Westgate Ward Councillor
Westgate is a busy ward containing the commercial centre of the city, as well as a number of residential areas including St Thomas and Leazes Village, New Mills, Diana and Mary Street estates, the Westgate Multis, Summerhill, Rye Hill, parts of Elswick and many properties in the city centre and quayside. My role includes speaking up for local people in city council decision-making, helping constituents with individual problems and campaigning for the resources and services that our local communities need.
Leader of the Council
I was elected as the Leader of Newcastle City Council in May 2011. This role involves representing the city at a regional, national and international level as well as ensuring the City Council delivers on local peoples’ priorities. I chair the Council’s Cabinet, which is a group of councillors with specific responsibilities for individual areas of the Council’s business. I also chair the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, and am Newcastle’s representative on the Local Enterprise Partnership. I lead on Transport issues for the North East Combined Authority and am Vice Chair of the influential Core Cities UK group.
I am a high profile advocate for Newcastle and the North East, and can be heard or seen regularly in the local media commenting on topical stories.
Leader, Labour Local Government
The Local Government Association is the national body representing councils and councillors. I am the Leader of the LGA Labour Group, and the Senior Vice Chair of the Association. I work closely with Government Ministers and Shadow Ministers to shape national policy, and with councils around the UK to share good practice and promote devolution. I am a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, and work closely with the Labour Leader and Frontbench team in Parliament, attending Shadow Cabinet meetings on a regular basis.