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.
Lord Porter of Spalding, CBE – LGA 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 was elected LGA Chairman at the General Assembly in June 2015 and was made a life peer in the 2015 dissolution peerages list.
Councillor Nick Forbes – Labour Group Leader and LGA Senior Vice-Chair
Nick He has been a Labour Councillor since 2000 and was elected Leader of Newcastle City Council in 2011. One of his first decisions was to introduce a Newcastle Living Wage.
He has played a leading role in raising the profile of local government in a time of austerity made economic growth a key feature of his council, securing new financial powers by negotiating one of the first round of City Deals with government. He has worked with leaders from across England to secure devolution packages for local government.
Nick is the vice chair of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority, the regional lead for Transport, as part of the North East Combined Authority and chairs FRESH, the campaign for a smoke-free North East. He trained in the NHS and is Chief Executive of Involve North East, a regional charity established to give a voice to communities in health and care service planning and delivery. Nick sings with the Choir of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and was shortlisted as Stonewall's politician of the year in 2012.
Councillor David Simmonds CBE – Conservative Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chairman
David’s professional background is in finance, where he worked for Lloyds TSB and HSBC after qualifying with the Chartered Institute of Insurers in 1997. Born in Kent and educated at a comprehensive school in Pontypridd, then at Durham University, he has been Hillingdon’s Deputy Leader since 2002. He was the youngest councillor in London when elected at 22 and served as a committee chairman and cabinet member covering planning, housing, social services, and education and children’s services.
In politics, as well as being a councillor, he contested two parliamentary elections and served as treasurer of the national Conservative Councillors’ Association.
His voluntary work includes services as a magistrate in North West London, as a trustee of the Early Intervention Foundation, and as a board member of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. He was awarded a CBE in the 2015 Birthday Honours List.
Councillor Howard Sykes MBE – Liberal Democrat Group Leader and LGA Vice-Chairman
First elected in 1987, Howard has 30 years’ Local Government service, and has held a range of senior roles including Leader, Deputy Leader of the Council, Executive Member for Regeneration, Chair of Licensing and now Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. In addition he is a member of the Greater Manchester Transport Authority and was Vice Chair of the Association of Greater Manchester Councils.
From 1997 to 2006 he was the Chief Executive of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors.
For the last six years he has been the Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrat Group at the LGA and has been the LGA National Peer, where he helps support Liberal Democrat council groups and managing the pool of Liberal Democrat peers.
He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to local government.
Councillor Marianne Overton MBE – 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.
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 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.