The City of Wolverhampton elected only the 12th woman ever to hold the historic office of Mayor this week.

City councillors voted to make Councillor Linda Leach, who represents the Bilston North ward and is the current Deputy Mayor, Wolverhampton’s first citizen when they met on Wednesday 15 May.

She becomes the city’s 165th Mayor – the highest honour the council can bestow upon a sitting councillor.

The apolitical role of Mayor is traditionally supported unanimously by both sides of the council chamber when they are asked to vote to decide on appointing the new civic head each May.

Councillor Leach will make ‘Every Person Matters’ her theme for her year in office and will be raising awareness of and money for Beacon Centre for the Blind, Wolverhampton Samaritans and Age UK Wolverhampton throughout 2024 to 2025.

She is married to Peter who will be her Consort; they have 4 sons, 5 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild between them. 

Councillor Leach left school with only a few qualifications but went on to forge a successful business career as a single parent, eventually owning and running 2 hair and beauty salons in Wednesfield and Bilston.

As a councillor she has held senior roles as Chair of Planning, Adults and Cabinet Member for Adults. She hopes that her story will inspire others to believe they can make a success of their lives despite a challenging start in life.

Councillor Leach said: “I think it is important to share my story, not so people feel sorry for me but because I want people to know they can make a success of their life whatever difficulties they might face and obstacles they must overcome.

“I came from very humble and difficult beginnings and found myself as a single parent at a young age to 2 wonderful boys – but I got myself some training and vocational qualifications, I started as a mobile hairdresser and worked my way to having 2 salons and a successful business career. I would love to inspire others to fulfil whatever dreams they might have.

“My motto for the year is ‘every person matters’ and I want all Wulfrunians and of course Bilstonians – which I must say as a Bilston councillor – to know that you do matter whatever your background or circumstances.

“I am blessed to have an amazing family, but I know that others are not so fortunate and may be lonely or struggling in other ways and I want them to know that they matter. We are at our strongest when we come together as a community and are there for each other.

“I genuinely love people, hearing their stories and experiences and I cannot wait to meet and celebrate the wonderful residents of our city.

“I want to be a friendly and approachable Mayor; this office is about being an ambassador for the city and celebrating all that is good about Wolverhampton. I am a local girl and lived here all my life, I know what this city is all about and I am so proud to become Mayor.”

Councillor Leach replaces the outgoing Mayor, Dr Michael Hardacre. The incoming Deputy Mayor is Councillor Craig Collingswood.

To find out more about the Mayor of Wolverhampton and how to donate to their charities or invite them to events please visit The Mayor of Wolverhampton.