New leadership team confirmed at Leeds City Council

New Leeds council leader Judith Blake and deputies James Lewis and Lucinda Yeadon.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
New Leeds council leader Judith Blake and deputies James Lewis and Lucinda Yeadon. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

A new leadership team at Leeds City Council takes to the helm today to steer the city forward.

Along with a new leader, there are two new deputy leaders and two new executive members to help the council achieve its priority goals over the coming years.

At the council’s AGM last night Coun Judith Blake was officially confirmed as leader of the council, along with deputy leaders Councillors Lucinda Yeadon and James Lewis.

The ruling Labour administration has laid out its priorities for the next couple of years, including creating strong economic growth in a compassionate city by providing opportunities for growth and prosperity for all communities, and equipping the city’s young people with the skills and aspirations to succeed.

Seeking to obtain more local powers from central government and continuing the work already underway to put Leeds on the map nationally and internationally are also high priorities for the new leadership team.

Amendments have been made to the executive board portfolio areas to reflect the administration’s priorities for the coming years and the changes to the membership of the team.

Coun Blake 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 – a team which will work hard to help our city to continue to grow and succeed and meet any challenges head-on.

“We will continue the fantastic work which has already begun to put Leeds firmly on the map, both nationally and internationally through events like the Tour De France Grand Départ, and the British Art Show 8 later this year, as well as next year’s World Triathlon Series and of course our bid to be the European City of Culture 2023.

“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.

“I intend to build on the exceptional work of my predecessor Coun Keith Wakefield and am very much looking forward to the challenges of leading such a large, vibrant and diverse city – we have a very bright and exciting future ahead of us.”

As well as leader of the council, Coun Blake will be executive member for economy and culture.

The portfolio for children and families will be held by Coun Yeadon, while Coun Lewis will be executive member for resources and strategy.

Other appointments comprise: executive member for communities Coun Debra Coupar, executive member for environmental protection and community safety Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for regeneration, transport, and planning Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for health, wellbeing, and adults Coun Lisa Mulherin, and executive member for employment, enterprise, and opportunity Coun Mohammed Rafique.