Elected members provide direction and oversee the work of the LGA. Governance structures are led by a senior group of members from each of the four political groups.
The LGA's Office Holders
The chair, vice and deputy chairs of the Association are nominated annually by the four political groups, and approved by the LGA General Assembly. Together they form the LGA Leadership Board. Under Article 8.5 of the LGA Constitution each group whose share of the weighted electorate exceeds five per cent of the total is entitled to one vice-chair. The larger groups are entitled to deputy chairs according to proportionality. The chair of the Association is nominated by the largest group.
Further information about the chair and vice-chairs of the association can be found below .
The LGA Executive comprises the members of the Leadership Board, the chairs of the policy boards and representatives of Wales and the nine English regions. The County Councils Network (CCN), District Councils Network (DCN) and the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) also have a non-voting place along with the chair of Local Partnerships.
Board Lead Members
Each policy board and panel includes a chair, vice-chair and two deputy chairs – one nominated by each group. Collectively these are known as ‘Lead Members' and they oversee delivery of the priorities in the LGA's Business Plan, particularly between Board meetings.
Every year the General Assembly elects a President of the Association. The four Groups also appoint a number of vice-presidents. The president and vice-presidents are parliamentary representatives from the House of Commons, House of Lords, and they represent and champion the interests of local government in Parliament.
Councillor David Sparks OBE – LGA Chair
Councillor David Sparks OBE was elected Chair of the Local Government Association (LGA) in July 2014. Previously Councillor Sparks was the Leader of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and a Member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, from which he stood down to focus on the work of the LGA.
Born in Warrington in 1948 and educated in Warrington and Widnes, David gained a BA in Politics at Lancaster University. He also gained a Diploma in Careers Guidance from Manchester Polytechnic and a Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety from Bilston Community College.
David was employed as a Career Adviser in Birmingham from 1972 to 2009. From 1977 to 1986, David was a member of the West Midlands County Council, becoming Deputy Leader and Chair of Strategic Planning. David is also a former board member of Business in the Community, The Groundwork Foundation, Advantage West Midlands RDA and the Black Country Museum. He is the Chair of the Friends of Quarry Bank Park and a member of the board of Dudley Zoo and Castle.
David's passions include rugby league – he was a qualified rugby league referee and is an avid follower of Warrington Wolves. He also supports Everton and is a keen collector of second-hand books.
Councillor Jim McMahon – Labour Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chair
Jim McMahon became one of the youngest council leaders in the country when he took control of Oldham Council aged 30 in 2011.
Jim is transforming Oldham as a ‘Cooperative Council' making it both more relevant to the public it seeks to serve, but also creating resilience in the town against growing cuts and a slow economic recovery.
Pioneering campaigns have helped secure the council's innovative reputation. Its award winning Fair Energy campaign went national with over 50,000 households signing up to collectively buy energy. Its Fair Fares campaign lead to reductions in the cost of weekly bus tickets in Greater Manchester by 28 per cent, and work is now on to take on high interest electrical goods retailers with the Fair Credit campaign.
Jim leads on Transport & Infrastructure for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for the 10 local authorities in the city region. Nationally, Jim has recently been elected as Leader of the LGA Labour Group.
In February 2014, Councillor McMahon was honoured nationally for his outstanding leadership when he was named ‘Leader of the Year' at the Councillor Achievement Awards, hosted by the LGiU.
You can find out more about his work in Oldham and beyond at his personal website – JimMcMahon.co.uk
Councillor Gary Porter – Conservative Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chairman
Gary was first elected to South Holland District Council in a by-election in June 2001. He was re-elected in 2003 and elected Leader of South Holland at the Council's Annual Meeting that year.
A former Chairman of the District Councils' Network, Gary chaired the LGA Environment and Housing Board for two years before becoming Conservative Group Leader and Vice-Chairman of the LGA in June 2011.
He is Lead Member for the LGA's 'New Ways of Working' programme and leads the Members' Group on Shared Chief Executives.
Gary was a member of the practitioners' group that drew up the advisory proposals for the Government's new National Planning Policy Framework. His own council was a partner in the first shared management team to work across two regional boundaries.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson – Liberal Democrat Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chairman
Gerald was elected to Portsmouth City Council in 2003 and is a former leader of the council. He has had a long career in local government, working as a social worker before being elected to New Forest District Council in 1991.
Over the past 19 years as an elected member, he has served as Deputy Leader of West Berkshire County Council and Mayor of Newbury as well as Chair of Social Services, Chair of Environment, Executive Member for Health, Housing and Social Care and Executive Member with responsibility for IT, Asset Management, HR, Revenues and benefits. Gerald became Vice-Chairman of the LGA and Leader of the Liberal Democrats in 2011.
He is currently a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on the role of Local Authorities in Education, and a member of the Backbench Parliamentary Committee on Local Government (Liberal Democrat).
Councillor Marianne Overton – Independent Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chairman
Marianne serves on Lincolnshire County Council and North Kesteven District Council, where she sits on the Planning Committee. She is the Independent Group Leader in both authorities and is particularly active on environmental issues, health and social care and education.
Her most recent election vote was the highest in Lincolnshire. Marianne was elected as Leader of the LGA Independent Group in June 2011 and is an LGA Leadership Board Champion on Adult Social Care. Marianne's education was spread between South Africa and London.
She served as a Non-Executive Director for NHS Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust and a Governor of the University of Lincoln. She is a qualified biologist and a past Chairman of the Society of Biology (East Midlands) and Fellow of the University of Lincoln. As a Director of Biosearch Expeditions, she has organised many expeditions to remote Third World regions to carry out field research for conservation management. Marianne is very active in Lincolnshire supporting business and communities. Her contribution to local government was recognised with a Queen's New Year's Honour in 2014 and the award of an MBE.