AFTER Bradford Council's Conservative group voted in a new leader last month, the party has unveiled its new 'shadow' Executive team.

Worth Valley Councillor Rebecca Poulsen was voted in as new leader of the opposition in October, replacing Councillor John Pennington (Bingley).

Baildon Councillor Debbie Davies was voted Deputy Leader.

The party has this week filled the roles of its shadow Executive - whose roles match the portfolios of the leading Labour Executive.

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, Leader of the Conservative Group on the Council said, “I am delighted that the new Conservative Group Leadership Team consists of members with considerable experience on the front bench and fresh blood, with some new appointees who bring expertise and passion to their new roles.

Councillor Debbie Davies takes on the role of Conservative Group Spokesman for Regeneration, Planning and Transport and there is no doubt in my mind, that as with every task she undertakes, she will be constantly on top of her brief.

"Councillor Rob Hargreaves (Queensbury) continues to cover the Healthy People and Places Portfolio, having settled into the role well, during a time when the affects of the Covid  virus have made the task particularly challenging.

"Councillor Geoff Winnard (Bingley) continues to cover Education, Employment & Skills, where his pre-existing expertise in the field and his calm determination have already proven invaluable.

Worth Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen is new leader of Bradford Council's Conservative group

"Councillor Mike Pollard (Baildon), will continue with the demanding task of interpreting the vast amounts of financial information generated by the Council’s activities, having proven himself to be a dab hand at this.

"Councillor Paul Sullivan (Bingley Rural) is a new face on the Shadow Executive, having been appointed as the Conservative Group Spokesman for Neighbourhoods & Community Safety and I know that his passion for improving public safety and reducing crime, coupled with his 30 years of experience as a front line Police Officer will enable him to do a cracking job.  

"Councillor Kyle Green (Ilkley) is the new Conservative Group Spokesman for Children & Families Portfolio, with there being no doubt in my mind that his enthusiasm and expertise in teaching and family related employment, will ensure that the Conservative Group continues to carefully scrutinise all services provided for children by the Council.

"Councillor Mike Ellis (Bingley Rural) continues as our Chief Whip, ably making sure that members of the Conservative Group conduct themselves appropriately."

Cllr Poulsen added: “On behalf of the Conservative Group, I wish to thank Councillor John Pennington, who led the Conservative Group for two years which included the onset of the Covid crisis, a challenging time during which he worked very hard.

"He now moves on to new challenges and continuing with his ward work in Bingley. I would also like to thank  Councillors Jackie Whiteley and Dale Smith, who will be stepping down from the Shadow Executive to focus on other areas.  They have both been long serving members and have between them covered most areas of the Council and contributed to service areas such as Health and Well Being & Transport, Planning and Housing & Adult Social Care & Children and Families. 

"It was Councillor Whiteley who raised concerns over Foster Carer payments, foresaw issues going forward and was sadly proven right when an acute shortage of Foster Carers came to be. 

"Councillor Dale Smith has always been passionate about giving every child the best start possible and I’m delighted he will be remaining our key member on Corporate Parenting which focusses on our Looked after Children, with Councillor Jackie Whiteley continuing to serve on the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation."