AN ABERGELE-based councillor has been re-elected as leader of Conwy County Borough Council.

Charlie McCoubrey, an independent representative of the Pen-sarn Pentre Mawr ward, was elected at the council’s annual meeting this morning (May 19).

Cllr McCoubrey became cabinet member for regulatory and housing in 2019 and was initially elected council leader last May.

He replaced Sam Rowlands, who is now a Member of the Senedd for North Wales.


New leader elected for Conwy county council

Largest intake of newbie councillors to elect Conwy Council leader this week

The council also elected Cllr Ifor Lloyd (Independent, Betws yn Rhos ward) as its chair, and Cllr Susan Shotter (Welsh Lib Dems, Marl ward) as vice-chair at its annual meeting.

In total, 26 of 54 councillors are new members and attended the hybrid meeting, which took place at the council’s Bodlondeb headquarters.

Cllr McCoubrey has also appointed the following councillors to his cabinet:

  • Cllr Emily Owen: Housing and Regulatory and Deputy Leader
  • Cllr Mike Priestley: Finance, Revenue and Benefits
  • Cllr Julie Fallon: Education
  • Cllr Liz Roberts: Children, Families and Safeguarding
  • Cllr Penny Andow: Integrated Adult and Community Services
  • Cllr Goronwy Edwards: Environment, Roads and Facilities – Infrastructure
  • Cllr Geoff Stewart: Environment, Roads and Facilities – Neighbourhood and the Environment
  • Cllr Aaron Wynne: Culture and Leisure
  • Cllr Chris Cater: Democracy and Governance

Cllr McCoubrey said: “This new cabinet is a coalition of 10 members: six members of the Conwy First Independent Group, two members of Welsh Labour and two from Plaid Cymru.

“In making these appointments, I have had the benefit of discussions with group Leaders and many members.

"I believe that I have been able to achieve an appropriate balance of political alignment, diversity, language and the geography of the county borough.

“I have also taken into account the strengths and capabilities of the members who have put themselves forward for appointment in order to create a cabinet that is ready and able to meet the challenges and opportunities that face the council and the people and businesses of Conwy.”

Cllr Lloyd has represented the ward of Betws yn Rhos as an independent candidate since winning a by-election in February 2014.

Since then, he has been successful in the two following elections with majorities of 81 and 86 per cent.

Cllr Lloyd said: "I was introduced to council life by my mentor, the former ward county councillor Ena Wynne MBE, a great lady (now in her mid-90s), who persuaded me to join the community council in Llanfair Talhaiarn with the intention of blocking the proposed closure of the school in the village at that time.

"Needless to say, we were successful and the rest is history.

"She had worked alongside my late grandfather Watkin Lloyd MBE - a councillor in the old Denbighshire county (Aled area) in the the 1960s and saw something in me that reminded her of him.

"Unfortunately I never met my grandfather, since I was born two years after his passing.

"It is an honour to be taking the seat as chairman of Conwy County Borough Council, and carrying on a familicy legacy in the public sector, albeit in the face of financial adversity; as we continue to deal with challenges - the like of which we have not seen for 40 years.

"We are attempting to close the door on a life-changing COVID-19 pandemic and face new challanges placed upon us by economic change.

"Restrictions in worldwide supply chains are increasing inflation levels by the day, resulting in some Conwy families facing daily choices of buying food wa or fuel .

"I really feel at this time all Conwy county councillors should pull together for the common cause.

"Economic, cultural,language and climatic challenges need common sense solutions, and answers only come when there is sensible discussion and not nonsensical power struggles.

"'Mewn undeb mae nerth' - in unison, we find strength.

"It is not a time for menial bickering between political parties, it is a time to work together for a common cause and help make a difference; especially for those less fortunate in our society."