Former Cardiff City Council leader Rodney Berman aims for Council seat in May

Five years ago, the Liberal Democrats ran Cardiff with 35 of the 68 seats on the Council. In May 2012, they lost more than half their seats, mainly due to a backlash against the UK coalition government. Then Council leader Rodney Berman lost his seat.

There are signs of a reversal of fortune, though. In September, Robin Rea saw a huge increase in the Lib Dem vote to win a by-election in the city’s Roath ward.

Every council seat in Wales is up for election in May and Rodney has just been selected as the candidate for the Penylan ward.

He told Wales Online:

It’s a much better campaign picture for us than it has been for a number of years. We have been winning council by-elections up and down the country, we had a remarkable victory in the Richmond Park by-election and at the same time support for Labour is dropping.

“When you go out there you have people who are not impressed by Jeremy Corbyn and the way Labour is fighting nationally and locally. I think there’s a great opportunity for us, particularly as we’re the largest opposition party at the moment and we’re the only party that’s ever held leadership of the council.

“It’s not just the national impact of Labour but it’s the local impact of infighting. People are despairing at the local councillors.

“We have never had so many resignations from a ruling group and so many councillors deciding they’ve had enough.”

Local Lib Dems have been highlighting Labour’s failure on all sorts of issues from a massive increase in fly-tipping to local schools provision whilst allowing house building without planning for the necessary infrastructure investment. I was particularly annoyed by Labour’s lack of vision for the city. They made no effort whatsoever to keep one of its fantastic tourist attractions there.

I went to see the exhibition when I went to Welsh Conference in February and it’s such a valuable resource that attracts people to the city.

Labour have seen their majority dwindle, too, as councillors resign for all sorts of reasons.

It certainly seems that there is a perfect opportunity for a Liberal Democrat revival in Cardiff in May.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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