Councillor Donna Ludford has today – Wednesday 18 May - taken up the chains of office as the new Lord Mayor of Manchester.
Councillor Donna Ludford has served as Councillor for Ancoats & Clayton, Clayton & Openshaw and has been the Deputy Chair and the Chair of the Licensing Committee for the past eight years.
Donna Ludford was born on 31 January 1969 at the Duchess of York Hospital, Manchester.
Following a major accident involving both her parents, Donna was placed into Manchester’s care system at the age of just six months.
Donna was moved to every corner of the city and lived in more than twenty homes, including foster homes, children’s homes and family group homes. She attended more than twelve schools from a very young age. However, she attended one stable high school, which was Parrs Wood in Didsbury.
Life has been extremely difficult for Donna, and from a very young age she has had to deal with abuse, neglect and incredible hardship. Yet, through adversity and a will to achieve and provide for her four children, she took a part-time job as a cleaner at Manchester City Council in the mid-1990s.
She then went on to become a caretaker, a volunteer youth worker, and an educational support worker with Manchester Pupil Referral Unit. During her time at the Pupil Referral Unit, Donna discovered a passion for working with children struggling with their education, in particular, looked after children and the most vulnerable in our society.
In 2013, Donna was elected as councillor for Ancoats & Clayton, and following the boundary changes, became a councillor for Clayton & Openshaw. Donna has a passion for helping her residents and making sure they have a voice.
Donna has been the Deputy Chair and the Chair of the Licensing Committee. She has enjoyed chairing many meetings and has sat on many committees during her time as a councillor.
Donna and her husband Sean have raised four children in an inner-city area where at times it can be challenging, but all four are a credit to their parents and still striving to achieve their goals in life. Donna welcomed the arrival of her first granddaughter during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Donna says she is honoured and humbled to have been elected Lord Mayor. Her primary issue will be on the Year of the Child, especially focusing on young people in the care system and care leavers.
Lord Mayor of Manchester, Donna Ludford said:
“Manchester has been my home for my whole life. It is where my children and grandchildren live and I am passionate about making the city better for future generations.
“One of my key priorities is to focus on young people that are in the care system. As a care leaver myself I believe we can work with this sometimes forgotten community and ensure that they receive support from Manchester City Council.
“I have worked at Manchester City Council since the mid 1990s, where I started as a cleaner, I love the city and have been here for its key moments. I am excited to take my position as Lord Mayor and be involved at the heart of the Council.”
Donna will be supported by her consort, Sean McHale, a Manchester City Councillor and Donna’s husband.