Cllr Bob Wellington CBE has announced he will stand down from his position as Leader of Torfaen Council at the end of 2016 and will also finish in his role as Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association. Cllr Wellington has been the leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) since June 2012. Prior to that he played major roles in the WLGA as a spokesperson in areas such as Economic Development, Transport and Regeneration.
WLGA Deputy Leader Councillor Ali Thomas OBE (Neath Port Talbot) personally thanked Bob for his leadership role over the years and his friendship, stating:
“Bob has been a long and loyal friend to me whose company I have thoroughly enjoyed. He is a man to be admired greatly for all the hard work he has done for local government over the years and I and my family would like to put on record our thanks for that friendship. Throughout his long career Bob has displayed extraordinary commitment to the public service ethos and received his CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2014 for services to Local Government, Heritage and the community in Torfaen and Wales. He has been a stalwart of the local government community and accumulated more than 30 years’ experience as an elected member, representing the Greenmeadow ward in Torfaen. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends across Welsh local government who all wish him a happy and long retirement.”
WLGA Deputy Leader Councillor Aaron Shotton (Flintshire) said:
“Bob has combined his role at the WLGA with his deep commitment to the Eastern Valleys of Gwent. He has been Leader at Torfaen County Borough Council since 2004 and is a passionate advocate for regenerating the industrial and sociological fabric of the mining communities in south Wales. His role in the Coalfield Communities Campaign has been at the forefront of his work as a councillor over the past 30 years. More recently he has played a key part in emergence of the Cardiff City Capital Region again with his sights firmly set on bringing greater investment into the Valleys”.
WLGA Plaid Group Leader Councillor Dyfed Edwards (Gwynedd) said:
“I fully recognise that Bob has always sought to work in partnership with all political groups across the WLGA. He has applied the same principle to working with Welsh Government across the devolved settlement but has also openly spoken in the interests of councils when it comes to structural change and service delivery.”
WLGA Independent Group Leader Councillor Hugh Evans OBE (Denbighshire) wished Councillor Wellington well and said:
“Bob has led the WLGA through one of the most difficult periods in the evolution of Welsh local government particularly in relation to austerity and the ongoing debate about local government reform. In that time, he has been a tireless campaigner for localism and the case for councils to take on greater responsibilities.”
WLGA Conservative Group Leader Councillor Peter Fox (Monmouthshire) said:
“It has been a privilege to work with Bob locally and nationally over the past decade. Despite our different political philosophies Bob has always shown a willingness to work across the political spectrum and shown pragmatism when it comes to furthering the case for local government. In the Gwent setting he has been at the heart of getting public services to work together which has been a real achievement.”
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