York has a new leadership team in place.

Two days after it was announced that the Liberal Democrats and Green Party had joined in coalition to run City of York Council, the prospective members of the executive have been unveiled.

They will start work after the annual council meeting on 22 May. Their initial programme for the city can be seen here.

It’s a relatively inexperienced line-up – a number of the team haven’t held a council office before.


Some other things to note. Lib Dem Paula Widdowson is the member for climate change as well as the environment – this follows York declaring a climate emergency in March.

And the council naturally enough boasts its first Green Party members – two out of their four elected councillors have roles.

The new executive

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The prospective Executive Members are now confirmed as follows:

Leader of the council, including policy, strategy and partnerships Keith Aspden
Deputy leader of the council and executive member for transport Andy D’Agorne
Executive member for economy and strategic planning Andrew Waller
Executive member for environment and climate change Paula Widdowson
Executive member for finance and performance Nigel Ayre
Executive member for health and adult social care Carol Runciman
Executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods Denise Craghill
Executive member for culture, leisure and communities Darryl Smalley
Executive member for children, young people and education Ian Cuthbertson

The new focus

Leaders say the focus of the new regime will be on climate change, affordable housing, transport and the economy, to ensure greater capacity to improve oversight of the council.

The changes aim to generate future efficiencies at the council, including an action plan towards becoming a zero-carbon city.

Lib Dem group leader and York council’s next leader Cllr Keith Aspden said:

  • The new team will provide a rich mix of talent, experience, new ideas and most importantly, commitment to York, its local communities and residents.

    Over the coming months and years, we will increase the council’s focus on improving the city’s frontline services and create the capacity to deliver for our local communities.

    This will include Cllr Andrew Waller leading on economic development and Cllr Paula Widdowson leading on climate change. Our team will work on building confidence in the council by giving residents a greater voice.


Leader of the Green group Cllr Andy D’Agorne said:

  • Both myself and Cllr Craghill are delighted to be taking up executive positions on the council and we look forward to seizing this opportunity to deliver real improvements in York.

    This will include implementing policies to deliver the actions agreed in our climate emergency motion.”
    We look forward to working positively with stakeholders, residents and all parties on the Council to achieve our shared vision.