Here's the latest Argus column from Torfaen County Borough Council leader Cllr Anthony Hunt:

TOUGH times shine a light on leadership.

In my experience, when the going gets tough, macho leaders tend to get found out.

When a crisis hits, all the charisma in the world or a massive ego won’t protect people or help reach solutions.


Instead, these alpha leaders tend to panic and lash out as people start asking questions and they find that they can’t shout and scream their way out of a problem.

But if examples on the other side of the Atlantic show how it shouldn’t be done, there are more positive alternative examples in our world.

Take leaders like Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand, or even Angela Merkel in Germany. Instead of shouting at people and building themselves up, they build teams and a positive culture so that problems can be dealt with collectively, rationally and using evidence.

The first thing any leader should be told is that it’s not all about them - they are merely the gardener, not the garden itself. As a leader, you are no more or less than the culture you foster.

The Covid-19 pandemic certainly poses a number of challenges for leaders at all levels of government.

As well as a physical health challenge, it’s a challenge to the mental health of our people, to the strength of our communities and to the economy of every region.

We must respond to all of those challenges in turn.

Of course, our immediate priority is to stem the spread of the virus by encouraging people to observe lockdown, so that our health services can treat those who are ill.

Our communities have responded to that challenge in an inspirational way, which should be a lesson to us as leaders.

Surely now we appreciate the true value of our public servants and key workers, who have kept the country running in such a difficult time.

As leaders, we must also put our minds to work thinking about how we can help our economy recover from this pandemic when the time comes.

Because while the crisis has made us remember that our health and our loved ones matter more than money, an economic tragedy which costs jobs and increases poverty and inequality would only compound the health tragedy.

As the new chairman of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, I’ll work hard to help our regional economy meet the post-Covid challenges we face and take advantage of the opportunities and strengths we have as a region.

I’m lucky to inherit sound foundations from Andrew Morgan.

As 10 leaders of various political persuasions, we work together in partnership, without egos, destructive parochialism or petty political point-scoring getting in the way.

Our job now is to assess the situation, roll up our sleeves and do our best to work together, to make sure all parts of our region have the best possible chance of success.