The Labour leader was one of two contenders who pitched for the position, the second being Clr Andrew Cooper, the Kirklees Green Party leader.
Clr Sheard said: “I didn’t want to be here at this stage in my life, but I think there is a job to be done.”
He spoke of the challenges Kirklees faces in meeting sweeping budget cuts and re-shaping the council, but said he hoped a new government minister for local government would herald a better deal for Kirklees.
Clr Sheard added: “I think there is a massive challenge ahead. New members of the council should be under no illusion that it’s going to be easy.
“In being here we all have a passion to say we want to do our best for Kirklees and I put myself forward to do that and I will do that if elected leader.”
The position of council leader usually goes to the leader of the biggest party – and with 34 councillors that is Labour.
But Clr Cooper was a surprise nomination and with two nominees, Clr Martyn Bolt asked if they could state why they should get the vote of those in the council chamber.
Clr Cooper said he wanted to be part of an all-party shared administration with all parties represented in the executive.
After Clr Sheard won the vote he announced his deputy would be Clr Jean Calvert, who is also Cabinet member for community development, councillors involvement in a new council and councillor development.
Clr Erin Hill is the only new addition to the Cabinet. She takes responsibility for Family Support and Child Protection, with statutory responsibility for children.
Other Cabinet members and positions are:
- Clr Shabir Pandor, schools and learning;
- Clr Peter McBride, transportation, skills, jobs and regional affairs;
- Clr Cathy Scott, housing and the relief of poverty;
- Clr Steve Hall, planning, highways and open spaces;
- Clr Viv Kendrick, prevention, early intervention and vulnerable adults with statutory responsibility for adults and public health;
- Clr Graham Turner, resources and community safety.
Other appointments include:
- Clr Steve Hall leads the Strategic Planning Committee;
- Clr Terry Lyons chair of the Huddersfield planning committee;
- Clr Karen Rowling chair of Heavy Woollen planning committee;
- Clr Ken Smith takes over as chair of the Licensing and Safety Committee;
- Clr Liz Smaje is chair of the Health Scrutiny committee;
- Clr Carole Pattison becomes chair of the Policy Committee.