Caerphilly councillors appoint new leader
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
Nelson councillor Sean Morgan has been appointed the new leader of Labour-led Caerphilly County Borough Council.
The appointment was made at the local authority’s annual general meeting held on Thursday, May 19, and follows Cllr Morgan’s election by his party colleagues as leader of the Labour group.
Despite winning 45 out 69 council seats in the May 5 election, Labour had to appoint a new leader after incumbent Philippa Marsden lost her Ynysddu ward seat.
At the meeting, Cllr Morgan said he was “honoured and humbled” to be elected as leader of the council.
Cllr Morgan added: “Now more than ever we need strong and decisive leadership to ensure positive change fo our residents.”
The Nelson councillor was first elected in 2012 and was deputy leader of the council alongside Ms Marsden – before resigning from the role in June 2021.
Cllr Morgan stepped down after taking a trip to Spain. At the time, the country was listed as ‘amber’ under coronavirus restrictions – meaning travel was not recommended unless it was necessary.
Cllr Jamie Pritchard, who represents the Morgan Jones ward, was re-elected as deputy leader.
Cllr Morgan also announced his new-look cabinet at the meeting. It is as follows:
- Leader: Cllr Sean Morgan
- Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Regeneration, and Climate Change: Cllr Jamie Pritchard
- Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Property: Cllr Nigel George
- Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance: Cllr Eluned Stenner
- Cabinet Member for Education and Communities: Cllr Carol Andrews
- Cabinet Member for Housing: Cllr Shayne Cook
- Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation: Cllr Julian Simmonds
- Cabinet Member for Social Care: Cllr Elaine Forehead
- Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection: Cllr Philippa Leonard
- Cabinet Member for Waste, Leisure and Green Spaces: Cllr Chris Morgan
The meeting also noted Penyrheol councillor Lindsay Whittle as leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group.
Cllr Whittle said he hoped the new cabinet would have consistency citing its changes over the last council term.
He compared the cabinet to the ‘Hokey Hokey’, and quoted the song: “In out, in out, and shake it all about”.
Also at the meeting, Cllr Elizabeth Aldworth, who has been a councillor for Bedwas and Trethomas for over 30 years, was voted by councillors as Mayor of Caerphilly County Borough. Cllr Aldworth will now chair full council meetings in her role.
Pontllanfraith councillor Mike Adams was made Deputy Mayor.
The annual general meeting also agreed the new chairs of various committees. These are as follows:
- Chair of the Education Scrutiny Committee: Cllr Jo Rao
- Chair of the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee/Partnerships Scrutiny Committee: Cllr Gary Johnston.
- Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee: Cllr Tudor Davies
- Chair of the Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee: Cllr Andrew Whitcombe
- Chair of the Appeals Panel: Cllr Brenda Miles
- Chair of the Appointments Committee: Cllr Liz Aldworth
- Chair of the Governance and Audit Committee: ( to be appointed at first meeting).
- Chair of the Democratic Services Committee: Cllr Lisa Phipps
- Chair of the Licensing and Gambling Committee/Taxi and General Committee: Cllr Walter Williams.
- Chair of the Planning Committee: Cllr Roy Saralis.
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