Leader of the council

The leader of Blackpool Council is Councillor Simon Blackburn

Cllr Blackburn
Councillor Simon Blackburn - Leader of Blackpool Council

Simon was first elected to Blackpool Council in 2003, at the age of 28.

He served as Blackpool's Labour spokesman for youth issues until 2007, when he became Labour's finance spokesman.  He served as Leader of the Opposition from 2010-2011, and has been Executive Leader of Blackpool Council since 2011.

Father to three children (aged 8, 13 and 19) from a previous relationship, Simon married his wife Emma in November 2014, at St. Christopher's Church in Blackpool, where until recently, Simon served on the Parochial Church Council.  Emma is a civil servant, who currently works for a central government department in Whitehall.  The couple live in Blackpool, with their Labrador, Bentley, and their chicken, Bluebell.

Simon has been involved, for almost a decade, with the Local Government Association; a politically-led, cross-party organisation that works on behalf of councils to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government. The LGA aims to influence and set the political agenda on the issues that matter to councils so they are able to deliver local solutions to national problems.  He currently serves as Chair of the LGA's Safer, Stronger Communities Board, and sits on the LGA Executive.  Simon has been an active Member Peer for the LGA since 2010 - conducting reviews in Councils across England on issues ranging from children's social care, health & wellbeing, adult care, corporate governance, workforce development and highways maintenance.  He is also an experienced mentor, working with new and aspiring leaders.

Active within the LGA Labour Group, Simon was elected to the LGA Labour Group Executive in 2012 and has been Chief Whip since 2015.

Simon has been a Director of the Lancashire Economic Partnership since June 2011, he has been a key figure in efforts to draw together the Combined Authority for Lancashire, following the success of Blackpool's £50 million Growth Deal, announced in 2014.  As Chair of the Shadow Combined Authority, he will lead negotiations with the Government on a devolution deal for Lancashire.

In what little spare time remains, Simon and Emma enjoy spending time walking in the Trough of Bowland, and the mountains of Scotland and North Wales, attending country shows, visiting historic houses and museums.  A keen football fan (especially his beloved Blackburn Rovers), he also has a keen interest in motor racing, rugby union and cricket.