Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) former Leader of Penarth Town Council, has been formally elected as the new Mayor of Penarth for 2016/17.
In a crowded Council Chamber at Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House, Stanwell Road last night, Cllr Cuddy was formally elected as Mayor having already been nominated for the office in an earlier council meeting on April 21st 2016.
A large number of friends, family, guests and members of Penarth Youth Action took their places in the Council chamber as councillors formally elected Cllr Cuddy to office.
Cllr Cuddy then retired to the robing room to don the mayoral robes prior to re-entering the council chamber for his formal installation as Mayor.
The outgoing mayor Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) formally transferred the mayoral chain of office to Cllr Cuddy and congratulated him on his election.
Cllr Cuddy – is a retired former Welsh Government civil servant and professional planner who has also worked earlier in his career for the Welsh Development Agency – a body scrapped by the Welsh Labour Government. He was very much the architect of Labour’s victory in Penarth in the local government elections of May 2012.
Elected by councillors as Deputy Mayor of Penarth for 2016/17 is Cllr Tracey Alexander ((Labour Cornerswell) – a married mother of five who is a former deputy chairman of Penarth Civic Society.
She has been involved in the development of the Flatholm Project and Cosmeston Mediaeval Village, the Windsor Road Allotment Group and is a governor of two local schools.
Many of the councillors attending last night’s Annual Meeting of the council have also occupied the office of Mayor and wore their formal regalia denoting their status as former mayors.
One of the first jobs the council will undertake next week is to place Cllr Cuddy’s name in gold-leaf on the oak panels in the entrance hall which list all the former mayors and chairmen of the town dating back to 1875.
Penarth Town Council has now entered an unprecedented period in which it – like all other local authorities and community councils in Wales – will be acting for a further 12 months without having any public mandate to remain in office.
In 2012 all current Penarth councillors were elected for a 4-year term – and should have been facing elections this year – but their term of office was arbitrarily extended by the Welsh Labour Government t0 5 years and is due to run until May 2017.
The extension was made to allow for a proposed government re-organisation – a re-organisation which, in the event, never took place.
The former Welsh Government minister who had been behind the planned re-organisation of local authorities in Wales – Leighton Andrews (Labour Rhondda) – lost his seat in last week’s Welsh Assembly elections.