After graduating from Aberystwyth University with a degree in International Politics, Phil spent the early part of his working life in the financial services sector. He later went on to study a Masters degree at the University of London in Corporate Governance, before joining the office of Julie Morgan, an Assembly Member in the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff.
While studying for his Masters, Phil stood as an Independent candidate in local council elections in London. He decided to stand after becoming involved in a campaign to stop the scrapping of a planned tram system for South London. He had previously set up a residents group in North Peckham, which had been lobbying on the issue, and the election gave Phil his first real taste for local community campaigning.
Phil joined the Labour Party in 2010 after their UK General Election defeat and returned home to Cardiff shortly afterwards. Back home he joined up with local campaigners trying to save Llanishen Reservoir.
An American power company, which owned the reservoir, wanted to develop the site for a massive housing development. Phil climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the campaign and in 2012 he stood and was successfully elected to serve on the City Council, representing the neighbourhoods of Llanishen and Thornhill, where he grew up. After his election he flew to the US to doorstep the corporation that owned the reservoir. The firm later abandoned their development plan, instead selling the site to a local steel firm who rely on water from the site for their plant.
In March 2014, Phil became City Council Leader and represents the council on a variety of boards and partnerships, including the Millennium Stadium (now the Principality Stadium).
As Leader of the City of Cardiff, Phil heads the City Cabinet and has specific portfolio responsibilities at City Hall for Economic Development and Corporate Affairs.
As the Capital City of Wales, a stronger Cardiff is vital for a stronger Wales. That’s why, under Phil’s leadership, his administration has launched a clear, new city vision – to become Europe’s most liveable capital city – building on Cardiff’s already great reputation as a high-quality-of-life city.
In response, the city has stepped up efforts to raise its profile at home and abroad. In 2014, Cardiff joined the UK Core Cities Group – a network of ten of the UK’s largest cities outside London that promotes the role of cities in driving economic growth and new jobs.
Together with Newport’s City Council Leader and the Mayor of Bristol, Phil has also launched the ‘Great Western Cities’, an exciting new cross regional collaboration between Cardiff, Bristol and Newport, intended to support shared priorities in areas such as regional public transport investment.
Closer to home, Phil has recognised the need for Cardiff to work more closely as a ‘city-region’ with councils across South East Wales and has been a strong advocate for a ‘Cardiff City Deal’. If successful, this could bring up to £1.28bn in new infrastructure investment into the Cardiff Capital Region, in ways similar to other local agreements reached between Central Government and cities in England and Scotland.
As Leader, Phil is committed to achieving our vision for Cardiff to become Europe’s most liveable capital city, with every child getting a great education; our most vulnerable residents protected; and a city where Cardiffians from all backgrounds can realise their potential and aspirations in life.