Council Leader and Cabinet Members re-elected at AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Blaenau Gwent Council was held today (Thursday, 23rd May 2024).

Councillor Stephen Thomas of Labour was formally re-elected as the Leader of the Council with responsibility for Corporate & Performance. Councillor Helen Cunningham was re-elected as Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Place & Environment.

Councillor Chris Smith was re-elected as Presiding Member of the Council. The Presiding Member:

  • Chairs Council Meetings
  • Maintains order to protect the rights of Members including ensuring that Council business is carried out with equality and impartiality.
  • Promotes democratic engagement and leadership.

The Deputy Presiding Member will again be Councillor David Wilkshire.

The Council’s Cabinet remained as follows:

Leader & Cabinet Member for Corporate & Performance – Councillor Stephen Thomas 

Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Place & Environment – Councillor Helen Cunningham

Cabinet Member People & Education – Councillor Sue Edmunds

Cabinet Member People & Social Services – Councillor Haydn Trollope

Cabinet Member Place & Regeneration and Economic Development – Councillor John C. Morgan

On being re-elected Leader of the Council, Cllr Thomas said:

“Once again, I am privileged to be elected as leader of Blaenau Gwent Council. 

“We continue to navigate our top priorities while addressing the ongoing cost of living crisis, which remains crucial. We recognise the severe impact this has on many in our communities and are actively collaborating with partners across the Gwent region to provide support and guidance to struggling families.

“We face extremely challenging and uncertain financial times, with more tough decisions looming. I aim to work collaboratively with members from all political backgrounds here in Blaenau Gwent, ensuring we unite to deliver the best possible services for our residents. We must seek innovative solutions to uphold our commitments to outstanding educational and skills opportunities, high-quality social care, enhancing our local environment, and tackling the climate crisis.

“Additionally, we are working with partners such as the Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region to make significant strides in regeneration projects across Blaenau Gwent. We aim to revitalise our communities, create new opportunities, and foster a sense of pride and optimism for the future. Together, we will build on this progress and strive for a brighter, more sustainable future for all our residents.”

The Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the following committees were also appointed:

People Scrutiny Committee – Cllr Tommy Smith (Chair) / Cllr Jen Morgan (Vice Chair)

Place Scrutiny Committee – Cllr Malcolm Cross (Chair) / Cllr Ross Leadbetter (Vice Chair)

Partnerships Scrutiny Committee – Cllr Wayne Hodgins (Chair) / Cllr Derrick Bevan (Vice Chair)

Corporate and Performance Scrutiny Committee – Cllr Joanna Wilkins (Chair) / Cllr Jackie Thomas (Vice Chair)

Democratic Services – Cllr John Hill (Chair) / Cllr Elen Jones (Vice Chair)

Planning Committee/Licensing Committee – Cllr Lisa Winnett (Chair) / Cllr Peter Baldwin (Vice Chair)