Lord Mayor of Birmingham - Councillor John Lines
Lord Mayor of Birmingham
Councillor John Lines
Born in Birmingham, John is the first son of Jefferson and Doris Lines. He attended local schools in Bartley Green and Woodgate and left school at 15 to become an apprentice motor engineer. He attended both Halesowen and Oldbury Technical Colleges and spent a period in the Armed Forces - R.C.T. as a driver.
John’s interest in motor sport, racing saloons and sports cars gained him his national racing licence. He established his own motor vehicle business in the late 60s including high performance tuning and much later, classic car renovations.
He has always taken an interest in the environment but his keenness early on to protect the countryside and wildlife was the catalyst for him to become involved in politics. He was subsequently elected to the Bartley Green Ward as a Conservative in 1982 and has served continuously ever since.
From early on John showed an interest in Housing issues but there followed involvement with Environmental Health and West Midlands Passenger Transport -(PTA) Committee’s. He was also the Group’s Chief Whip for many years.
Prior to becoming the Cabinet Member for Housing he was the Conservative opposition spokesman for many years and then as Chairman of Local Services Over View Scrutiny 2003/4, he led the review on recycling. In 2004 he became Cabinet Member for Housing and has successfully transformed it since, winning no less than 36 awards since 2005, including the most prestigious UK housing award for ‘outstanding achievements in housing’ and ‘the overall winner for the UK for 2011’. It has also included spearheading the largest retirement village projects in the UK, 5 in all, transforming housing for older citizens. He has increased Birmingham’s decent homes programme from 34% to almost 100% and embarked on a new Council house building programme with his Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, the first for a generation. One of John’s most proud achievements is being the first Council in the country to build the new ‘Homes for Heroes’ programme and launch the ‘Veteran Home Buy’ for former armed service personnel.
John has championed the role of apprenticeships and training, leading to over 1000 young people being placed in schemes across Birmingham. John was Chairman of the Regional Housing Partnership and the West Midlands LGA portfolio for housing until it was dissolved.
John has been married to Kathleen for 45 years and has three children. He is also a proud grandfather. They were introduced through an old business friend in the Motor Trade, in not the most romantic of settings but there was obviously a ‘spark’ as they have been together for so long.
John has many other interests including angling (both fly and coarse), cricket, British wildlife, ornithology and caravan touring, particularly in Scotland.
During his year as Lord Mayor, John is very keen to search out the ‘un-sung’ heroes of our society and will be hoping to meet as many volunteers as he can who support the organisations and charities across the City but particularly those who support the homeless and local community activities.
Term of Office
Each Lord Mayor completes a one year term of office and then another year as Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham. The new Lord Mayor is installed each May at the Annual General Meeting of the Council (also known as Mayormaking).
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