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Harlow’s youngest council leader ever

Harlow Council has announced that it has elected the youngest Council Leader in its history. 

Councillor Dan Swords has been confirmed as the new leader and is the youngest ever leader in the council’s history, and one of the youngest ever council leaders in country. At the age of 22, Swords was appointed to the role last week at the annual council meeting and said that it was the greatest honour to be elected to the role 

Councillor Swords, said: 

“For those few of us here tonight, this is a special occasion, a momentous meeting and yet in the history of our town, and for our town’s people, it is a common occurrence. 

“That is why this moment is not about the office of the Leader of the Council, not its current custodian. It is about our town and the people we are here to serve. 

“So it is in the spirit that we will govern. We will take decisions not in our political interest, but in the interest of Harlow. In the interest of our town, the businesses, the charities, the faith and community groups, the people of today and generations of tomorrow. We are here to deliver for them. That is our sole objective and that is what we shall do.” 

Following his appointment to the role, the leader will take on the responsibility for regeneration, whilst having also appointed the council’s cabinet, with the following roles being filled: 

  • Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing: Councillor David Carter 

  • Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment: Councillor Nicky Purse 

  • Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance: Councillor James Leppard 

  • Portfolio Holder for Community: Councillor Stacy Seales 

  • Portfolio Holder for Economic Development: Councillor Michael Hardware 

Councillor Swords added: 

“I have appointed an experienced group of councillors in my cabinet, and we will work together with council staff to serve the residents of this town. That works starts now, and I passionately believe that Harlow’s brightest days lie ahead. I am determined to make Harlow Council a better organisation which delivers on its residents’ priorities. I will work hard to restore pride in our town, rebuild Harlow Town Centre and make Harlow an even greater place to live, work and visit. 

“In the coming weeks and months, the council will be increasing its engagement and talking and listening to residents, businesses and organisations to ensure that it delivers for them and for our town.” 

To discover more about the next generation of local government, keep an eye out for the next episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast, featuring 19 year old Councillor Harrison Allman-Varty. The episode is coming soon on PSE On Demand and all podcast streaming sites. 


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