On Thursday May 4, the reigning Labour group held onto control of the council, winning 50 of 73 seats across 33 wards. Plaid Cymru won 18 seats – down two from the 2012 local election, with the remaining five made up with independent councillors.
It is the first time that a ruling party had been returned for the council.
Cllr Poole, a long-standing Pengam councillor, said: “I am honoured and humbled to be elected as the Leader of the Council, and would like to acknowledge and build upon the outstanding legacy that was created by my good friend and colleague Keith Reynolds.”
Appointed to the cabinet are:
– Cllr Barbara Jones – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Governance
– Cllr Sean Morgan – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy, Infrastructure, Sustainability and Wellbeing of Future Generations
– Cllr Colin Gordon – Cabinet Member for Corporate Services
– Cllr Eluned Stenner – Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection
– Cllr Nigel George – Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services
– Cllr Philippa Marsden – Cabinet Member for Education and Achievement
– Cllr Carl Cuss – Cabinet Member for Social Services and Wellbeing
– Cllr Lisa Phipps – Cabinet Member for Homes and Places.
Cllr Poole added: “We really are a council which is looking to the future, which I hope is demonstrated from the team of very capable cabinet members I have appointed. Together, with their support, we will deliver a clear vision for the authority over the next five years.
“Caerphilly, like all other local authorities in Wales, face a number of significant challenges, but we are in a good position to navigate through these turbulent economic times thanks to the effective way the council has been run to date.
“We have our ambitious project to bring our council homes up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, which continues to progress at quite a pace. Bringing this huge project to fruition will continue to be a key priority for us over the next few years, as is facilitating the delivery of new affordable homes and ensuring the most vulnerable people in our communities are protected and given the support they need.
“The development of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal will also remain a key priority – and with ten local councils working together with a shared goal of bringing prosperity to our communities, it’s certainly a real opportunity which we’re obviously keen to play a leading role in bringing to fruition.
“Protecting frontline services, protecting jobs and building better communities for our residents across the area have also been key areas for this council over the last five years, and we have an excellent footing to continue with this work moving forward.”
Cllr Poole began his political career in 2004, where he represents the community of Pengam. He served as Cabinet Member for Performance Management between 2004 and 2006 and Cabinet Member for the Environment and Housing between 2006 and 2008, before enjoying a second term as Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Services and latterly Deputy Leader with responsibility for Housing between 2012 and 2017.
At the same meeting, Cllr John Bevan was confirmed as the new Mayor of Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Cllr Bevan said: “I am honoured to be serving as the county borough’s Mayor for the forthcoming year. I was fortunate enough to serve as Mayor in 2005 and I understand the demands of the role and also how rewarding it can be.
“I feel humbled to be able to undertake the role for the second time and I am very much looking forward to meeting local residents and representing the county in all of the exciting civic engagements already in the diary.
Cllr Bevan has chosen to raise funds for the charities Cancer Research Wales and CRY In Memory of Jack Thomas during his year in office.
The Deputy Mayor has been announced as Cllr Mike Adams, who represents the Pontllanfraith ward.
Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru councillors have re-elected Cllr Colin Mann as the leader of the party’s group on the council.
Cllr Mann, who represents Llanbradach, said: “I’m pleased to continue to have the backing and confidence of the Plaid Cymru group.
“In opposition, we will continue to hold the ruling Labour administration to account and highlight our concerns when we believe they are taking a wrong decision or going in the wrong direction to the detriment of people in the county borough.”
Aber Valley councillor, Lyndon Binding, takes over from Cllr James Fussell as deputy leader, who did not seek re-election.
Cllr Mann added: “I’d like to thank James for his work as deputy leader and look forward to working with Lyndon, who is an experienced councillor, in his new role.”