Two Cambridgeshire councillors have been honoured in the 13th annual ‘councillor of the year’ awards.
Cllr Peter McDonald (Lib Dem) of South Cambridgeshire District Council has won the 2022 Cllr Award for Resilience and Recovery.
And Cllr Lewis Herbert (Lab) and a former leader of Cambridge City Council was one of two councillors given lifetime achievement awards for their service.
The Cllr Awards are the only national awards to celebrate the vital contributions of local councillors across England and Wales.
The awards ceremony took place at the Roman Baths and Guildhall.
Cllr McDonald was selected for the resilience and recovery award for a commercial approach to his work.
Judges made the award to recognise “his oversight of business grant funding which enabled Cambridgeshire’s unique business growth fund, supporting 102 local businesses”.
Judges said they were also impressed by the part this played in rapid rollout of electric vehicle and charging point technology.
Cllr Herbert said: “I was really chuffed Thursday to receive the ‘lifetime achievement’ award at the national Councillor awards organised by the Local Government Information Unit.
“Thanks to my wonderful Labour colleagues on Cambridge City Council present and past. And a special thanks to our council staff, party colleagues and residents I have had the (continuing) pleasure to work with.”
He added: “Our work to achieve ‘One Cambridge Fair For All’ and more council housing continues, particularly through the Tory-damaged challenging years ahead.
“Plus, an extra focus from me on adding modular/wider homes for homeless people in other towns and cities.”
Cllr McDonald said: “It’s been great to share the South Cambs work with this wide audience.
“There were many nominations in this category which shows the high standard of work of the team at South Cambridgeshire District Council.”
Other winners of the night included Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, the 2022 Leader of the Year.
Cllr Mariam Dawood from the London Borough of Newham walked away with the Young Councillor of the Year prize.
Cllr Jabba Riaz of Worcester City Council was honoured with the Community Champion Award.
Cllr Hilda Rhodes of Telford and Wrekin Council was given a lifetime achievement awards for her service.
The LGA says the Cllr Awards are a hugely important way to champion what councillors do locally as their work can, all too often, go unrecognised.
Competition was particularly tight this year with 400 nominations received. The winners were selected by a group of judges that included senior councillors and leading stakeholders from across the sector. A link to re-watch the Awards is available HERE.
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGIU said: “On such a momentous day – we are incredibly proud to unveil the winners of these 13th annual Cllr Awards.
“Doing this at a time of immense turmoil and as national politics continues to unravel, underlines (even more) the importance of what we have done here tonight – showcasing the vital work of councillors, making a real difference to the lives of local people.
“Come rain or shine, local government continues to get on with the job at hand, providing the stability and direction our communities (and our country) need day in and day out. And while awards and accolades are not the reason councillors put themselves forward and enter local politics, their incredible service is, so often, a thankless task.
“That is why these Cllr Awards are so important. One day a year to say thank you to our elected members for their remarkable efforts.
“I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all of tonight’s Cllr Awards winners. We thank you for your service and look forward to hearing about your continued accomplishments in the future.”
Kelly Watson, Relationship Manager for Local Government, CCLA, said: “For the last 13 years, CCLA and LGIU have thoroughly enjoyed raising the profile of the best of local government across England, Wales and beyond. Councillors and council leaders have delivered in so many unimaginable ways for communities and we want to shout about it!
“The Cllr Awards are all about councillors. Their achievements are often hidden in plain sight and often go unrecognised. CCLA is honoured to stand alongside these outstanding councillors and thank them for their hard work and dedication to our communities.
“Why? Because at CCLA we believe healthy investment markets depend upon healthy communities – economically, socially, and environmentally. In that we all have common purpose.”
England & Wales
Cllr Awards England & Wales 2022 winners
Cllr Jabba Riaz – Worcester City Council
Cllr Cameron Beart – Swale Borough Council (Highly commended)
Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE – London Borough of Bexley
Cllr Peray Ahmet – London Borough of Haringey (Highly commended)
Lewis Herbert – Cambridge City Council
Cllr Hilda Rhodes – Telford and Wrekin Council
Cllr Peter McDonald – South Cambridgeshire District Council
Cllr Mariam Dawood – London Borough of Newham
Cllr Josh Babarinde OBE – Eastbourne Borough Council (Highly commended)