Lord Mayor 2023 - 2024 Councillor Al Garthwaite

Official portrait photograph of Councillor Al Garthwaite in ceremonial robes

Councillor Al Garthwaite is the 129th person to hold the Office of Lord Mayor of Leeds.

Al grew up in an army family and moved frequently, including to Germany, Turkey and Wales. After school, and a stint as Assistant Matron in a boys’ school, she studied English and Psychology at Durham University. It was here she became involved in international and local campaigns for human rights and social justice.

In 1973, Al came to Leeds, where her mother’s family originated. She lived in Chapeltown, in a communal house of children and adults. Enthusiastic for lifelong learning, she qualified as a teacher, taught in prisons and pioneered women’s health courses in inner-city community centres. She participated in the creation of a national Women’s Advice and Referral Service, producing a fortnightly newsletter for information and political discussion.

Wishing to use her varied skills and experience for the benefit of the city she’s made her home for the last fifty years, Al has been an elected Councillor for Headingley, Hyde Park and Woodhouse since 2016. As well as striving for the increased wellbeing of her ward and its residents, especially during the current cost of living crisis, she focuses on environment, climate change, arts and culture, community safety, planning, licensing, and working for an end to violence against women and girls.

Al is extremely honoured to have been chosen as the Lord Mayor of Leeds and is very much looking forward to her year in Office.

Role and responsibilities

As the first citizen of Leeds, the role of the Lord Mayor is to act as an ambassador for the City, meeting with citizens and communities and welcoming visiting dignitaries from home and abroad. The Lord Mayor holds a ceremonial, diplomatic role, meaning that they cannot engage in political or Ward matters during their time in office. They are not an elected Mayor and therefore have no influence over policy and decision making.

Please contact your local Councillor, local Member of Parliament, or the elected Mayor of West Yorkshire if you have any council or government related queries or concerns.

The Lord Mayor’s term of office is annual and normally starts on the third Thursday of May, however this can be subject to change.

Title and mode of address

The correct style for the Lord Mayor in writing is:
"The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Leeds."

When starting your letter or email you should use:
"My dear Lord Mayor"

Verbally, in formal situations, the style is "My Lord Mayor", though in less formal circumstances it is quite correct when referring to the Civic Heads or introducing them to use simply "Lord Mayor" and when the Consort is present the "Lord Mayor of Leeds and Consort"

The Lord Mayor is normally accompanied by the Sergeant-at-Mace or an Attendant, from whom advice on matters of protocol may be sought. 

Inviting the Lord Mayor to an event

If you would like to invite the Lord Mayor to an event, please complete the invitation form.

We normally require 14 days notice to consider and process any requests.

Email: lordmayorsoffice@leeds.gov.uk
Phone: 0113 378 8007
Twitter: @LordMayorLeeds

Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal 2023 to 2024

Each Lord Mayor chooses a Leeds based charity, close to their heart, to champion during their year of office. Throughout the year, the Lord Mayor focuses on the work of their chosen charity, with the aim of bringing the whole city together to raise awareness and funds through hosting a range of events and activities. It is a fantastic way for the city to support a local charity and show their civic pride.

Al is supporting the Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service (WCTS) during her term of office. She has chosen this charity to raise awareness and much needed funds for this most worthwhile Leeds organisation.

Find more information on the WCTS website external link.



You can donate online to the Lord Mayor’s Charity through JustGiving.

Bank transfer

Donations can also be made via BACS. Please email the Lord Mayor’s Office at lordmayorsoffice@leeds.gov.uk for our bank details.

By post

You can donate by post by sending a cheque payable to ‘The Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal’ to:

The Lord Mayor’s Office
1st Floor West
Civic Hall
Leeds, LS1 1UR

Just One Day

Every year the Lord Mayor reaches out to organisations in the city to ask for their support in fundraising for the Lord Mayor’s charity.

Organisations from all sectors are invited to participate in 'Just One Day' - one day per year that is dedicated to raising money and awareness for the Lord Mayor’s charity.

By working with organisations of all sectors at all levels, 'Just One Day' brings the city together to support the most vulnerable.

Just One Day will take place on Friday 17 May 2024.

Find more information on our 'Just One Day' page.


Special responsibility allowance

There is a special responsibility allowance payable to the Lord Mayor. For more details, see the Members’ Allowances Scheme on Data Mill North. 

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