First female leader for West Yorkshire Fire Service

Coun Judith Hughes, the new chair of West Yorkshire Fire Service
Coun Judith Hughes, the new chair of West Yorkshire Fire Service

West Yorkshire Fire Service has appointed its first female leader.

Greenhead Councillor Judith Hughes has replaced Coun Mehboob Khabeen as leader of the country’s fourth largest metropolitan fire and rescue authority.

Meanwhile, Calderdale Councillor Bryan Smith has been appointed chair of the finance and resources committee.

She said: “I am proud to be elected as Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, and I hope to continue the good work of the previous Chair, Coun Mehboob Khan.

“The organisation works cross-party for the benefit of local communities throughout West Yorkshire and is one the highest performing authorities across the country.

“West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has been innovative and progressive over the last few years, in spite of the budget constraints, and I am particularly eager to continue to work with as well as forge new partnerships with other public bodies and the voluntary and community sector.

“The next few years will be challenging for the authority as we continue to operate in times of austerity, while keeping the public of West Yorkshire safe.

“It is also a sensitive time with the current national firefighters’ industrial action. We as an authority understand the impact of the pension changes for some of the firefighters and encourage the government through the Local Government Association to seek a way to settle the national pension dispute.”

Since being elected to Kirklees Council in 2011, and subsequently the fire authority the same year, Coun Hughes has served as vice chair of the authority, chair of the finance and resources committee and vice chair of the executive committee.

Coun Hughes has a background in personal finance and was a GMB union representative for six years prior to being elected to Kirklees Council.

Coun Hughes was officially appointed Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority at today’s (Wednesday) AGM.

Key committee posts were also announced as follows:

Executive Committee

CHAIR – Coun Judith Hughes

VICE CHAIR – Coun Tracey Austin

Finance and Resources

CHAIR – Coun Bryan Smith (Lab, Calderdale)

VICE CHAIR – Coun Arif Hussain (Lab, Leeds)

Human Resources

CHAIR – Coun Gill Thornton (Lab, Bradford)

VICE CHAIR – Coun Ronald Grahame (Lab, Leeds)


CHAIR – Coun Judith Cummins (Lab, Leeds)

VICE CHAIR – Coun Amanda Stubley (Lab, Kirklees)

Community Safety

CHAIR – Coun Joanne Dodds (Lab, Bradford)

VICE CHAIR – Coun Tony Wallis (Lab, Wakefield)