Born in County Durham, I have lived in Gateshead for over forty years. I am married, with a young daughter.
I was first elected as a councillor in 1984. In 2010, I was appointed as Deputy Leader.
I am actively involved in a number of major national bodies, including the Local Government Association. Locally, I represent Gateshead on various regional bodies.
Prior to taking up from my position as Deputy Leader, I was a Regional Officer for GMB Trade Union from 1987 to 2010.