People: Accountants add partner to York office; New Mayor for Leeds announced; and more

Chartered Accountancy firm, Townends Accountants has appointed Hayley Hudson as a partner at its York office following 11 years with the firm.

Hudson joined Townends as a trainee accountant in 2008 straight after sitting her GCSEs and went on to complete her AAT, ATT and ACA training, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2015.

She has been instrumental in developing Townends’ specialist accounting service for the dental sector, PFM Dental. This specialist area has been growing rapidly and now has over 800 clients nationwide.

Jeff Williamson, a partner at Townends, said: “Hayley’s story is a terrific example of how the opportunities for progression at Townends can be realised for those who have a strong desire to do so, as Hayley has. We are very pleased to have Hayley as a Partner at our York office, her strategic approach and excellent client handling skills are an asset to the business and we wish her every success.”


Cllr Eileen Taylor has been announced as the new Lord Mayor of Leeds for 2019/20.

Taking over from Cllr Graham Latty, Taylor is the 126th Lord Mayor of Leeds.

Born in Jamaica, Taylor moved to Leeds as a teenager in the early 70s. She studied at Park Lane College before working for the NHS in the Learning Disability and Mental Health department until she retired in 2012.

Representing Chapel Allerton ward as a Leeds City Councillor since 2008, Taylor has served as support executive member for Environment and Highways. She has also served on Transport Authority, Health and Wellbeing, Children, Infrastructure Investment Scrutiny and is the former chair of the Inner North East Community Committee.

During her time as Lord Mayor, she will be raising money for Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL) which is a local Rape Crisis Centre and member of Rape Crisis England & Wales.

Taylor said: “I am absolutely delighted and feel extremely humble to be given the huge honour of representing our fantastic city of Leeds by becoming the new Lord Mayor for 2019/20.

“Being elected as the city’s first black Lord Mayor makes me feel extremely proud, and is something that I could never have dreamed of. It is going to be an incredibly exciting year, and I cannot wait to champion Leeds and celebrate the amazing diversity that exists in our city.

“The charity that myself and the Lord Mayor’s Consort have chosen to support during my term in office is Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL). We hope that we can increase their profile across the city as well as raising as much funding as possible to help with the crucial and fundamental work that they do.”

IT resourcing specialist Cranford Group has appointed a new chief financial officer ahead of major growth plans.

Matthew Hardill has joined the West Yorkshire business following more than 20 years’ industry experience.

He began his finance career with JCT600 where he worked his way up from credit control to become the group’s accountant. He then moved to a printing consumables firm in Bradford, before joining aerospace specialist Wesco Aircraft, based in Huddersfield. During his 12 years as financial controller of this technical brand, he supported the finance director with the significant growth of this $200m US-owned company.

Hardill said: “Having begun life 10 years ago as a fast-paced entrepreneurial brand, Cranford has now grown to become a truly established name in the highly-technical cloud, DevOps and IT resourcing space. The company remains extremely progressive but with a new layer of financial robustness.

“And, with significant growth on the horizon, it is my job to ensure the finance department meets the needs of the business as it continues to evolve.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to use my skills in a new field. I know that a deeper level of reporting, analysis and benchmarking can help shape the future of Cranford over the next 10 years and beyond.”

CEO David Bentley – Matthew’s brother-in-law – explained: “Trusting relationships are very important to us as an organisation, and we pride ourselves on having a close-knit, family-focused team.

“This is one of the primary reasons I approached Matthew to become our finance director – he has all of the credentials we need, plus I’ve known him for 25 years!”

Cranford Group provides assured resource, solutions and work packages for clients within the technology sector and counts World Wide Technology, Vodafone, Deloitte, NHS Digital and many other leading organisations as customers.