New leadership arrangements for Leeds City Council announced

Jobs, skills and training, delivering more affordable housing and protecting and supporting vulnerable Leeds residents, are all high on the agenda for Leeds City Council, as new leadership arrangements are announced after the recent local elections.

The ruling Labour administration has laid out its priorities for the next couple of years, focusing on equipping the city and its people to cope with current financial challenges and on developing for the future.

Key areas include promoting economic growth in order to deliver jobs and training opportunities, especially for young people; adopting innovative ways of working, including closer partnership arrangements, in order to protect frontline services; protecting and supporting the city’s most vulnerable residents and delivering more affordable housing.

At the council's AGM yesterday Councillor Keith Wakefield has been re-confirmed as leader of the council, along with deputy leaders Cllrs Judith Blake and Peter Gruen.

All existing executive members with responsibility for specific areas of the council’s work have been re-appointed but with some amendments to the portfolio areas to reflect the administration’s priorities for the coming years.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“It is vital that we have a strong team who are committed to doing everything we can to support and protect the people who are in most need of our help is at the heart of what the council has been doing over the past few years.

“As we continue to face severe budget cuts this becomes increasingly important and the lion’s share of our spending is allocated to looking after our older people and the children and young people who need our support.

“However, we also have a very determined focus on working to create jobs and future opportunity, particularly for our young people. In attracting and creating work opportunities we also guarantee that the city itself is strong for the future.

“As the city grows the need for affordable housing grows alongside it and we are targeting our own efforts and working with private and third sector developers to increase the amount of homes available to people on restricted budgets.”

The new portfolio areas are:

 Finance and inequality: Cllr Keith Wakefield

 Children and families: Cllr Judith Blake

 Neighbourhoods, planning and personnel: Cllr Peter Gruen

 Digital and creative technologies, culture and skills: Cllr Lucinda Yeadon

 Health and well-being: Cllr Lisa Mulherin

 Cleaner, stronger and safer communities: Cllr Mark Dobson

 Adult social care: Cllr Adam Ogilvie

 Transport and economy: Cllr Richard Lewis

Also announced this week were the chair people for the council’s scrutiny boards, plans panels, the licensing committee, the governance and audit committee and the standards committee. They are:

 Cllr Pauleen Grahame - Scrutiny (Resources)

 Cllr Debra Coupar - Scrutiny (Health and Well-being and Adult Social Care)

 Cllr Kim Groves - Scrutiny (Sustainable Economy and Culture)

 Cllr Mary Harland – Licensing Chair

 Cllr Rebecca Charlwood – Plans East Chair

 Cllr Mohammed Rafique – Plans West Chair

 Cllr Jim McKenna – City Centre Plans Chair

 Cllr Neil Walshaw – Development Plans Panel

 Cllr Ghulam Hussain – Corporate Governance and Audit

 Cllr Elizabeth Nash - Standards


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk