Former council leader returns to top job in Blaenau Gwent
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Labour group leader Cllr Steve Thomas was confirmed as the new leader of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council at the authority’s annual meeting yesterday – Thursday, May 26.
Labour emerged from the local elections earlier this month with 21 of 33 councillors – and regained control of Blaenau Gwent.
And the party’s majority has already increased, with Cllr Carl Bainton, elected as an Independent, switching to Labour after the election.
Cllr Lisa Winnett nominated Cllr Thomas for the role and Cllr Helen Cunningham as his deputy and this motion was backed by others.
Cllr Thomas, who has been council leader in the past, vowed to give the role “100 per cent” and thanks those that had nominated him.
Cllr Thomas then went on to unveil his cabinet and said that he would be looking after the corporate and performance portfolio.
Cllr Helen Cunningham – deputy leader and cabinet member for place and environment;
Cllr Sue Edmunds – cabinet member for people and education;
Cllr Haydn Trollope – cabinet member for people and social services member for people and social services;
Cllr John C Morgan – cabinet member for place and regeneration.
Following the meeting Cllr Thomas said: “I’m honoured to be elected and I’m pleased to be able to officially appoint the executive members to their portfolios.
“I look forward to working with all in the best interests of Blaenau Gwent and our residents.
“The Labour Party will be striving to repay the trust put in us by those who voted us for us in our communities.
“We have a number of top priorities to focus on and have used our recent campaigning to get a real feel for the issues most affecting our residents in their daily lives; the things that matter most to them, and how we can go about addressing some of these.”
“We will be working to provide the best, most efficient services possible to the community.
“One of our many challenges will be to work with a number of different partners to do what we can to help with the current cost of living crisis.
“We will also be focussing on decarbonisation and the need to live and operate more sustainably; and also helping people to live healthier lives.”
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