City Council boss to talk business at Leeds Met lecture
The event, which is being held in association with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), will take place as part of Leeds Business School's public guest lecture series, and will be held from 6-7pm on Tuesday 4 February at the University's Rose Bowl. The event is free, but places are limited and must be booked online at http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/employability/guest-speakers.htm
As the youngest ever Chief Executive to take the reins at Leeds City Council, Mr Riordan's ambition is to make Leeds the best city in the UK - a goal he helped set and has been working towards since he joined the council in 2010.
He commented: "A fundamental part of our Best City ambition is to create the conditions for businesses in Leeds to grow, whether that be a new starter in someone's living room, or a multinational company employing thousands.
"Business growth creates opportunities for Leeds residents, which helps us to combat the economic and social impacts of the continuing reductions in our funding. We also see the business community as a key stakeholder in the city, one which we want to work with more collaboratively in a spirit of civic enterprise. Local government has much to learn from business in terms of developing an enterprising culture, and likewise we want to see businesses looking to contribute to civic life in ways beyond wages and investment. I'm looking forward to exploring these ideas and others with the audience at this exciting event."
During the session Mr Riordan will discuss business opportunities in the wider Leeds region and how existing organisations can take advantage of them. He will also talk about how Leeds City Council relates to businesses and how that is evolving.
Following distinguished academic achievements and a fast stream career within the Civil Service at Whitehall, Mr Riordan represented the UK in international negotiations on climate change and endangered species. After setting up the Regional Development Agency - Yorkshire Forward - he became its Chief Executive in 2006, completing award-winning regeneration developments.
Since joining the council he has overseen efficiency savings worth £100m, without reductions in front-line services; good quality assessments across adult social care and other key services; constructing a state-of-the-art Arena; record council tax collection rates; doubling the number of apprentices; and removing children's services from special measures.
Paul Houghton, a Principal Lecturer in Leeds Metropolitan's Faculty of Business and Law, commented: "When Tom Riordan came into post at Leeds City Council he faced many challenges - all of which he has and continues to deal with head on. Enterprise can be crucial to the success and progression of any council and it'll be fascinating to hear what Tom has to say about business in Leeds, how the City Council relates to it and how the rest of us can make the most of it."
Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm and the lecture will get underway at 6pm, concluding with an opportunity to ask questions.