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Press Release

New leadership formally appointed

26 May 2017

Councillor Rob Jones has been formally appointed as the new Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, with Councillor Anthony Taylor as Deputy Leader. The appointments were made at the Annual Meeting of Council today (Friday 26 May).

Cllr Rob Jone (L) and Cllr Anthony Taylor (R)

Councillor Jones, who represents Margam Ward, joined the council in 2012 and takes over from Ali Thomas OBE who recently stood down after 8 years as Leader.

A retired Police Officer, Councillor Jones is heavily involved within the local community. He is the vice- chair of Governors at both Coed Hirwaun Primary and Dyffryn Comprehensive and is a member of the shadow governing body for Ysgol Newydd Margam.

He is a previous winner of the High Sheriff Award for services to the community and was a runner-up in the South Wales Police Shrievalty Cup, awarded for community involvement.

He was a member of the task and finish group that delivered the new leisure complex on Aberavon seafront.

Having qualified as a teacher in 2005, he has until recently been delivering Literacy and Numeracy education to adults in the community.

Married to Jeanette, with four children and four grandchildren, in his spare time he follows the Ospreys, enjoys reading and computing.

Councillor Jones said:

“It is an honour and a privilege to take on the role of Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council. My first official message was to be one of unity in terms of working together across all political parties, partners and staff for the good of the county borough. This has of course been superceded by recent tragic events which have thrown into sharp focus the issue of security and of the wider importance of unity in tackling the challenges that we face.”

“The spirit and togetherness demonstrated by the people of Manchester is an example to all and the support for the city, which has come from across the globe, gives a measure of hope and solace in the wake of such a horrific event.”

“The communities of Neath, Port Talbot, Pontardawe and the Valleys have a well-deserved reputation for their warmth, compassion and generosity of spirit and I know I can speak for us all in sending our heartfelt support and condolences to the people affected by Monday’s terrible attack”

These views were echoed by new Deputy Leader Councillor Anthony Taylor who said:

“Our new administration is beginning at a time when the responsibilities and challenges we face are starker than ever. We will build on the collaborative work which the Council has established with partner organisations and engage with local communities and businesses to ensure we do all we can to make the county borough a place which is safe and welcoming for residents and visitors alike.”

Councillor Taylor has represented Taibach ward since 2008. He is married with two children and has lived in the area all of his adult life.

Graduating from Cardiff University, he worked for British Gas and then Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council before becoming a Senior Political Researcher and Adviser.

From 2013 until his appointment as Deputy Leader, Councillor Taylor served as the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development. His duties included overseeing the construction of the £13.6m Aberavon Leisure and Fitness Centre, having previously chaired the task and finish group that consulted widely to finalise its design. He also serves as the Council’s representative on the Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone Board.

In his ward he is Chair of Friends of Talbot Memorial Park, a Trustee of Taibach Library and Port Talbot YMCA and a member of the Mynydd Brombil Wind Turbine Community Fund Panel.  Retaining a keen interest in education, he is a Governor of Eastern Primary School and has recently been appointed as a member of the Shadow Governing Body responsible for the new Ysgol Newydd Margam.

Cabinet members and portfolios will be agreed at the meeting of Full Council next Wednesday 31st May.

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