A NEW leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council could be appointed on May 20, it has been announced.

Council leader John Thomas was deposed as leader of the Vale Conservatives by Cllr Vincent Bailey following a party annual general meeting this week.

Cllr Thomas, who has already said he will step down, told a full council meeting on May 1 that he intends to stay on as leader until the new one has been appointed – which may be at the council’s annual general meeting on May 20.

The outgoing leader said he was “disappointed” he did not have the support of the Conservative group but that he had led the group to the best of his ability.

He said it had “not been easy” to protect council services amid cuts to local government funding.

Delivering what promises to be his final speech as leader to full council, Cllr Thomas said he “did not take up the position of leader to be popular or further my own political ambitions” but instead to ensure Vale residents get the “best possible services”.

“It would be easy to make decisions based on what the vocal minority may say in order secure votes in the next election. But what we must remember is many more vulnerable members of our society who rely on our services more than most do not have a voice and probably many of them do not use their vote.”

Cllr Thomas thanked councillors of all parties for “putting the residents of the Vale of Glamorgan first.”

The leaders of Labour, Plaid Cymru and Llantwit First thanked Cllr Thomas for his work as leader and described him as “co-operative”.

The new leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Conservatives has also pledged to revisit proposals on new parking charges and plans to ‘close’ Llancarfan School.

Cllr Vincent Bailey is in line to replace current council leader John Thomas after being elected as the leader of the Conservative group on the Vale council. 

Two Conservative cabinet members have since resigned following Cllr Bailey’s election at a Conservative annual general meeting on April 29. 

Cllr Bob Penrose, the council’s cabinet member for learning and culture, has resigned from the Conservatives and the ruling body with immediate effect.

And Cllr Jonathan Bird, the regeneration and planning chief, has resigned from the party but remains in the cabinet as an independent.

Vale council says Cllr Thomas remains the leader of the authority . The Tories have 23 councillors on the 47 member authority with 14 Labour members, six independents and four Plaid Cymru.

Cllr Bailey, who has been outspoken about his concerns about the car parking and Llancarfan School proposals, said: “I would firstly like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to John Thomas, who has worked exceptionally hard for the Vale during his time as leader of the council and the Conservative group.

“I would like to thank him for all of his help and support, I look forward to working with him and other colleagues as we move forward.

“The Vale of Glamorgan is a fantastic place, and fellow councillors and I look forward to delivering a bright and prosperous future for all our residents.

“It is a huge honour to have been elected group leader, following a vote at the annual general meeting of the Conservative group.

“The council and its employees exist to serve local people, and moving forward our priorities must include delivering progress on the Dinas Powys By-Pass, revisiting decisions to introduce car parking charges and close Llancarfan School, and looking again at the options to improve transport links between the A48 and J34 of the M4.”