He had a career in Local Government Finance, starting as a trainee at Rawtenstall Borough Council and Eccles Borough Council, which were then District Councils in Lancashire. His posts included City Treasurer and Chamberlain at Plymouth City Council, Director of Finance at Kirklees Metropolitan Council (including Treasurer of West Yorkshire Fire and Civil Defence Authority) and he ended his career as Town Clerk and Chief Executive at Preston City Council.
He entered Politics on retirement and joined Preston City Council in 1999. He was elected to Lancashire County Council in May 2005 and became Leader of the Opposition Conservative Group in May 2008. He was re-elected to the County Council in 2009 when the Conservatives took control and he became Leader of the County Council in June 2009.
He was re-elected to the County Council and became Leader of the Opposition Conservative Group in May 2013.
On 15 June 2013, he was awarded a CBE for his services to local government in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
He was re-elected to the County Council in May 2017 and was elected Leader of the Council at the AGM on 25 May 2017.