LABOUR’S Mary Ann Brocklesby has been confirmed for a third year as the leader of Monmouthshire County Council. 

The Llaenlly Hill councillor became leader when Labour formed a minority administration after the 2022 local government elections and the party shored up its control of the council at last year’s annual general meeting when it brought Llantilio Crossenny Green Party councillor Ian Chandler into the cabinet. 

Following the council’s annual general meeting the council appointed Cllr Brocklesby as leader and she confirmed she wouldn’t be making any changes to her cabinet. 

Council chairman Meirion Howells stepped down at the meeting from the ceremonial role that involves representing the authority at various events, as well as chairing the council’s monthly meetings. He was succeeded by his deputy, Croesonen Labour member Su McConnell. 

During his leaving speech Cllr Howells praised the support of his wife, Sarah, who’d been his consort, and family including his mother, who attended the meeting, and his late father. He said the care provided to his father had inspired him to chose St David’s Hospice care as his chosen charity for the year and his fund had raised £4,956. 

When Labour agreed its deal with the Green Party last year it was also announced Cllr Chandler, who’d sat in the then six strong independent group with Cllr Howells, would form a ‘Green Independent’ group with the Usk member. 

That has been constantly criticised throughout the year by the Conservatives and Cllr Howells addressed the issue in his leaving speech. 

He said: “I’ve not formed a coalition with the Labour Party or formed any deal in exchange for my vote, my vote is my own. 

“Last year Cllr Chandler and I formed our Green Indpendent Group that was more closely aligned with our green ethos and values.” 

All group leaders praised the way Cllr Howells chaired the council during his year of office.