Heather Joyce, the leader of Cardiff Council and the Council’s Labour group, has announced she will be stepping down due to her husband’s ill health.
Mrs Joyce will step down in March when the new leader will be announced. The current acting deputy leader is Lynda Thorne.
Mrs Joyce made the announcement today following a lively council meeting last night in which the budget was passed.
The council’s decision to slash £45m from local service budgets drew protest from many activists and opposition politicians.
Mrs Joyce was a compromised candidate who led the council through a controversial period. She came to the role in 2012 after Labour took power from the previous Liberal Democrat-Plaid Cymru coalition.
But today many of her colleagues praised her tenure as leader.
Ashley Govier, Labour councillor for Grangetown and cabinet member for environment, said: “She leaves with her head held high. She was an incredible lady.”
Mr Govier said he would not be running for leader himself but said whoever took over would need plenty of experience.
He said: “This is not a job for a first term councillor, much more experience is needed in these tough times.
“These are serious times and challenges.”
Russell Goodway, the cabinet member for finance and economic development who led Cardiff Council from 1996 to 2004, has also ruled himself out of the running.
The Cardiff Council Labour group will announce their new leader next month.