New council leader elected after previous office holder stepped down over ‘cow’ insult
Hannah Neary, local democracy reporter
Neath Port Talbot Council has elected a new leader for 2021/22 after former leader Rob Jones was suspended earlier this month.
Councillors voted in favour of Labour member Edward Latham becoming the next leader during a virtual meeting held on Wednesday March 17.
59 members attended the meeting with 11 voting against Cllr Latham becoming leader and three abstaining.
Mr Jones stepped down as leader earlier this month after a recording emerged of him referring to Plaid Cymru Senedd Member Bethan Sayed as a “cow”.
The Labour politician said the recording was made without him knowing during a private Labour Party meeting in Pontardawe.
Tonna representative Leanne Jones has been elected as deputy leader of the council for 2021/22.
Labour representative for Cimla John Warman is the council’s new mayor while Cllr Del Morgan, Plaid representative for Glynneath is the new deputy mayor.
Cllr Warman has chosen British Heart Foundation Cymru and Neath Port Talbot Cancer Challenge as his charities during his time as mayor.
He said the people of Neath Port Talbot “will not be defeated” by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Following in the wake of all the capable and conscientious councillors who have served in this office will be a challenging but rewarding task,” he said.
“It is people who matter and our council along with our partnership organisations and stakeholders, have demonstrated and encapsulated my theme.
“The lockdown has changed the way we live and we now have closer and more caring communities who are willing to help each other.”