Phil Bale is Leader of the City of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales and one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in the United Kingdom. He leads a cabinet of nine City Councillors and has lead responsibility for several important areas of policy including; economic development, tourism, Welsh Language and external affairs.
As City Council Leader, he also has lead responsibility for major regeneration projects in the city, such as Central Square, a new 750,000 square foot, office retail and hotel development, which will include a new Head Quarters for BBC Wales and the construction of a Foster+ Partners-designed, integrated transport hub. Other projects include the development of a new masterplan of the Cardiff Bay waterfront and the International Sports Village complex.
In addition, he represents Cardiff on the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and is the WLGA Spokesperson on European Affairs. He is also a member of the Welsh Government European Advisory Group on the consequences for Wales as a result of Brexit.
First elected to the City Council in May 2012, Cllr Bale has served on a number of bodies, including the board of the city’s largest bus operator, Cardiff Bus and South Wales Fire Authority before being elected Leader in March 2014. He is the current Chair of the Cardiff Pubic Services Board, a body which sets the priorities and strategic leadership for third and public sector providers in the city. He also sits on the board of Millennium Stadium plc. Under his leadership, the City Council has set out to transform itself into a ‘Co-operative Council’ as it responds to the challenge of shrinking budgets and a growing demand on council services. As part of a wider three-year organisational transformation programme, this values-based approach aims to engage communities and service users more in design and delivery of their public services, foster greater partnership working and increased demand management.
Cardiff has also set out a clear vision to be Europe’s most liveable capital city with a new Liveability Index to help assess the city’s performance against other world-class cities on a range of quality-of-life indicators. In 2014, Cllr Bale led Cardiff into the Core Cities Group – a network for ten of the largest cities outside London – which argues for greater decentralisation of powers and financial freedom for urban areas to drive regional growth and jobs. He has also been a strong advocate of a ‘City Deal’ for Cardiff, similar to those already agreed between the UK Treasury and cities in England and Scotland.
Interests outside politics include travel, both within Wales and beyond, as well as sustainable-development issues. Cllr Bale has also been a strong champion for his local community and previously climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to fundraise for a local community campaign group.