Dafydd Williams Elected York Labour Leader
12:38pm 29th November 2014
(Updated 1:54pm 29th November 2014)
Dafydd Williams has been elected the new leader of the Labour Group on York Council.
If he wins a vote of all councillors on Thursday, he will replace current York Council leader James Alexander, who has quit to take up a job with the national Labour Party in London.
Dafydd Williams is thirty six years old and currently has a seat in the Westfield ward of York Council. However, he will move to stand in the Heworth area in May's council elections.
He works as Head of Public Affairs at Yorkshire Water and has a long career in the PR industry. Politically, he has been a councillor in Plymouth and stood to be an MP in the Bournemouth West constituency and also stood for the European Parliament in 2009. He was elected to represent the Westfield ward on York Council in 2011.
Ruth Potter, Chair of the City of York Council’s Labour Group announced his victory saying:
“I am pleased to announce that following an election held within the City of York Council’s Labour Group this morning, Councillor Dafydd Williams has been elected the new Leader of the Labour Group.
“This follows the recent decision of Councillor James Alexander to step down as leader in order to pursue a career opportunity within the Labour Party.
“Coun. Dafydd Williams will be nominated as the Labour Group’s choice for Leader of the City of York Council, to be confirmed at a full meeting of all councillors on Thursday 11th December.
"I'd like to welcome Coun. Williams to the role as the Labour Group looks to continue work on sustaining York's economy in the face of Tory-Lib Dem Government austerity measures."
Dafydd Williams said in a statement:
"I want to thank my Labour colleagues for putting their confidence in me by giving me the incredible honour to lead the Labour Group at this critically important time. I'm really looking forward to the challenge and the chance to change the way politics is done in York. Too often our politics has been done by attacking individuals and negative campaigning, which leaves residents cold.
"I would like to thank Coun. Alexander for leading the group and the council for the past few years and wish him every success in the future. He has shown the vision and drive that was so lacking before Labour took power in 2011. "I look forward to sharing my vision for the city in the coming days so that councillors know exactly what I stand for before voting for a new council leader on 11th December".
POLITICAL OPPONENTS REACTION
Keith Aspden, leader of York's Lib Dems told Minster FM:
“I welcome Dafydd to his new role. Since 2011 the problems in the Labour Cabinet have gone deeper than the leader. Dafydd Williams has been part of this Cabinet since day one and was directly responsible for the unpopular decision to ignore the views of 2,500 local residents and close Beckfield Lane Tip in 2012.
“I hope that we will see meaningful change in his group’s policies. Key issues such as plans to close Yearsley Pool should be re-examined and the council must start listening and engaging with residents again.
“The new leader must also begin to repair the damage done by the botched Lendal Bridge trial and I urge him to support a Liberal Democrat motion to repay all the fines at December’s Full Council meeting. This will be his first test as leader and will show whether things have really changed in the Labour Group.”
Andy D'Agorne, leader of York's Green Group said:
"I hope that he will seek to work with opposition councillors in the hung council to achieve the best possible solutions to the problems facing the city, including major budget cuts forced on us by the Coalition government."
I hope that he will seek to work with opposition councillors in the hung council to achieve the best possible solutions to the problems facing the city, including major budget cuts forced on us by the Coalition government.
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