Roles and responsibilities

​Each Councillor has a duty to the whole of the district and also a special responsibility to constituents in the ward for which they are elected.

What do councillors do?

  • Councillors participate in the governance and management of the Council
  • They attend meetings and take part in the Council's work, for example, through the decisions taken at Council meetings
  • Councillors represent their communities and bring community views into the Council's decision making process
  • They represent the interests of their ward and of individual constituents, including investigating concerns raised by constituents and acting as the representative of any individual constituent
  • Councillors balance different interests within the ward and represent the ward as a whole
  • They may be appointed to represent the Council on other bodies?

Some elected members undertake additional responsibilities and duties to ensure the Council's decisions are robust and transparent and the behaviour of all councillors is appropriate.

Leader of the Council

The Leader of the Council is Councillor Jeffrey who is elected by all members of the Council at the annual Council meeting. The Leader chairs the Council's Cabinet meeting and is accountable for proposing and directing the overall strategy, budget and policy arrangements of the Council

It is the responsibility of the Leader to 'lead the Council', build a vision for the district and represent Wakefield at regional and national events. The Leader also provides community leadership to those organisations that work closely with the Council. Visit the Wakefield Together website to find out more about how the Council works in partnership with other organisations.

Cabinet Member

The Cabinet is chaired by the Leader of the council. The Cabinet is responsible for taking most of the day to day decisions of the council on matters known as Executive Functions.

The members of the Cabinet are called portfolio holders and each has responsibility for certain areas of activity. There are currently seven Portfolio Holders, each with a deputy.


Cabinet member

Cabinet Assistants

Leader of Wakefield Council and  Chair of Cabinet

Cllr Denise Jeffery 

Deputy Leader of the Council and Climate Change and Environment

​Cllr Jack Hemingway
​Cllr Elaine Blezard

​Regeneration, Economic Growth and Property

​Cllr Darren Byford

​Cllr Richard Forster

Planning and Highways

Cllr Matthew Morley

Cllr George Ayre 

Culture, Leisure and Sport

Cllr Michael Graham

Cllr Jo Hepworth

Children and Young People

Cllr Margaret Isherwood

Cllr Kathryn Scott

Communities, Poverty and Health

Cllr Maureen Cummings

Cllr Jessica Carrington


​Cllr Michelle Collins

​Cllr Hilary Mitchell

View Cabinet meetings, agendas and minutes

Leader of the Opposition

The Leader of the Opposition acts as the principal spokesperson for the main Opposition Group of and represents the views of the Group on issues of policy and priority.

Remuneration (allowances & expenses)

Councillors are not paid a salary or wages but they are entitled to allowances and expenses to cover some of the costs of carrying out their public duties. Monthly spreadsheets of these payments are available on the Councillors' Allowances and Expenses  page.

Standards of Conduct

All councillors abide by a Code of Conduct which sets out the standards of behaviour that are expected and requires them to declare any financial interests, gifts or hospitality that could influence any decisions they make. The Code of Conduct is overseen by the Council's Standards Committee. If you have a complaint against a Councillor please contact Committee Services for more help and information.


Contact us

Committee Services

County Hall

01924 305051