Former Leeds high school teacher chosen as new lord mayor

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Leeds’ new lord mayor has been appointed at the city council’s annual general meeting (AGM).

Councillor Bob Gettings, who represents the Morley North ward, will be Leeds’ first citizen over the next 12 months.

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Coun Gettings, of the Morley Borough Independents (MBIs) party, replaces Labour’s Asghar Khan in the role.

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Bob with wife Lesley this week.Bob with wife Lesley this week.
Bob with wife Lesley this week.

The job of lord mayor is purely ceremonial and involves charity fundraising and being an ambassador for Leeds at public events.

They are also expected to be apolitical and chairing council meetings is also among their duties.

The position is rotated between city councillors every May.

Speaking at the AGM on Thursday, the council’s deputy leader Debra Coupar said: “Bob is one of those really gentle and caring members of the community. He really wants to help everyone and do everything he can to assist you.

“I’ll never forget his help and advice during my first year as a councillor.”

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Born in the Methley area of Leeds in 1946, Coun Gettings is a former deputy headteacher at Bruntcliffe High School in Morley.

Following his appointment, the new lord mayor told colleagues that despite challenging times in the world, Leeds is “still thriving”.

Coun Gettings said: “I’m very proud to be the city’s 128th Lord Mayor and I’m also excited to have the opportunity to serve the people.”

Martin House Children’s Hospice will be among the charities to benefit from his mayoral fundraising over the next year, while his wife of 50 years, Leslie, will serve alongside him as mayoress.

Coun Gettings is only the second MBI member to hold the title, following Judith Elliott in 2009/10.

David Spereall , Local Democracy Reporting Service