The Washington South ward councillor, who was previously the council's Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services, was elected as Leader at a full meeting of the Council on Wednesday evening ( 16 May).

COUNCILLOR GRAEME MILLER has been confirmed as the new Leader of Sunderland City Council.

The Washington South councillor, who was previously the council's Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services, was elected Leader at a full meeting of the City Council on Wednesday evening (16 May).

He will be assisted by Councillor Michael Mordey, who continues as Deputy Leader after being appointed to the post in March, and newly appointed Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Paul Stewart.

Cllr Miller was first elected to the Washington South Ward of the City Council in May 2006 and held the role of Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services for six years until his election as Leader.

During his 12 years on the council he has also held a number of positions, including member of City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust's Council of Governors and Chair of Age UK Sunderland.

With a particular interest in promoting good mental health as the basis for individual health and well-being, Cllr Miller is also a Health and Mental Health Champion for the people of the city.  

Cllr Miller also represents the council and the city on a number of organisations including the North East Combined  Authority Leadership Board and North East Local Enterprise Partnership.     

Welcoming his appointment,  Councillor Miller, said: "It's a great honour and privilege to have been elected to the position of Leader by my colleagues in the council.

"There is great deal for us to build upon from the IAMP through to the progress being made on redeveloping the former Vaux site and everything in between, in terms of continuing regeneration of our city and providing people with the best opportunities that we can.

"Our focus must be on providing the residents of Sunderland with the best services possible with the resources we have available."

Cllr Miller added: "That has always been the case over the last twelve years of my career from when I first became a ward councillor, and my commitment remains the same."      

The council meeting also saw Cllr Miller unveil his new Cabinet and their Portfolio responsibilities:

Cllr Louise Farthing - Children, Learning and Skills
Cllr John Kelly - Communities and Culture
Cllr Geoff Walker - Health and Social Care
Cllr Amy Wilson - Environment and Transport
Cllr Stuart Porthouse - Housing and Regeneration     

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