Cllr Louise Gittins

Vice Chair of Transport for the North and Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council
Councillor Louise Gittins was first elected to Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2011, to serve Little Neston and Burton. A year later, she became the Shadow Spokesperson for Culture and Leisure, and was subsequently appointed as the Shadow Deputy Leader in 2014. Following the 2015 election, which saw Labour take control of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Gittins was named Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing - and in May 2019, was elected as Leader of the Council. In addition to her portfolio responsibilities as Council Leader - including Devolution, Communications, Public Service Reform, Poverty, the local Health Economy and wider External Partnerships - Cllr Gittins continues to be the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing; incorporating Culture, Leisure, Heritage and Green Spaces. More recently, she has taken up a number of regional and national leadership roles, including as Vice Chair of Transport for the North (TfN); Chair of Growth Track 360; a member of the LGA Communities and Wellbeing Board; and the lead for developing Cheshire and Warrington as a Marmot region. In her role as Council Leader, Cllr Gittins appointed three Leader’s Champions designed to address three ‘extraordinary challenges’ facing the borough - Climate Emergency, Poverty Emergency and Mental Health. Her vision is that of a compassionate Cheshire West and Chester - a Council that works to build stronger communities, creating services based on social value, which tackle poverty and discrimination, and which promote equality across the borough. She also wants to continue to empower local people and communities to be at the heart of decision-making; building on the work and ethos of inclusive democratic models such as the Poverty Truth Commission. This work has considerably accelerated over the last two years. Cllr Gittins has a professional background in leadership and management training, running her own Life Coaching business. She lives in Neston with her husband, and is passionate about all things outdoors, culture and heritage.