Leeds city council leader James Lewis set to be West Yorkshire deputy mayor as Tracy Brabin reveals council leaders' roles

The leader of Leeds city council will also serve as West Yorkshire's deputy mayor as the county's political leaders set out how they will work together to deliver vital improvements.

Each of the five West Yorkshire council leaders has been given a portfolio on West Yorkshire Combined Authority following Tracy Brabin's election as metro mayor earlier this month.

If agreed at the Annual Meeting of the combined authority on June 24, council leaders will chair committees in line with their new portfolios and the mayor will chair a new committee focusing on supporting West Yorkshire’s creative and cultural sector.

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Leeds Local Elections held at First Direct Arena, Leeds. Pictured Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Council and Executive Member for Resources. Pic: James Hardisty

James Lewis who recently took over as Labour leader of Leeds City Council, has been nominated to serve as Deputy Mayor and will also hold the Skills and Employment portfolio.

Kirklees leader Shabir Pandor will hold the Business, Economy, and Innovation portfolio, Calderdale leader Tim Swift the Carbon and Energy brief, Wakefield leader Denise Jefffery will be responsible for Place, Regeneration and Planning and Bradford's Susan Hinchcliffe have the transport portfolio.

There are relatively few powers where the mayor can act by themselves without getting the consent of the combined authority members, made up of West Yorkshire's five local council leaders and three other councillors for political balance.

On others, such as the strategic direction of the adult education budget, decisions will be made by a majority of the combined authority members and the mayor does not have a casting vote.

Ms Brabin said: “I’m excited to be working with all the Leaders of West Yorkshire councils to deliver on the pledges I made during the election.

"I am committed to building on the work already underway to create a stronger, more resilient West Yorkshire, increasing living standards for all across the region.”

And Coun Lewis added: “Improving skills is key to helping our communities access well-paid secure jobs, improving productivity, attracting businesses to West Yorkshire and make sure those already here can thrive.”