For the first time in Merthyr Tydfil’s history, women now make up half of the County Borough Council’s Cabinet.
The Council has a new Leader following this month’s election and Annual General Meeting, and three of the six Cabinet members are female, two of them new councillors.
The Leader is Cllr Geraint Thomas, who served as Deputy Leader for the previous 16 months, while Cllr Julia Jenkins has been appointed Cabinet Member for Social Services, and Cllr Michelle Symonds Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Protection, Crime and Disorder
Cllr Thomas said: “This is the most diverse Cabinet in the county borough’s history – possibly in Welsh political history.
“I’m thrilled to see two talented and ambitious people join our hard working and experienced team, and welcome back Cllr Andrew Barry to his role as Cabinet Member for Governance and Resources, Cllr David Hughes as Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Cllr Michelle Jones Cabinet Member for Learning.”
Cllr Thomas will retain his portfolio for Housing and Regeneration, while Cllr Barry also becomes Deputy Leader.
“It’s an honour and privilege to be Leader of the authority in the town where I was born and grew up,” said Cllr Thomas, whose late father Eddie was a champion boxer, and Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil in 1994-95.
“I’ve learned a great deal about public service in the five years I’ve been a member of the Council and am confident that we’ll continue to help improve the quality of life for our residents.
“We are acutely aware of the current cost of living crisis, and the anti-poverty agenda will be high on our list of priorities.
“We’re also aiming to work with partners to tackle the continuing uncertainty surrounding local bus services. We’re very proud of our award-winning bus interchange, and want to make sure our residents are able to make the best possible use of it.
“The new Cabinet will aim to build on our success in transforming the Council and work alongside our excellent officers in making Merthyr Tydfil the best it possibly can be.”