Councillor Jim Dodds BEM, 2016 - 2017
Councillor Paul Kane

Party: Conservative
Term of Office: 2016 - 2017
Mayoress: Carol Dodds
Deputy Mayor: Councillor Christine Iredale
Charity Appeal: The Royal British Legion

Details:
  • Jim was born in Selkirk, Scotland, but from an early age was brought up on a farm some ten miles from Newcastle.
  • He attended Prudhoe Comprehensive School, leaving at the age of fifteen to join the army as an apprentice in Harrogate and made his career in the army, retiring as a Major in the Royal Signals after 35 years. During his time with the Armed Services Jim served in Germany, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and Singapore. In 1979 he received a BEM in the Queen's Christmas Honours List, for services to charity.
  • A keen sportsman, Jim represented his various units in hockey, squash, golf, cross country and orienteering. A life long supporter of Newcastle United, he is very much aware that to achieve success in life you must be in the race for the duration and not just a sprint. He still enjoys golf, travelling and spending time with his grandchildren.
  • On leaving the Armed Services Jim and his wife Carol enjoyed running a hotel for a few years in Harrogate. It was during this period that he became Chairman of the Harrogate Hoteliers Association and also became instrumental in the formation of the High Harrogate Business Association and his interest in local politics began.
  • In 2002 he moved to Kirklees (to be nearer his family) and took a more active interest in politics, having always been a Conservative Party supporter. Jim was elected as a Councillor for the Denby Dale Ward in 2004 and later became Cabinet Member for Children's Services and then additionally took on the role of Deputy Leader of Kirklees Council. He also served as the Leader of the Conservative Group
  • He is Chairman of the Denby Dale Community Project which has replaced the existing Library in Denby Dale with a new building that will be home to the library, internet Café and charity shop.
  • Jim is happily married to Carol, who he met when he was an apprentice soldier in Harrogate. Not only has she supported him throughout their married life, but managed her own varied career, nursery teacher, secretary, PA and Estate Office Manager. They have two grown up children and two grandchildren and both believe strongly in the importance of the family unit.
Councillor Paul Kane, 2015 - 2016
Councillor Paul Kane

Party: Labour
Term of Office: 2015 - 2016
Mayoress: Susan Bedford
Deputy Mayor: Councillor Jim Dodds
Charity Appeal: Diabetes Care

Details:
  • Paul is 58 years old and has been a councillor for the Dewsbury East Ward for the past 20 years. He has 2 sons, Michael and James.
  • He was born and brought up in Dewsbury, where he has lived all his life and has recently left his full time role as a Technical Contracts Manager for a local housing association, to concentrate on his aivic duty of Mayor. He worked there for over 21 years in various positions including a Construction Clerk of Works and Surveyor.
  • Paul started his construction career at Dewsbury Council Public Works Department in the building trade. It gave him great pleasure to Chair the Building Services Committee for 5 years when he became a councillor.
  • Paul has held many positions on the council and has been the Chair of the Heavy Woollen Planning Committee for the past 10 years and Chair of the Huddersfield Planning Committee for the past 8 months. He has also chaired the Dewsbury Regeneration Board for the last 5 years and was the Chair of the National Association of Councillors, the trade union for elected members, for the whole of England for 4 years.
  • Paul says 'I have had the remarkable honour of being the Mayor for the last 12 months meeting some wonderful people and engaging in many differing events. To experience the esteem, in which our communities hold the civic office and their representatives, has been truly amazing.
  • I am proud of my upbringing and believe that through hard work and commitment most people can achieve recognition. I humbly thank my group for this honour they have bestowed upon me and also think this is an honour for my home town of Dewsbury.'
Councillor Kenneth Arthur Smith, 2014 - 2015
Councillor Ken Smith

Party: Labour
Term of Office: 2014 - 2015
Mayoress: Christine Smith
Deputy Mayor: Councillor Paul Kane
Charity Appeal: Kirkwood Hospice

