‘I’m not going to stop fighting’
CARDIFF’S council leader has said he will keep battling to “finish the job”.
With four months to go before a council election, council leader Phil Bale has said he will not be forced out of his role by a minority.
He was criticised this week by political opponents for apparently preventing members of his own group from reading his posts on Twitter.
Having previously blocked Gretta Marshall, then a Labour councillor, he has blocked one of his Labour predecessors as Cardiff council leader, Russell Goodway.
It means his party colleagues cannot view his profile or anything he tweets.
But yesterday, Coun Bale said he will continue battling to keep his position as leader of the authority.
“There’s been a substantial element of resistance,” he said.
“I have come up against resistance while trying to drive through change. I have come up against considerable resistance in trying to improve Cardiff and make it a better city.
“I am not going to stop fighting to make sure that Cardiff becomes a better city.
“I can’t allow a small number of people who are resistant to change who want to hold Cardiff back. I want people to come on the same journey as me to make Cardiff a more happy, positive place to live.”
He said that while residents and council staff are on board with changes, he can’t say the same across the board.
“We have fought to stop the council going into special measures. There isn’t a single politician or party that isn’t responsible. The performance issues with some departments goes back decades, and actually if you look at that no confidence vote [put against him by the Conservatives and Lib Dems in 2015] they have all got to step up to the mark and be responsible.
“I have been clear from the outset that I will work with anyone who wants to make Cardiff a better place to live and work.
“It’s incredibly frustrating that a small number of people are causing a distraction from the huge achievements of people that are working in public services in Cardiff.
“We have got some of the biggest challenges facing Wales and Cardiff in living memory. We have got a new President in the White House, we have complex negotiations over the future in the EU and a local election that will define the future of Cardiff not just for the next five years but for a long period of time.
“We have made substantial change in a few years but it isn’t finished. The job isn’t done yet. I don’t want to see all the positivity and progress across the city being wasted and to go back to where we were.
“I don’t want anyone to see the worst social services, some of the worst performing schools in some of the worst conditions where pupils are learning. That’s not the kind of city that I want to lead. It’s not the city people want to live in. That’s why I am going to keep battling and doing what I believe is the right thing and not what’s in my own self interest.”