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Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Ian Ward has been a councillor since 1995. He served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Group from 2005-2017 and was Deputy Leader of the Council from 2012-2017.

He has had political responsibility for many areas including budgets and finance, land and property, human resources, arts and culture and the Council’s performance.

Keen to promote Birmingham’s sporting profile, he spearheaded the successful 2022 Commonwealth Games bid, having already helped bring a number of high profile international sporting events to the city.

He has also promoted the physical activity agenda, supporting cycling, running and a range of free exercise initiatives across the city.

A former Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, he has also served on many cultural partnership bodies and numerous Arts boards, including Birmingham Royal Ballet.

He is currently Chair of the Eurocities Culture Forum, taking a keen interest in promoting and strengthening Birmingham's European and international ties.