City Hall Reception, Quality of Life rankings and the UpRising programme

City Hall Reception for campaigners

Last week I was delighted to host a reception at City Hall to mark the work of campaigners who set up an Action Group in 2001 to fight plans to build houses on the site of Llanishen reservoir. As you will know from my last blog Dwr Cymru/ Welsh Water are now the long leaseholders of both Llanishen and Lisvane reservoirs and they plan to work with the community to help invest in this site.


It was great to have the opportunity of hosting this event and congratulate the campaigners for their tireless efforts.

Being involved myself with the campaign to save the reservoirs was one of the reasons why I decided to seek elected office. Little did I know a few years later I’d become City Leader! The reservoirs will provide an ideal location for recreational activities and become a safe haven for wildlife. They are without doubt a real asset for Cardiff.

Cardiff on the up in European Quality of Life rankings

We should all be proud that Cardiff has moved up the capital city rankings and is now judged to be the third best capital city in terms of quality of life or liveability in Europe!! We share our third place position with Stockholm and Copenhagen. It’s wonderful to see Cardiff rising up the ranks and rated side by side with European cities the calibre of Stockholm and Copenhagen. Our vision is to make Cardiff Europe’s Most Liveable Capital City, so this is really pleasing and something in which all Cardiffians can take great pride. The rankings are compiled by the Quality of Life in European Cities Survey which considers social factors such as employment opportunities and public transport and the findings are based on 40,000 biannual responses from residents in 79 cities across Europe. The fact that it’s the views of residents that determine our position in the rankings makes our third place especially gratifying. We’ve moved up from sixth place in 2014 but we have our eyes firmly set on the top spot currently occupied by Oslo!

Last year I launched our 2015 Liveable City Report. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out for some interesting facts and figures!


Digital support to businesses in Cardiff

As part of my regular visits to city businesses I recently met executives from GE Healthcare in Whitchurch and Yard Digital in the city centre. Yard Digital on Newport Road is a specialist digital agency which offers a range of services such as web analytics, search engine optimization, social media and web design and build. This company is one of Europe’s leading independent digital consultancies and it was a pleasure to meet some of their talented web analysts, designers and developers and learn more about their not-for-profit work. In this area they help to raise knowledge of IT and programming within our Primary and Secondary School sectors and also provide mentoring and support for emerging start-up businesses in the digital sector. They have also won a Cardiff Business Award in the digital category.


Up Rising at Cardiff City Hall

As an Ambassador for UpRising, I’ve been supporting a 9-month core leadership programme for 16-25 year olds that was launched last October. UpRising is a UK-wide organisation which hopes to open pathways to power for talented young people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds. One of the ways it does this is through schemes such as their core leadership programme. Recently I attended an UpRising Cymru discussion at City Hall to talk about my own leadership journey and I was blown away by the enthusiasm and dedication of the young people who attended the session.  Those that I spoke to were very passionate about local issues and I am sure many will become future leaders in whatever career they eventually choose.