Alun Thomas to stand down from Neath Port Talbot Council
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Alun Thomas, has won't be seeking re-election in the local authority elections next May.
Councillor Thomas said: "It has been a great honour and privilege to serve as the Councillor for Onllwyn as well as lead the authority for the past seven and a half years.
"I have always believed in the strength of our communities, all too clearly evidenced in recent years given the major financial challenges that we have faced together. They have been challenging times; but the strength of people and partnerships in Neath Port Talbot has stood us in good stead.
"Despite austerity, I am immensely proud of the way in which the Council has been able to deliver regeneration programmes across the County Borough; invest in our schools and school buildings for the benefit of young people; re-model our services for the elderly and vulnerable, hit our recycling targets and embrace new ways of working through our digital services agenda.
"I could not have led the Council without the support of my wife, Avril, and many others too numerous to mention. I am confident that my successor will be able to build upon these strong foundations for the future of all people in the County Borough".
Councillor Thomas advised the Labour Group of his willingness to stay on as Leader until the Council elections next year; but stressed that this must be a decision for the Group in the New Year. As Deputy Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Councillor Thomas has also indicated that whether he continues in that role until the elections will be a matter for the WLGA.