Words: Richard Beecham
Kirkstall ward councillor Fiona Venner will continue in her role Executive Member for Children, Families and Adult Social Care – as Leeds City Council prepares to unveil a new council leader later this month.
Incumbent council leader Judith Blake will be given a life peerage in the House of Lords, with current council deputy leader Cllr James Lewis taking over her role.
Cllr Lewis has also announced a reshuffle of senior appointments in his incoming administration, with Cllr Blake and Cllr Lisa Mulherin making way for new appointments Cllr Salma Arif, Cllr Mary Harland and Cllr Helen Hayden.
Former portfolio holder for adults and health Cllr Rebecca Charlwood stepped down as an executive member recently, with Cllr Fiona Venner – herself an executive member for children and families – temporarily stepping in.
In addition to his responsibilities as Council Leader, Cllr Lewis will also continue as the Executive Member for Resources. He said:
“I’m pleased to announce that Salma Arif, Mary Harland and Helen Hayden who are new to Executive Board will work alongside the rest of my Executive team.
“These arrangements bring a breadth of experience from Councillors who represent a diverse range of residents and communities across Leeds.
“They will provide stability in the council’s political structure until the local elections and they will help the city navigate a crucial period in our response to the pandemic.”
A motion to elect Councillor James Lewis as Leader of Leeds City Council will be voted on at a Full Council meeting on Wednesday, February 24.
The appointments in full:
Councillor Debra Coupar – Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Communities
Councillor Salma Arif – Executive Member for Public Health
Councillor Mary Harland – Executive Member for the Economy
Councillor Helen Hayden – Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development
Councillor Jonathan Pryor – Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment
Councillor Mohammed Rafique – Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles
Councillor Fiona Venner – Executive Member for Children, Families and Adult Social Care