James Gibson-Watt Elected as Leader of Powys County Council

Powys County Council will be led by party political groups for the first time since its creation as the Welsh Liberal Democrats formed an administration in partnership with Welsh Labour.

James Gibson-Watt, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Powys Council, has been elected as Leader of the Council, becoming the first Liberal Democrat Council Leader in Wales since 2012.

The agreement between the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Welsh Labour will focus on a set of seven aims and objectives for the new Council designed to deliver a fresh and distinctive path to meet the serious challenges the county faces.

The seven key priorities are outlined below:

1. Tackling the cost-of-living crisis, poverty and the housing emergency

2. Tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency

3. Securing the best start in life for young people

4. Developing prosperous towns and villages

5. Supporting vulnerable people

6. Connected Communities

7. Running an Open & Democratic Council

Commenting Welsh Lib Dem Group Leader James Gibson-Watt said:

“This is a historic moment for the County of Powys. Not since the county’s formation has it been run by anyone other than the independents in one form or another.

“The elections in May 2022 saw a huge change to the composition of Powys County Council. Progressive parties all gained seats, demonstrating a desire from the electorate for Powys County Council to change direction, culture and values.

“It is now the intention of myself and the Welsh Liberal Democrat Group to work with the Welsh Labour group to deliver this change in direction and drive the drastic improvement Powys Council needs.

“While there are differences between our parties we find that there is much on which we agree that gives us a firm foundation for a shared administration that builds a stronger, fairer and greener future for our county.

“I’m excited to get on with the job and start delivering for the people of Powys.”

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