New council leader and cabinet appointed to serve the town

Published date

A renewed focus on serving the people of Harlow is the top priority for Councillor Dan Swords who has been elected the new Leader of Harlow Council.

Councillor Swords was confirmed as the new leader of the council at the Annual Council meeting on 25 May 2023.

In his first speech to councillors, Councillor Dan Swords said it was the greatest honour to be elected as leader, he said:

“For those few of us here tonight, this is a special occasion, a momentous meeting and yet in the history of our town, and for our town’s people, it is a common occurrence.

“That is why this moment is not about the office of the Leader of the Council, nor its current custodian. It is about our town and the people we are here to serve.

“So it is in that spirit that we will govern. We will take decisions not in our political interest, but in the interest of Harlow. In the interest of our town, the businesses, the charities, the faith and community groups, the people of today and generations of tomorrow. We are here to deliver for them. That is our sole objective and that is what we shall do.”

The leader has made the following appointments to his cabinet:

Councillor David Carter - Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing 

Councillor Nicky Purse - Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment

Councillor James Leppard - Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance

Councillor Stacy Seales - Portfolio Holder for Community

Councillor Michael Hardware - Portfolio Holder for Economic Development

The leader of the council will take on the responsibility for regeneration of the town.

Councillor Swords, said:

“I have appointed an experienced group of councillors in my cabinet, and we will work together with council staff to serve the residents of this town. That work starts now, and I passionately believe that Harlow's brightest days lie ahead. I am determined to make Harlow Council a better organisation which delivers on its residents’ priorities. I will work hard to restore pride in our town, rebuild Harlow Town Centre and make Harlow an even greater place to live, work and visit.

“In the coming weeks and months, the council will be increasing its engagement and talking and listening to residents, businesses and organisations to ensure that it delivers for them and for our town.”