Russell Goodway

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Russell Vivian Goodway[1] OBE (born 23 December 1955[2]) is a Welsh Labour Party councillor for Ely, Cardiff; and the former Lord Mayor of Cardiff and former CEO of Cardiff Chamber of Commerce. He was Britain's youngest council leader when he led South Glamorgan County Council in 1992.


Goodway was born in St Athan, Glamorgan, at the RAF Hospital. He was brought up in nearby Rhoose.[1] He went to Barry Boys' Comprehensive School before gaining a degree in economics and politics at University College, Swansea.[2] One of his ambitions was to become a Church in Wales vicar, before he entered politics "by mistake" in 1985.[3]


Goodway became a community councillor in Rhoose at the age of 21.[1] He was first elected to South Glamorgan County Council in 1985 and became Leader in 1992,[4] the youngest county council leader in Britain at the time.[1] South Glamorgan Council was replaced in Cardiff by Cardiff Council in 1996.

He was, for a short period at the turn of the 21st century, the highest paid council leader in Great Britain, until he agreed to cut his £58,000 salary under pressure from the Welsh Government.[5]

The "disastrous showing" for Labour at the Pentwyn by-election in September 2003 (with a Liberal Democrat landslide victory) led to a local vote of 'no confidence' in Goodway by the Cardiff Central Labour Party, with a further vote of no confidence discussed by the county Labour Party in October.[6] Following the Labour Party's loss of control of Cardiff Council at the May 2004 Local Elections, Goodway resigned as leader of the group,[7] adding that Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan wanted Goodway to be beaten by his independent opponent.[8]

Remaining an elected councillor for Ely, Goodway was subsequently elected CEO of the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce in late 2004. In late 2007/early 2008, the chamber financially collapsed spectacularly following at overpaid training grant from ELWa of £500,000, which could not be repaid thanks to interest payments totalling £500,000 and other debts of a further £1million.[9] After all 35 staff were immediately made redundant,[10] it was subsequently liquidated.

In 2008 Goodway subsequently insisted he would not seek the then vacant leadership of the Labour group on Cardiff Council.[11]

In 2012, Labour regained control of Cardiff Council, under Heather Joyce' leadership. Goodway was appointed Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Finance in Joyce' cabinet. During his time in that role he led the council's negotiations with development firm Rightacres, which established the Central Square partnership.[12] Following Joyce' resignation as Leader in March 2014, Goodway was not appointed to the new cabinet under Phil Bale's leadership. He has been cited by the BBC saying that " I have had to make some difficult decisions but I believe I have put forward a team that can contribute to drive forward economic development, improve standards of education and skills as well as focusing on citizen engagement, improving performance and delivering on the co-operative council agenda".[13]

Following the May 2017 Welsh Local Government elections, Goodway was appointed Cabinet Member for Investment and Development.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to local government.[14]

He was criticised after stating on X that the scrutiny of the scandal that has engulfed the First Minister Vaughan Gething about his highly controversial £200,000 donation from a company with criminal convictions was racist. [15]


  1. ^ a b c d "Russell: he did it his way". Wales Online. 14 June 2004. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Rhodri's shock jibe as feud boils over". Wales Online. 15 June 2004. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Goodway: I've got my life back". Wales Online. 17 June 2004. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  4. ^ Hooper, Alan; Punter, John (2006). Capital Cardiff 1975-2020: Regeneration, Competitiveness and the Urban Environment. University of Wales Press. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0-7083-2063-5.
  5. ^ "Goodway to stay as city's leader". BBC Wales. 2 May 2000. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  6. ^ Rhys Evans (29 September 2003). "'No confidence' in council leader". BBC News. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Goodway resigns as leader". BBC Wales News. 14 June 2004. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Morgan denies Goodway 'plot'". BBC News Wales. 14 June 2004. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  9. ^ Barry, Sion (5 March 2008). "Chamber sees liquidation as its only debt solution". Western Mail. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  10. ^ "Death of Initiative". Rev Keith Kimber. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  11. ^ James, David (2 May 2008). "Is Goodway coming back?". Media Wales. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  12. ^ Barry, Sion (12 June 2014). "Watch: Businessman behind Cardiff's ambitious Capital Square scheme on how the dream is slowly becoming a reality". Wales Online. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Ex-council leader loses cabinet post". BBC. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  14. ^ "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N12.
  15. ^

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