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Councillor Ian Roberts to continue to lead Flintshire Council 

COUNCILLOR Ian Roberts has been re-elected to lead Flintshire Council for 2023-24.

The Flint Castle Councillor is the leader of the Labour group, the largest political group on the authority.

He saw off the challenge of Hawarden Aston Cllr Helen Brown put forward by the opposition Independent group as their alternative option for leader at the council’s AGM.

Cllr Ian Roberts

Speaking about his re-election as leader, Cllr Roberts said: “I promise to serve the county and continue to work with as many groups as we possibly can for the best for Flintshire Council and the people of our county.

“We are prepared to work across the chamber for the best of the people of Flintshire.

“I am extremely grateful to you all.”

One of Cllr Roberts’ first tasks at the AGM was to confirm his cabinet and their portfolios for the next year.

Llanfynydd Cllr Dave Hughes and Queensferry and Sealand Cllr Christine Jones will both continue to share the deputy leader role and split the salary.

A Liberal Democrat Councillor has also been added to the majority Labour cabinet.

New Brighton and Argoed Cllr Mared Eastwood, whose term as chair of the council has now ended, takes on the education, Welsh language, culture and leisure portfolio previously held by the council leader.

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There have been no other changes to the cabinet which is as follows:

  • Cabinet member for social services – Queensferry and Sealand Cllr Christine Jones
  • Cabinet member for Streetscene – Llanfynydd Cllr Dave Hughes
  • Cabinet member for planning, public health and protection – Mold East Cllr Chris Bithell
  • Cabinet member for governance and corporate services – Broughton North East Cllr Billy Mullin
  • Cabinet member for finance – Holywell West Cllr Paul Johnson
  • Cabinet member for housing and regeneration – Shotton West Cllr Sean Bibby
  • Cabinet member for climate change – Caergwrle Cllr David Healey
  • Cabinet member for education, Welsh language, culture and leisure – New Brighton and Argoed Cllr Mared Eastwood

The new chair of Flintshire Council is Hope Cllr Gladys Healey (Lab), having been nominated by the leader Cllr Roberts, and supported by the opposition leader, Connah’s Quay South Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind).

Cllr Healey succeeds Cllr Eastwood in the role for the 2023-24 term.

Cllr Gladys Healey

Cllr Roberts said: “I believe Gladys is a very capable person, headstrong, very demanding on occasions but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

Cllr Healey congratulated Cllr Eastwood on her term as chair, adding: “We stand shoulder to shoulder in this council, we work together for the people who have put us here, the people of Flintshire.”

The new vice-chair of the council is Buckley Pentrobin Cllr Dennis Hutchinson (Ind), nominated by Cllr Attridge and backed by Cllr Roberts.

Cllr Hutchinson has been on the council for 32 years, stretching back to the days of the former Alyn and Deeside Council. He is also a well-regarded former local football referee and described being made vice-chair as “a great honour”.