TORFAEN council leader, Anthony Hunt, has been elected as chairman of the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal regional cabinet.

Councillor Hunt was unanimously elected to the role by the leaders of the nine other CCR City Deal local authority partners at a virtual annual general meeting of the regional cabinet today (Monday).

The CCR City Deal is a £1.2 billion deal which aims to unlock significant economic growth across the Cardiff Capital Region.

After the meeting, Cllr Hunt paid tribute to councillor Andrew Morgan for his leadership during his term in office.

“I am passionate about our ambition to become a truly connected, competitive and resilient region,” Cllr Hunt said.

“We will only achieve that by working closely with partners across the public and private sectors, especially the fantastic business community in our region.

“The last few weeks have been an immense challenge to our region, to the health and wellbeing of our people, to the way public services work and to our regional economy.

“The challenge is plain for all to see, yet our region has significant strengths in many key sectors, which we need to build upon.

“We need to make sure we’re at the heart of shaping our region’s economic recovery, ensuring that all parts of our region, from coast to valleys, can share in future prosperity.

“No community or group of people should be left behind, and our work on the foundational economy is key to that.

“I also want to see a rethink in how we value certain sectors and occupations, putting local wealth building at the heart of our collective effort.”

Councillor Morgan backed Cllr Hunt to bring “the required energy, drive and leadership to the role.”

“We are now in the position where we have a sizeable portfolio of investment opportunities in our pipeline,” he said.

“These projects will be even more critical as we begin the process of helping to re-build the economy and support our places after a sustained period of disruption with flooding and now, the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Councillor Peter Fox, leader of Monmouthshire County Council, and councillor Huw Thomas, leader of City of Cardiff Council, were elected as vice-chairs of the regional cabinet.

The regional cabinet was set up in 2016 to provide the leadership, vision and strategic direction for the Cardiff Capital Region.

The ten local authorities include the five Gwent councils.