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Leader of the council

These responsibilities are in addition to those listed in the following role profiles:


The purpose of the Leader is to:

  • provide effective political leadership and strategic direction for the council
  • act as the political spokesperson for the council

Key duties and responsibilities

The key duties and responsibilities of the Leader are to:

  • provide leadership to the council and its political administration
  • lead the development of local, regional and national policy and strategic partnerships
  • lead and chair the Executive and make sure of its overall effectiveness and to take responsibility for any specific portfolio
  • allocate executive portfolios and to make sure of the effective integration of roles, responsibilities and functions within the Executive
  • have overall responsibility for the political management of the authority, and the delivery of agreed council priorities, strategies and policies
  • have overall responsibility for the fiscal and financial management of the council
  • liaise with the Chief Executive on all issues relating to the operation of the council and to meet regularly with the Chief Executive, Directors and other relevant Senior Officers to consider and recommend action within approved policies and strategies
  • have regular contact with other councillors, community representatives and other local stakeholders and to take account of their views in shaping recommendations on policies, strategies and budgets
  • represent the council in the community and in discussions and negotiations with regional and national organisations and others to pursue matters of interest to the council and the community
  • be a key contact for Corporate Management Team and outside organisations including central government, local authority associations and council partners
  • positively promote the council and the community in the media
  • promote effective corporate governance and risk management
  • encourage the highest standards of probity

Key skills 

The required key skills of the Leader include:

  • advanced leadership skills
  • advanced ‘ambassadorial’ skills, demonstrating the ability to represent the council at a sub-regional, regional, and national level
  • advanced communication skills and the ability to work constructively with officers, councillors, partners, the media, members of the public and other organisations
  • advanced chairing skills
  • ability to manage conflicting responsibilities whilst dealing with a busy and complex workload often to tight timescales and deadlines


The key knowledge of the Leader includes:

  • detailed understanding of the challenges and issues facing local government and the practical implications for the councillors in their Group
  • detailed understanding of the national policy framework and its impact on local policy development
  • understanding of the relationship between national politics and local political leadership
  • understanding of the role of the Minority Group Leader
  • knowledge of the work of national, regional and sub-regional bodies and understanding of the role of the Leader and council within them

Contact information

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