Details:
  • Ken was born and raised with four older sisters in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire though has not lived there since he went to university. A graduate of London and Liverpool Universities, Ken has also lived in Hampshire, Derbyshire and Pembrokeshire before settling in West Yorkshire in 1980.
  • His active hobbies have been soccer and fishing but he hasn't time for either at present!
  • He lost his wife Anne, a teacher and councillor, to cancer in 2006 and lives alone as his one adult daughter lives and teaches in London.
  • He has been a Kirklees councillor for the Huddersfield area in which he lives on two separate occasions, from 1984 to 1992 and from 1999 to the current time. His political interests have been crime reduction, family life and finance.
  • He has been Deputy Leader of Kirklees Council.
  • Ken was Deputy Chair of the west Yorkshire Police Authority for several years and served on that until it was abolished in 2012. He set up one of the country'’'s first formal partnership bodies between police, council and other agencies in 1987, a movement which led to the statutory national system of these partnerships today.
Councillor Stephen Martyn Bolt, 2013 - 2014
Councillor Martyn Bolt

Party: Conservative
Term of Office: 2013 - 2014
Mayoress: Mrs Liz Bolt
Deputy Mayor: Councillor Ken Smith
Charity Appeal: One Community Foundation

Details:
  • Born in Mirfield
  • Married with 3 children - Martyn and Liz celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary during their Mayoralty
  • First elected to Mirfield Town Council in 1997, and was Mayor of Mirfield in 2004/5
  • Subsequently elected to Kirklees Council in 1998, and was the first Mayor of Kirklees to represent the Mirfield Ward
  • Martyn is a keen cyclist, is a member of Ravensthorpe Cycling Club, and worked for a national cycling charity before being made redundant in 2012
  • He was involved with the successful project to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, and now organises charity and commercial cycling events
  • Martyn is a member of the Woodsmoke Masonic Lodge in Mirfield, which was connected to the Scout movement (which he was a member of as a youth)
  • Liz is an Early Years Professional - her grandfather, Harry Oldroyd, was also a councillor on the former Dewsbury District Council and then with Kirklees Council after its creation in 1974
Councillor John Anthony David Ridgway JP, 2012 - 2013
Councillor David Ridgway

Party: Liberal Democrat
Term of Office: 2012 - 2013
Mayoress: Mrs Karen Ridgway
Charity Appeal: Yorkshire Regiment Benevolent Trust

Details:
  • Born in Sheffield.
  • Married with 3 children.
  • First elected as councillor in Kirklees in 1996.
  • Has previously served on the Passenger Transport Authority.
  • Served on the Fire Authority from 2008-2012 and as its Chair for the last three of those years.
  • Proud to have helped raise over £60,000 for his chosen mayoral charity - its largest ever single donation.
  • Worked in financial services for 25 years.
  • Ran a successful Huddersfield town centre restaurant for 4 years.
  • Now involved in working to transform connections between business and local government.
Councillor Eric Archer Firth, 2011 - 2012
Councillor Eric Firth

Party: Labour
Term of Office: 2011 - 2012
Mayoress: Mrs Janet Firth
Deputy Mayor: Councillor Christine Iredale
Charity Appeal: The Forget Me Not Children's Hospice

Details:
  • Born in Dewsbury and so very proud to be elected in 1994 to serve his constituents in Dewsbury East and to become Mayor of Kirklees in 2011.
  • Married to Janet, with two children and three wonderful grandchildren.
  • Served as party whip for quite a number of years.
  • Deputy Chair of the ITA.
  • Serves on the West Yorkshire Pension Fund and has done for many years.
  • In his mayoral year, the wonderful and so generous folk of Kirklees and beyond helped him raise £131,500 for The Forget Me Not Children's Hospice - the highest sum ever raised for a Mayoral Charity in our Borough.
  • Proud to have welcomed 3 Rifles back to Dewsbury, the successors to The KOYL, who were granted the Freedom of Dewsbury in 1947.