Posted: Wed 6th Apr 2016

Leader Of Newport City Council Is To Stand Down /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 6th, 2016

Councillor Bob Bright, Leader of Newport City Council, has announced that he is to stand down as Leader of the Council at the end of April. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He will remain as a councillor until the council elections in May 2017 when he intends to retire after 45 years as a councillor in local government. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Bright was Leader of the Council between 2004 and 2008 and again from May 2012. He was also Newport’s Mayor 1997/98 and was named Welsh Politician of the Year in 2014. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Bright said: “It has been a privilege to serve Newport and its residents since 1972. I am extremely proud and grateful for the trust that my colleagues and voters have shown me as a councillor and as Leader. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During his tenure as Leader, there have been some significant developments in the city including the opening of Friars Walk. Councillor Bright was instrumental in securing a financial package which enabled the long-awaited vision of a new shopping and leisure centre to become a reality. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It has been an honour to meet princes, presidents and prime ministers, but I am most proud of the development of the two new secondary schools, Newport High and Llanwern High, and the huge boost this will give to their local communities for generations to come, as well as delivering Friars Walk as promised. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As a councillor, and especially as Leader, I have always tried to ensure that the council provides the best possible services, protects vulnerable people and strives for social justice even during the more challenging financial circumstances we have faced recently.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Bright has worked in partnership with other organisations to benefit the city including Newport Unlimited, to oversee major regeneration work, and more recently with the Cardiff Capital City Region and Great Western Cities initiative. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

As the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) spokesman on Europe he sits on the European Committee of the Regions, where he has strived to promote Newport and Wales to member states. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I have appreciated the commitment of all elected members and council employees over the years and I would like to thank them for their assistance and hard work and wish them all the best for the future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I would also like to thank my wife and family for their unstinting support and encouragement over the last four decades.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Newport City Council Chief Executive Will Godfrey said: “Councillor Bright has given a huge part of his life to the council and the city and his achievements have been many and significant, particularly during his time as leader. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“On behalf of the council, I would like to thank him for the valuable contribution he has made and to wish him, and his family, all the best for the future. We will, of course, still have his considerable experience on the council benches for the next 12 months.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Steve Thomas CBE, Chief Executive of the WLGA, said: “Councillor Bob Bright has been an exemplary public servant who has dedicated himself to the service of the City of Newport and local democracy over the past four decades. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“His contribution to Welsh public services has been immense. This includes his involvement in the redevelopment of Newport city centre, the establishment of the Great Western Cities initiatives with Cardiff and Bristol plus the new Capital Region City Deal. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Bob Bright has represented the WLGA as our European spokesperson over recent years and helped develop the case for European funding to come into Wales and worked on a range of significant European programmes. He has made a major contribution as a senior leader in Newport which in his time has seen the Ryder Cup and the NATO Summit focus world attention on the city. The WLGA would like to thank him for his service as Leader of the Council.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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