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, 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.
The Mayor of Kirklees, Councillor Jim Dodds BEM and Carol Dodds