Conservative Leadership change in Cardiff

A NEW leader of the opposition at Cardiff Council has been announced.

Cllr Adrian Robson has stepped down in his role as the leader of the Conservatives group at the local authority.

The role will now be assumed by Cllr John Lancaster with the unanimous support of his group.

Cllr Robson said he will continue in his role as a Conservative ward councillor for Rhiwbina.

He said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as Conservative Group leader and leader of the opposition during the last six years, during what has been a busy and turbulent time in politics.

“Easily the most difficult time was during the early stages of Coronavirus when we did not know the scale of the challenges facing us all.

“There have also been many highlights, including seconding the freedom of the city for Dame Shirley Bassey.

“And in the Council chamber, I have been pleased to hold the Cardiff Labour administration to account, from problems in waste management to yet another unnecessary increase in council tax.

“I offer my congratulations to John Lancaster and wish him every success in taking the Cardiff Conservative Group forward. And I look forward to continuing to serve my Rhiwbina and Pantmawr constituents.”

As a result of rising cost pressures and spiralling inflation, Cardiff Council faces a budget gap of over £24m.

At the time of its budget setting process, the local authority said its 3.95% council tax rise would be well below the rate of inflation and one of the lowest council tax increases seen in Wales this year.

Cllr Lancaster, who represents the ward of Lisvane and Thornhill, was first elected as a member of Cardiff Council in 2017.

He said: “Adrian has led the Conservative Group with wisdom and dedication.

“He will continue to play a huge part in the political landscape of Cardiff and will be hard act to follow.

“I’m a Cardiff boy born and bred, and it is a great honour to be able to serve the city.

“There are many challenges on the horizon, whether it be Labour’s hated proposals for a driver tax, or their continued refusal to ignore their own residents’ consultations.

“As the new leader of the opposition, I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to challenge the Labour administration wherever we can.”

The proposed road user charge, which Cardiff Council has kicked off the process of looking into in more depth, will be aimed at reducing carbon emissions and congestion in the city.

It is also hoped that the road user charge could be used to fund much needed improvements to public transport.

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