Council’s Capital Ambition to make its mark on the world stage




Council's Capital Ambition to make its mark on the world stage

Cardiff has an historic opportunity to become a truly great world capital, according to Cardiff Council's leader.

Unveiling the new administration's five year plan for the city - called Capital Ambition - Cllr Huw Thomas said the city had become a vibrant European capital which is flourishing economically, culturally and politically and now had the opportunity to become a leading city on the world stage.

Cllr Thomas said: "I believe we face an historic opportunity - a chance to capitalise on our potential and become a truly great world capital where the benefits of growth are felt by all our citizens, our region and our nation."

The Council Leader added: "Cardiff is one of the fastest growing and most highly-skilled cities in Britain. The city economy is growing, jobs and businesses are being created and unemployment is at its lowest level this decade.

"The city's profile has never been higher and visitor numbers are growing every year.

"Undeniably, Cardiff is Wales' strongest economic asset and the nation's best opportunity to secure sustainable economic success for the future."

But he warned that Cardiff was still a divided city, adding: "For too long the gap between rich and poor has been allowed to grow and many of Cardiff's communities are amongst the poorest in Wales. Indeed if the ‘Southern Arc' of Cardiff, from Ely in the West to Trowbridge in the East, was considered a single local authority, it would be far and away the poorest in Wales."


Cllr Thomas promised that tackling poverty and inequality would be at the heart of the administration.

"Too many people in Cardiff are struggling to meet their basic needs. We will hold a relentless focus on education and jobs, resolute in our belief that securing an equality of opportunity can help people lift themselves out of poverty," said Cllr Thomas.

"And we will also ensure we get the basics right in how we care for the vulnerable and elderly in our city.

"Ultimately, I want every citizen of Cardiff to have the chance to fulfil their potential and play a full and active part in the life of our city."

The Leader said the Council's approach to delivering for the city's residents would focus on four main areas:

Working for Cardiff: making sure everyone who lives and works here can contribute to, and benefit from, the city's success

Working for Wales: A successful Wales needs a successful capital city

Working for the future: Managing the city's growth in a sustainable way

Working for public services: Making sure public services are delivered efficiently, effectively and sustainably in the face of rising demands and reduced budgets


The Leader said the capital's ambitions could not stop at the boundaries of the city and Cardiff's role as the economic power of the city region and its relationship with surrounding councils must continue to grow.

He said Cardiff Council also had to recognise that growth must be sustainable and resilient and must be met with bold solutions and big ideas.

He added: "And we must do so during a time of unprecedented austerity. The Council alone has made savings of more than a quarter of a billion pounds in the past decade and we have a budget gap of some £80m to bridge over the next three years.

"I keep reading that austerity is over, but people need to know that's just a newspaper headline which has no basis in reality. The budget issues we face are very real however. There are tough times ahead, public services will need to adapt and reform and sometimes difficult decisions will need to be taken."

The Leader said to succeed would require the hard work and dedication of Council officers, of Trade Unions, of teachers, social workers, road sweepers, librarians, police officers, fire fighters, doctors and nurses.

Cllr Thomas added: "They are the bedrock of our public services and are vital in helping change happen and helping to deliver a cleaner, healthier, fairer city. But there's no doubt we will have to continue to modernise and to change the way we work and deliver services.

"As an organisation we must move away from dealing with problems in isolation and continue to integrate frontline teams that are empowered to address the day-to-day issues we know need solving. The Council must act as one seamless team to drive improvement across the city. ‘It's not my job' is not good enough anymore. We need to create a culture of one council, one workforce with one purpose - to deliver for the residents of our city. "

Cllr Thomas said his commitment as Leader of the Council is to work together with partners, staff and citizens to make Cardiff a better place to live for everyone, adding: "By doing so, we will create a capital city that is not only ambitious for the people we serve but ambitious for the whole of Wales."


To read the full Capital Ambition report, which will be considered by Cabinet on Thursday, July 6th, click here:


As part of Capital Ambition - the new administration's five-year plan for the city - each Cabinet member has outlined their key aims and ambitions for their term of office. They include:


Name:Cllr Huw Thomas

Role: Leader of Cardiff Council

• I want to tackle poverty and inequality in our city with a relentless focus on creating better paid jobs and improving education while managing the city's expansion so Cardiff's excellent quality of life is maintained.

• I'm also determined that we make a success of the City Deal and move beyond it to create a framework for the city-region where strategic decisions can be taken about housing, transport and investment for the long-term benefit of the whole of the Capital Region, and ultimately, Wales


Name:Cllr Michael Michael

Role: Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment

• A zero tolerance towards street littering and fly-tippers, increasing enforcement activities and fines for those who throw litter and fly-tip

• Making Cardiff one of the most successful recycling cities in the world - boosting recycling rates by placing a focus on education in schools, communities, behaviour change and through a review of waste services


Name:Cllr Sarah Merry

Role: Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills

• The education of the city's children is key to both Cardiff's economic prosperity and making us a fairer city. We want to ensure every child goes to a good or excellent school, closing the attainment gap at the same time

• We also need to continue to invest in our school buildings, expanding the number of school places and improving the buildings themselves


Name:Cllr Chris Weaver

Role: Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance

• Get people and communities more involved in the decisions we take

• Develop a new 3-year organisational development programme for the Council


Name:Cllr Lynda Thorne

Role: Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities

• Work with developers to deliver more than 6,500 affordable homes by 2026 - including 1,000 new Council homes through the Cardiff Living Scheme

• Address rough sleeping in the city through delivering, with partners, the Rough Sleeper Strategy, including adopting a ‘No First Night Out' policy, piloting new approaches, including a ‘Housing First' model which moves rough sleepers straight from the streets into a home.


Name:Cllr Graham Hinchey

Role: Cabinet Member for Children and Families

• Further develop effective early help for families so fewer children need to be looked after by the Council

• Enhance the support for young people when they leave local authority care


Name:Cllr Susan Elsmore

Role: Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Well-Being

• Provide the highest quality of social care possible, in practice and delivery

• Deliver state-of-the-art centres to provide specialist dementia services and day opportunities for older people


Name:Cllr Caro Wild

Role: Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport

• Place active travel at the heart of planning, transport and highway policy, focusing on walking and starting the delivery of a cycling strategy

• Improve our bus offer to the residents of Cardiff, with faster journeys, modernised buses and more cross-city options


Name:Cllr Russell Goodway

Role: Cabinet Member for Investment and Development

• Deliver a new transport interchange which will be at the heart of the Cardiff Metro

• To prioritise the delivery of a new multi-purpose indoor arena in the best possible location


Name:Cllr Peter Bradbury

Role: Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure

• Attract more major events to the city, building on the success of the Champions League Final

• Promote and develop local sport


To read the full Capital Ambition report, click here: