Posts Tagged ‘Russell Goodway’

Some real positive proposals from Councillor Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member of Cardiff City Council.

Councillor Russell Goodway

Councillor Russell Goodway

I was delighted to read in today’s South Wales Echo that Russell Goodway has put further meat on the bone of his excellent ideas to potentially save millions of pounds of tax payers’ money, in various local authorities in Wales, by using single centralised departments to conduct backroom activities.

For a population the size of Wales’, not much bigger than Birmingham, we have 22 local authorities.  In 2013, with huge improvements in technology, connectivity and transport since the last local government reorganisation, this is just too big a bureaucracy and needs to be reorganised.

While Welsh Government has ruled out any reorganisation until after the next elections in 2016, do Council’s not have to make savings on budgets now?  Let’s hope Councillor Russell Goodway and his supporters can at least get other Welsh Councils to see what services can be shared in 2013/2014.

Breakfast ClubRussell Goodway, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Business and Local Economy, joined us this morning to discuss his vision for Cardiff as “a city of the world” – and told Cardiff Breakfast Club members to “prepare to be amazed”.

It is now 20 years since the then Council set out to transform Cardiff from a “small provincial city” to a vibrant and thriving capital, comparable to any of its European counterparts. This agenda, known as “Cardiff 2020”, identified key characteristics of these European cities, such as a high-performing and research-focused university, top notch sports facilities and cultural and concert venues. In the past 20 years, Cllr Goodway has had an instrumental role in bringing just such characteristics to Cardiff: Cardiff University, part of the influential Russell Group, the Millennium, Cardiff City and SWALEC stadiums, and the Millennium Centre.

However, these are more than just facilities: Cardiff 2020 embraced and understood the economic potential of culture and sport. For example, top quality universities attract and nurture the best students, creating a talented pool of individuals. These individuals go on to work in the area – and they attract businesses here to employ them.

Since then Cardiff has hosted the Rugby World Cup, the ICC Champions trophy, Olympic football matches, and concerts by huge acts. Russell praised the palpable “buzz” in the city after the singer Rihanna’s concert earlier this week, and anticipated the excitement that Premiership football will bring next season.

Councillor Russell Goodway outlined his aspirations for Cardiff's future economic development.

Councillor Russell Goodway outlined his aspirations for Cardiff’s future economic development.

With such attractive “weapons in the city’s economic armour”, the eyes of the world should be turning to Cardiff. Yet despite all this, Cllr Goodway stated that we have failed to make the most of the platforms put in place. Cardiff has “taken its eye off the ball” in the past 10 years, “underperforming” on a number of key measures. We currently have low levels of innovation, of business start-ups and business density, and have failed to attract significant inward investment and new jobs.

It now falls to this council to “start the process all over again”; to stimulate a new economic agenda for Cardiff and “lead Wales out of economic darkness”. During tough economic times the local government and the local business community must work together to bring aspirations to fruition, and Russell praised the strong public-private sector partnerships that brought about Cardiff 2020’s success. As he put it, the council must break the eggs, but the business community must make the omelette.

The Council’s aspirations full into three areas: infrastructure (both transport and digital), opportunities for all citizens, and enhancing Cardiff’s reputation. There are plans to dramatically improve local, national and international transport links, as well as the creation of a new enterprise zone that will attract new jobs into the city. Major development projects have a knock-on effect on all sectors: stimulating the construction industry, creating permanent jobs, and further bolstering Cardiff’s offer to visitors and inward investors.

Cardiff is a young, dynamic and growing city, and this “must be shouted about” to achieve the recognition it is capable of. 20 years ago such economic drive made Cardiff a worthy European capital; now it is time to make it a “city of the world”.

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan celebrates on the pitch

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan celebrates on the pitch

Sometimes a city needs some good fortune. Without doubt the success of our wonderful Bluebirds in reaching the football Premiership will as Councillor Russell Goodway says in today’s South Wales Echo put Cardiff ‘on the global map’.

The Bluebirds have been so close to achieving this dream over recent years, and have at last done so through excellent management, investment by the new owners, and the dedication, belief and talent of the squad themselves.

The opportunity that this news provides all those involved in promotion of the city must be grasped, and a strategy put in place to maximise the profile which has suddenly been given to the city.

Very well done to all the managers, the team, back room staff, directors and investors, who have made it happen!