Russell Goodway leader loses cabinet post on Cardiff council

Russell Goodway
Image caption Russell Goodway is the councillor for Ely and was leader from 1996 to 2004

The former leader of Cardiff council Russell Goodway has lost his seat in the ruling cabinet after the number of members was cut from 10 to nine.

Mr Goodway was in charge of finance and economic development which has been taken on by the new council leader Phil Bale.

Mr Bale was voted in by the ruling Labour group last week following the resignation of Heather Joyce.

Mr Goodway is the councillor for Ely and was leader from 1996 to 2004.

Mr Bale said: "I have had to make some difficult decisions but I believe I have put forward a team that can continue to drive forward economic development, improve standards of education and skills as well as focussing on citizen engagement, improving performance and delivering on the co-operative council agenda."

Paying tribute to the outgoing leader Heather Joyce and her team, he added: "I would like to thank them all for their dedication and hard work.

"They have all contributed a great deal to Cardiff in very challenging times and my new team will now pick up that baton and take it forward to continue delivering a world class capital for Wales."

One councillor said he refused an offer to remain cabinet member for the environment because of "a number of things" he felt uncomfortable with, including the departure of Mr Goodway.

Grangetown councillor Ashley Govier said: "When considering a cabinet position, I need to know the team around me and I wasn't satisfied that certain conditions (for me considering the post) had been met.

"I didn't agree with the decision to remove councillor Russell Goodway.

"I think he would be an asset to any cabinet."

'Massive changes'

It has emerged Mr Govier and Mr Goodway were amongst five cabinet members who sent a letter to the new Labour group leader before the reshuffle, warning it could remove "people with experience who've worked well together".

Another signatory, Lynda Thorne lost her position as cabinet member for community regeneration and social justice.

She told BBC Wales the letter was "intended to encourage the council leader to consider making sure there was plenty of experience in the cabinet".

Ms Thorne said: "It was a letter from the five of us explaining the challenges the council faces and to raise concerns about changing the cabinet dynamics and getting rid of people with experience who've worked well together.

"There are massive changes facing the council and we believed it would be better if we kept the five of us in.

"We had major concerns about big changes in the pipeline, such as budget cuts that are still to be made this year and next. It was the reason we felt he needed to keep that experience in the team."

Cardiff council's budget will be cut by £50m in 2014/15, with a further £92m needs to be cut over the next three years.

But Ms Thorne, another Grangetown councillor, said the reshuffle would not affect the Labour group.

"We're all loyal party members. When the decision is made, it's made, and we'll all fall in line," she said.

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