Top-team reshuffle as Leeds City Council vows to take on climate change

The top team at Leeds City Council will include a member with responsibility for climate change for the first time, following a reshuffle by leader Judith Blake.

Coun Lisa Mulherin.

Coun Lisa Mulherin (Lab, Ardsley & Robin Hood) will take on the new role of Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainability, replacing Mr Lewis’s former role for regeneration, transport and planning.

Coun Mulherin’s old role as executive member for children and families will be taken on by Coun Fiona Venner

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The changes come after long-time council executive member Richard Lewis lost his Pudsey seat at last week’s local elections, meaning Coun Blake had to reshuffle her top team.

Coun Lisa Mulherin.

Shortly after her appointment, Coun Mulherin tweeted: “Proud to have been appointed as the new Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development at Leeds City Council by Coun Judith Blake, with Fiona Venner taking on Executive lead for child friendly Leeds.”

Coun Blake said: “This underlines our absolute commitment to make tackling climate change a key focus for the council. We declared a Climate Emergency earlier this year and these new arrangements show we are prepared to take action as a result of that.

“Every area of council policy will take account of the responsibility we have to reduce carbon emissions in line with our 2030 target.

“Tackling climate change will also be one of the three pillars of our overall approach as an Executive Board. The others are delivering Inclusive Growth – which means ensuring everyone in Leeds can benefit from and contribute to the opportunities that come with economic growth in the city, with the third pillar being to improve the health and well-being of Leeds residents.”

Despite the changes, co-deputy leaders James Lewis and Debra Coupar continue in their respective executive roles in resources and communities. Coun Mohammed Rafique continues as member for environment and active lifestyles; Jonathan Pryor remains head of learning, skills and employment; Rebecca Charlwood stays on as member for adults, health and active lifestyles.

The roles are expected to be rubber-stamped at the council’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, May 22.