About Ralph

Ralph Family

Ralph Berry is 51 and lives in Saltaire with his wife Gill Thornton and two daughters.

Ralph has three Children Alex [20] is at Cardiff University Lara is at Beckfoot School and Natasha is at Craven College, Ralph also has four older stepsons and a Grandson Ethan who is now two.

Ralph’s father was born in Todmorden and was formerly an Electrical Engineer and worked for 2years at English Electric in Thornbury, his late mother was from Arbroath.

Ralph came to Bradford in 1982 to study Applied Social Studies with the aim of becoming a Probation Officer. He joined the Labour Party in 1983, not the best of years, and became in involved in the political sides of the 80’s as student before Graduating in 1986 .Two years were spent in Peckham working in probation until he returned to Bradford in 1988 and became Secretary gain of the old University Ward Labour . Ralph was Treasurer of Bradford West CLP and later when living in Wibsey Treasurer of Bradford South CLP.

Ralph moved into Manningham and married and became a Chair of Governors at Drummond Middle School before moving into Wibsey in 1993.

Ralph worked for the West Yorkshire Probation Service in Pontefract, Dewsbury and Todmorden and Halifax before working two years in North Bradford .In 1999 Ralph moved to work in the Family Courts as a Family Court Welfare Officer until changes moved that service into CAFCASS .Ralph then became a Family Court Advisor and Children’s Guardian. In 2006 Ralph was promoted to the role of Service manager for Bradford Calderdale and Craven, a role he held for 4 years until he was offered the Cabinet role as Lead member for Children on Bradford Council in 2010. After that Ralph moved to work part time before leaving to concentrate on the Lead Member role.

Divorced in 2000, Ralph re married in 2003 to Gill Thornton who is Councillor for Royds Ward and is Social Enterprise manager.

Trades Union

Ralph was active in West Yorkshire NAPO having been a branch Officer and media Officer during the effective campaign to ban Young People from being housed in HMP Leeds [due to the suicides of young men that were taking place] .Ralph was an NEC delegate in NAPO. Ralph has competed TUC reps courses.

Ralph became a Unison member in 1986 and was  for 3 year a Health and Safety rep and one year a Shop Steward as well and being in 109-10 the North West CAFCASS AND Probation POLUTCAL Fund Officer.

After leaving CAFCASS Ralph joined Unite and is an active member of Bradford No2 branch

NHS Roles

In 2000 Ralph was appointed as Chair of Bradford Health Authority , which in 2002 was Health Authority of the year, it was abolished in 2002 and Ralph was then a Director of the then West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority before in 2003 being appointed as CHAIR OF West Yorkshire Ambulance Trust until it was merged in 2006.


Ralph was first elected to Wibsey ward in 1991 taking a seat off the Tories which he has held ever since; at the last election Ralph he got 52% of the vote.

He has been Chair of Schools Sub Committee, first Chair of early Years Committee, Chair of Community development .In Opposition he was the Education and Children’s Spokesperson for 10 years.

Ralph has held a number of School Governorships at Drummond Middle, Buttershaw Upper, Wibsey Primary and Grange Technology College.

Ralph is also Hospital Hospital   Manager at Bradford and District Care Trust hearing Mental Health Act appeals.

Ralph has been involved with the Woodcraft Folk and is the Shipley Treasurer at this time.


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