Calderdale Council leader gets new role under West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin

The Leader of Calderdale Council will chair a new committee dedicated to improving  energy targets and reducing carbon emissions in West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire devolution

New West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has announced that each leader of the five Councils in West Yorkshire is to be appointed a specific portfolio.

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift will lead the Carbon and Energy portfolio.

Mrs Brabin’s appointment of portfolios to the Council leaders has been one of her most significant announcements since being voted into the new role earlier this month.

She also announced that Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, has been nominated to serve as Deputy Mayor.

The portfolios will be:

• Business, Economy, and Innovation – Cllr Shabir Pandor

• Carbon and Energy – Cllr Tim Swift

• Place, Regeneration and Planning – Cllr Denise Jeffery

• Skills and Employment – Cllr James Lewis

• Transport – Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe

West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be asked to approve the appointments at its next full meeting on June 24.

The Council Leaders will chair newly created committees in line with their new portfolios, with these committees replacing many of the existing Combined Authority committees.

Mrs Brabin, a former actress, will chair a new committee focusing on supporting West Yorkshire’s creative and cultural sector.

She 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.”

Coun Hinchcliffe, who has pushed for a Bradford stop to be included on the Northern Powerhouse Rail line for years, said: “A joined up transport system that ensures all our communities are connected to jobs, services, culture and each other is central to achieving our ambitions for West Yorkshire.”

Coun Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, said: “I am proud of the challenging target we have set to achieve a net-zero carbon region by 2038 which is making West Yorkshire a leader in tackling the climate emergency and will drive growth in skilled, well-paid green economy jobs.”

Coun Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “By making West Yorkshire the best place to start or grow a business we can create more and better jobs and generate investment to support the public services our region deserves.”

Coun Lewis said: “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.”

Coun Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We need regeneration which delivers high quality affordable homes and helps people lead happier and healthier lives, bringing them closer to the opportunities which will raise their standard of living.”