A leading councillor has stepped down from Kirklees Council’s ruling Cabinet meaning a shake-up of roles.

Denby Dale councillor Will Simpson has left his post as Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees as the new municipal year gets underway.

Clr Simpson will be replaced by Clr Naheed Mather, who was previously Cabinet member for the environment.

Coming onto the Cabinet and taking the environment portfolio will be Clr Masood Ahmed, whose year as Mayor of Kirklees has just come to an end.

At the May local elections, the ruling Labour group increased its majority and controls the council meaning all nine Cabinet members are Labour councillors.

Clr Simpson said: “Leading on climate and culture for the last two years has been an absolute privilege, which I have enjoyed hugely.

“I have worked with some of the most talented and kind staff. I want to say thank you to all of them for their support.

“I am incredibly proud of all that we’ve done together. From delivering award winning action on the climate emergency and our phase two climate action plan to supporting the Woven Festival and Year of Music – there is so much brilliant work that my team do and I am proud to have worked with them.

“Being the Cabinet member for the issues I care about deeply in the place I love has been an immense privilege. I will continue to be a strong voice for them on the council.”

Clr Masood Ahmed had a momentous year as Mayor of Kirklees but now he’s back in a frontline political role on the Cabinet.

Council leader Shabir Pandor said: “I’m really pleased to confirm these Cabinet appointments. My team has the right blend of experience, enthusiasm and ideas to drive our work forwards.

“I’m looking forward to working with Cabinet colleagues to build a stronger economy and improve lives and opportunities for residents in all parts of Kirklees.

“The team are already hard at work on improving our infrastructure, helping residents through the cost-of-living crisis and much more besides. There are challenges ahead but I know this is the right team to face up to them on behalf of local people.

“I want to thank Will Simpson for his contribution to the Cabinet over the past two years. He is a passionate and articulate advocate for the green agenda and he’s made a major impact on reducing emissions and making Kirklees a greener place.

“He’s also been a champion of arts and culture across the borough and leaves a lasting legacy in communities across Kirklees.

“He has served on the Cabinet with great distinction and I know he will continue to represent Denby Dale brilliantly.”

The new-look Cabinet is below:

Cathy Scott  Deputy Leader and Housing and Democracy  
  Carole Pattison  Learning, Aspiration and Communities  
  Graham Turner  Regeneration  
  Viv Kendrick  Children (Statutory responsibility for Children)  
  Masood Ahmed  Environment
  Naheed Mather  Culture and Greener Kirklees  
  Musarrat Khan  Health & Social Care
  Paul Davies  Corporate
Eric FirthTransport