Nine former Leeds councillors to receive major honours

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Nine former Leeds city councillors with almost 200 years of public service between them, are to be given one of the highest honours the city can bestow.

The group, which includes two former council leaders, an ex-Lord Mayor and the city’s first black female councillor, is set to be given titles of honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen of the city of Leeds as part of a special ceremony held at Civic Hall.

Of those nominated, Keith Wakefield OBE, led the council in two spells from 2003-2004 and 2010-2015, while Richard Brett led the authority from 2008-2010.

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Gerry Harper represented the district as Lord Mayor in the 2016/17 municipal year, while fellow nominee Alison Lowe, herself a former Deputy Lord Mayor, was the city’s first black woman councillor.

Former council leader Keith Wakefield will be one of the recipients.Former council leader Keith Wakefield will be one of the recipients.
Former council leader Keith Wakefield will be one of the recipients.

Mick Lyons OBE served as a Labour councillor for almost 40 years before retiring in May 2019. Richard Lewis, a former executive member for planning and transport, was also a long serving member, with well over 30 years of service.

Rachael Procter served as a councillor from 2004 to 2018, while Tom Ledley, one of the original Morley Borough independent councillors serving as a councillor until May 2019. Christine Brett, who served between 1995 and 2001, will also become an honorary Alderwoman.

Alderman/Alderwomen awards are given those who in the opinion of Leeds City Council, made an “exceptional contribution to the city and its council”.

The ceremony is set to take place in Civic Hall on Wednesday, January 15, shortly before the planned full Leeds City Council meeting.