TSL: A first meeting with the new Leader of Leeds City Council
Third Sector Leeds
As the leading policy body that advocates for the third sector’s values and interests in supporting Leeds’ Best City ambitions, a key part of Third Sector Leeds’ job is to help key political leaders and decision makers understand our sector and the contribution we make to the city. We also have a role in suggesting how we can move forward with partners to make things better for communities.
So, we were really pleased when our Leadership Group (the group of sector leaders that direct our work) had an opportunity to meet with the new Leader of the Council, Cllr James Lewis and Chief Executive Tom Riordan.
As part of our round of introductions we set out some of the ways that our sector makes a difference for communities and we felt that our Council partners really understand how important we are in helping to reduce the impact of poverty in Leeds.
We know that in the coming years, it’s going to be a difficult time financially for everyone – so a lot of our conversation was about how we can make sure that the public sector and third sector can work together to spot opportunities to bring in funding from outside of Leeds.
There were some specific areas of work that came up in our discussion, where having an early conversation about what the city needs (and where the strengths of the third sector lie) could really influence how much funding ends up in the third sector. Both Cllr Lewis and Tom Riordan were really open to thinking through how we can make sure we are connected to decision makers in the ways that ensure these conversations happen.
From our meeting with Cllr Lewis, we know that the door is open at the highest level to building on the best of our partnerships through covid. We think our third sector networks and forums have a crucial role to play in identifying areas for joint working, sharing knowledge about opportunities as widely as possible, and in enabling groups of organisations to come together to work collaborative in the interests of our communities.