07.11.18

‘Dedicated and hugely talented’ councillors across the country win awards

Cllr Roger Lawrence of Wolverhampton Council has been named as Leader of the Year as members of local government up and down the country have been recognised in the 2018 Councillor Achievement Awards.

The annual awards ceremony, organised by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), were held last night in London to celebrate the “brightest and best” councillors across the country.

The winners were selected by a group of judges made up of council leaders and chief executives and with nearly 200 nominations, competition was fierce.

Cllr Lawrence won the Leader of the Year award as he had “shown consistently strong leadership,” implementing a long-term plan for Wolverhampton. He was also commended for his work setting up the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Lambeth Council’s Mahamed Hashi was named as the Community Champion after judges were impressed with his “boundless energy” in his work which ranged from working with gangs, working on a committee to advise the police on local issues, and helping the homeless.

Hashi’s level of involvement was evident when he was shot whilst trying to break up a fight, and since then he has introduced the ‘New Beginnings’ youth organisation to help individuals escape gang life safely.

Cllr Shane Hebb won the Finance and Transformation award after managing to mitigate a substantial deficit using an ‘outside the box’ commercial approach for his Thurrock Council, which just this week threatened legal action against Highways England regarding the plans for a Lower Thames Crossing.

Cllr Michelle Lowe of Sevenoaks won the award for health and care for her track record of helping communities stay healthy, and Cambridgeshire’s Ian Bates won the technology and digital award after he oversaw large-scale projects improving Wi-Fi access and 5G coverage.

The Young Councillor of the Year was named as Tom Coole of Gloucester, who has made improvements to council scrutiny and local transparency from the position of opposition within the council, and Iain Malcolm of South Tyneside won the Place Shaping and Environment award.

Dr Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU, commented: “It’s been fantastic to listen to the stories of people working selflessly for the community, bringing real benefits to residents.

“The winners are dedicated to the cause and hugely talented. The outstanding quality of the nominations we received this year stands as a testament to the exceptional job many councillors are doing for their community.”

Cllr Alex Harman of Worthing, Peter Patrick of Babergh, Glen Horn from Mid-Suffolk, and East Hertfordshire’s leader Linda Haysey were all also deemed to deserve a special mention for their efforts.

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Image -LGiU website

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