Wakefield Council Leader, Cllr Denise Jeffery, has unveiled major changes to the Council’s top team following the local elections held on 4 May. The newly formed Cabinet is determined to prioritise the district’s needs by providing essential local services, offering support to residents and businesses, and spearheading an array of ambitious community projects in the coming year.

Expressing her satisfaction with the assembled team, Cllr Jeffery stated, “I’m delighted to have such a robust and dynamic Cabinet. We have successfully assembled a group with a diverse range of skills, experience, and local knowledge.”

She emphasised the Cabinet’s commitment to actively listen to the district’s inhabitants, take into account their priorities, and work diligently to meet the needs of the communities. “Given the current challenges faced by our district’s population, having strong local leadership that focuses on matters of genuine importance is more crucial than ever. This becomes particularly apparent when we have a government that seems disconnected, lacking any plan to address the cost of living or enhance public services,” added Cllr Jeffery.

Notable changes within the Cabinet include Cllr Michael Graham taking up the role of Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth. In this position, Cllr Graham assumes the responsibility of fostering robust and inclusive economic growth while promoting sustainable housing throughout the district.

Cllr Michelle Collins has been appointed as the new Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Sport. In this capacity, Cllr Collins will lead initiatives pertaining to libraries, museums, galleries, sports and leisure centres, arts, sports development, and events within the district.

Additionally, Cllr Les Shaw is making a return as the Cabinet Member for Resources and Property, overseeing the coordination, development, and delivery of corporate functions and services.

The restructured Cabinet is dedicated to realising the Council’s “Building A Fairer Future” plan, which encompasses various objectives such as creating a more environmentally conscious district, fostering a sense of pride in public spaces, and nurturing an economy that benefits all. The plan also prioritises support for the well-being and growth of children and families, as well as enhancing overall health and quality of life.

The proposed Cabinet positions are as follows:

  • Leader: Cllr Denise Jeffery
  • Deputy Leader, Climate Change & Environment: Jack Hemingway
  • Children & Young People: Margaret Isherwood
  • Communities, Poverty & Health: Maureen Cummings
  • Culture, Leisure & Sport: Michelle Collins
  • Planning & Highways: Matthew Morley
  • Regeneration & Economic Growth: Michael Graham
  • Resources & Property: Les Shaw