Tom was a councillor for Garforth and Swillington Ward between 1992 – 2013. He has held various positions on the Council Executive. He has played a part in numerous community groups over the years as a local Governor and Trustee.
He was the Chair of Education and the first Executive Member for Lifelong Learning under a Cabinet administration. He has been President of the European Second Chance movement and the Chair of Thomas Danby College and was involved in the setting up of Leeds City College.
In 2004, Tom joined Learning Partnerships as Chief Executive Officer, he wanted to support the charity in helping the local communities of Leeds by giving them opportunities they may not otherwise have. In May 2013, Tom was appointed as Lord Mayor of Leeds and took a one year sabbatical from the organisation. After an extremely enjoyable but hectic and busy year, Tom agreed to return in the voluntary capacity as Chairman and he was welcomed back officially in October 2014