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.





It’s been an eventful month…

At the end of March I was elected Leader of the City of Cardiff Council.

I’ve since started to meet with a wide variety of people and organisations who play a leading role in the public life of our city and will meet many more in the time ahead.

I’ve met with Ministers and made the case for Cardiff; with local authority leaders across South Wales and reaffirmed my commitment to the Cardiff Capital Region; with major employers and public service partners to understand the challenges they face and the great work they’re doing; and most importantly, with many citizens and community groups in whose name the Council acts.

I have appointed a new and talented Cabinet and outlined my vision for Cardiff: to be Europe’s most liveable capital city.

I believe Cardiff’s great strength is that it is a capital city on a human scale.

It’s therefore well placed to offer an alternative to the world’s mega-cities – where city-living has too often become synonymous with congestion, crime, high-prices and a sense of soullessness – adopting a wider approach to attracting talent and investment by creating a lively, safe, sustainable, inclusive, healthy and prosperous city.

In practice this will mean creating a city for people; designing and developing our city in a way which puts people first. It will mean ensuring Cardiff continues to develop as a great place to live, but improves its credentials as a place to work.

Making sure that this happens is a subject to which I expect to return in blogs over the coming weeks and months.

It will also mean increasingly designing and delivering services with people.

Working closely with communities will allow us to respond to specific needs, tackle shared problems together and to strengthen our relationships with the people of Cardiff.

It will mean embracing new ways of working too. A combination of severe budget cuts and increased demand means that our public services are going to be placed under even greater pressures.

Our response will require imagination, innovation and an openness to new ideas if we are to unlock the creativity and energy of our staff and our communities. It will also require learning from others. The challenges facing the City Council are substantial, but they are not unique. That is why Cardiff this month became the first Welsh member of the Co-operative Council’s Innovation Network and why I was pleased to welcome the network to Cardiff last week to meet the Cabinet, trade unions and senior Council managers.

Fundamentally I believe in public services, underpinned by co-operative values and the principle of working together towards a common goal. I’m looking forward to sharing great examples of these co-operative approaches to public services with you as they are developed here in Cardiff, and encouraging you all to get involved.

Finally, many of you will have noticed the name-change: from ‘Cardiff Council’ to ‘the City of Cardiff Council.’

This might seem like a small thing, but for me there’s a lot in a name.

I believe that we need to put the ‘city’ back in to Cardiff Council. Rebuilding that link between the Council and the city and unleashing the civic pride and energy that exists across the city is at the heart of my agenda for Cardiff.

And that’s really the reason for this blog – to keep you up to date with what I am doing (on your behalf), to let you know about the big decisions the Council is taking and to encourage you all to get involved in shaping your communities and the future of our city.