James grew up in a working class family in Manchester. He came to Yorkshire in 1997 to do a course in Fire Safety & Management at Leeds University and has lived much of the last 21 years in different areas of outer North Leeds. He got married in 2011 and he and his wife now live near Leeds-Bradford airport.
James began work in sales for Cable and Wireless in Seacroft before moving into a career in recruitment. He was an operations manager for Harvey Lawrence, a leading recruitment business to the construction industry, where he ran a large team of staff recruiting in the civil engineering sector.
James has also worked as volunteer with homeless charities in Leeds and was involved in the start-up of a Clubhouse project in Bradford, part of a movement providing a range of support to people with mental health problems.
He continues to work in recruitment locally and is a member of the GMB union. The old adage ‘We have two ears and one mouth…’ has been key in forming James’ approach to community politics. He is keen to draw on the rich local knowledge of residents to bring people together to tackle the problems and achieve the goals they identify.
“When we can use the skills and experiences of as many people as possible within a community, and we can work together and share ideas without fear or prejudice, the whole community benefits,” says James. “If elected, I want to use my communication, sales and organisational skills to campaign on behalf of residents in Otley and Yeadon and ensure that our communities get a fair deal from Leeds City Council.“