THE Vale of Glamorgan Conservative group have been criticised for giving all the key roles in the cabinet and many other senior posts to men.

Vale of Glamorgan council leader John Thomas appointed an unchanged cabinet team during the council’s annual meeting on Wednesday May 9 which means the Tory administration has again given all the major portfolios to men.

Cllr Leighton Rowlands was elected as mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan for the coming year, while for the Vale’s scrutiny committees, Cllr Vincent Bailey will head environment and regeneration, Cllr George Carroll will be the chairman of corporate performance and resources. 

Elsewhere, Cllr Vincent Driscoll will head the licensing and public protection committee.

Opposition parties have criticised the lack of diversity in the council’s top positions.

The Conservatives have said they take diversity seriously and appointed the cabinet and scrutiny heads based on experience.

Cllr Lis Burnett, who has been appointed to lead the learning and culture scrutiny committee, said the situation was “depressing".

She said: “We have got a tremendous amount of talented women who can step into these roles.

“It’s a matter for the Tory administration to put their house in order. They are so dismissive of their women councillors.

“They maybe ought to do some diversity training.”

Concerns have also been raised that some councillors elected to senior positions in the council have only been member since last year’s elections.

Cllr Ian Johnson, Plaid Cymru group leader on the Vale council said: “The most talented and skilled people should be appointed to roles in public life. That’s important to get the best public services.

“However there must be something wrong with the Conservatives if they think that a man is always the right choice for the Vale, whatever their age, experience and background.  “If I was a woman in the Tory group on the Vale council, I would be asking why four men first elected last year have been given important roles with extra pay while I’ve been ignored.”

Heads of the other two scrutiny committees - healthy living and homes and safe communities – will be appointed by a vote during the next meetings of the respective committees.

Of the Conservatives’ 23 councillors in the Vale, five are women.

Cllr John Thomas, leader of the council, said: “At such a challenging time for local government in Wales experience is key and I have chosen to continue with the same cabinet and scrutiny committee chairs that have performed so ably during the first year of the administration.

“This does not mean that the administration does not take equality and diversity very seriously, which we certainly do."