Council Leader and Cabinet Members re-elected at AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Blaenau Gwent Council was held today (Thursday, 25th May 2023).

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 Cabinet 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 Members and their relevant portfolios 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:

“I’m once again honored to be chosen to serve as the Leader of Blaenau Gwent Council. We are continuing to focus on our top priorities, one of which is the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis. We know this is hitting many people in our communities hard and we are working with a number of partners across the Gwent region on ways to offer support and advice to those families that are struggling.

“It’s no secret that we have some extremely challenging and uncertain financial times ahead of us as an authority, with some very difficult decisions on the horizon. I want to continue to work with members across the political spectrum here in Blaenau Gwent to make sure we all pull together to continue to deliver the best possible services for our residents.

"We will need to find innovative solutions so that we can continue to deliver on our plans for the best educational and skills opportunities; high quality social care and improving our local environment and responding to the climate crisis.”

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

  • People Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Tommy Smith (Chair)
  • Place Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Malcolm Cross (Chair) 
  • Partnership Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Wayne Hodgins (Chair) 
  • Corporate and Performance Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Joanna Wilkins (Chair) 
  • Democratic Services – Councillor John Hill (Chair)
  • Planning Committee – Councillor Lisa Winnett (Chair)
  • Licensing Committee – Councillor Lisa Winnett (Chair)