Llanishen Reservoir, House of Sport & Cardiff Commitment

Hats off to the Reservoir Action Group

I was delighted at the start of last week to meet with Chris Jones – Chief Executive of Welsh Water – at Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs on the day they announced they had acquired the reservoirs from the steel company Celsa.


This is such good news and testament to the hard work and perseverance of the campaigners who form the Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoir Action Group. These volunteers have been campaigning since 2001 to prevent a major housing development of over 300 homes on the site and to restore the reservoirs to their former glory.

City Hall Reception for Action Group

To mark the achievement of the Action Group I have arranged a reception for them at City Hall on the 5th of February at 14:00. This will give me an opportunity to thank the volunteers personally for all their hard work .

Opening House of Sport 3

Before going to Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoir I was delighted to be asked to speak at the opening of phase 3 of Cardiff City’s House of Sport.  The news development focuses on tennis, netball and also has a roller rink.


I was very impressed by the facilities at this amazing new venue on Leckwith Road which sits next to an impressive indoor 3G football pitch and other sport facilities which are used by Cardiff City Academy and are also open to public.

My thanks to Cardiff City director and founder of House of Sport Steve Borley and his entire team for this exciting new addition to a city that prides itself on its sporting tradition. It may not produce the next Phil Bale – but I certainly hope it produces the next Gareth Bale!!!

Apprenticeships for pupils

Last week my Cabinet approved an important new initiative for young people that we are calling ‘Cardiff Commitment’. It sets out our plans to get more of Cardiff’s young people into education, employment and training. Creating a natural progression into employment when they finish school.

We will be developing already strong links with employers to establish apprenticeships, work experience opportunities and partnering with schools.

Better education and skills for all is a priority for the council. Cardiff is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and a highly skilled workforce is an essential part of this future growth. The City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region would bring job opportunities to the area, but with that comes challenges. The region’s workforce will only be able to take full advantage of this opportunity if it has been given the right skills.

The ‘Cardiff Commitment’ clearly sets out how, we as a city will rise to the challenge and I want to encourage employers to be part of this opportunity to empower our young people to pursue exciting careers.








Cardiff is one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, which is why it’s crucially important we have the correct plans in place to manage the city’s growth in a sustainable manner, in keeping with our vision of becoming Europe’s most liveable capital city.

The news that our Local Development Plan (LDP) has been signed off by the Planning Inspector was welcome news as it gives the Council the authority to work closely with developers to ensure the right infrastructure, roads, schools, community facilities and affordable homes are in place as our city grows. The plan allows for 41,415 homes to be built in the city between 2006 and 2026.

Before the LDP was signed off, we were in the unenviable position of having little power to halt developments across the city that were unsuitable for us and our residents’ wishes. While it’s unfortunate that the Planning Inspector decided against designating a Green Belt, despite all the effort the Council made in fighting for one, the Inspector has designated a Green Wedge across the backdrop to our city. This will protect this part of the city from development in much the same way that a Green Belt would have, for the length of the plan which runs until 2026. We will also continue to fight to preserve this part of the city as a green lung beyond 2026.

Under the new LDP we will make sure that developments are managed effectively. A report will be prepared for Cabinet on 21st January and the plan will be presented to Full Council for final sign off on 28th January.  You can see the LDP on our website here.



Twinning Conference

In celebration of our 60 year relationship, Cardiff recently hosted visitors from our sister city of Stuttgart for a twinning conference, which I had the honour of opening.

It was great to see representatives of all ages from both cities come together to share our histories and experiences and also to look at attitudes to European integration and EU institutions. A number of speakers gave talks on subjects including business opportunities in Europe, citizen engagement and identity.

The conference was held at City Hall as well as Cardiff and Vale College’s fantastic Dumballs Road campus, so delegates got a real taste of old and new in the city.

Stuttgart selfie


Radyr Weir

There have been exciting developments in recent months at the Radyr Weir hydroelectric scheme, with the installation of two Archimedes Turbine Screws in November. The Archimedes screws are each roughly 4m in diameter, with a total installed capacity of 400kW. They will generate 1.6GWh of renewable energy per year.

Dawnus Construction Limited commissioned this video from Aerial Photography Wales to capture the installation process from above:


Aerial Photography Wales also produced lots of great shots, which can be viewed here.

The facility is already producing electricity and the site is expected to reopen to the public in spring following full testing of the system and landscaping of the area. I’m really impressed with the work so far and am sure Radyr Weir will form an invaluable part of Cardiff’s sustainable future.




Happy New Year!

New Year is always an exciting time in Cardiff, attracting both residents and visitors. 

On New Year’s Eve I went along to the celebrations around City Hall and Winter Wonderland and gained a behind the scenes insight. I was particularly grateful for the support of Sayers Amusements this year for their role in staging the Capital’s New Year celebrations.

I joined the City Council’s team of safety stewards for their briefing. These hardworking staff ensure the safety and enjoyment of visitors at all our events.

I also had the chance to visit Central Police Station to learn about their role in managing the night time economy, especially on New Year’s Eve.

Finally I went to the Alcohol Treatment Centre, which helps those who have overdone it and then looks to get them home safely. This plays an invaluable role, particularly in reducing the number of people going to A&E departments as a result of drinking.

It was great to see all the different agencies working together to #makethedifference for a successful, enjoyable and safe night of celebrations.

We have lots of exciting things to look forward to this year and I’m sure the events team and our partners will deliver more magical Cardiff moments.