The Lord Mayor is the first Citizen of the City of Oxford. The first recorded Mayor of Oxford is Laurence Kepeharme, 1205-1209 and Mayors’ names stretch in an unbroken line until 1962 when the dignity of Lord Mayor was granted to Oxford by Queen Elizabeth II. For a full list of past Lord Mayors of Oxford, please visit Wikipedia.

Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Oxford

  • The Lord Mayor of Oxford is Councillor Lubna Arshad
  • The Deputy Lord Mayor is Councillor James Fry
  • The Sheriff of Oxford is Councillor Mark Lygo

Lord Mayor of Oxford - Councillor Lubna Arshad

Lord Mayor of Oxford - Councillor Lubna Arshad

Lubna Arshad was born and raised in Oxford. She achieved a BSC(Hons) in Computer Network Technologies from Manchester and has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Lubna's passion for equality and fairness led her to be elected as a City Councillor in 2018, representing Cowley Marsh initially, and later, due to electoral boundary changes, serving Temple Cowley.

Lubna Arshad is a former MEP Candidate for the SE Region and has stood on various committees including Scrutiny Panel and the Planning and Housing Panels.

Lubna Arshad has made history as the first woman of colour, first Muslim woman of intersectional background, and the youngest Lord Mayor representing the City. Her achievement is ground breaking and represents significant progress towards diversity, inclusivity, and representation in leadership roles.

As a trailblazer for equal representation, Lubna is known for making a difference and advocating for ambitious initiatives to close the gender pay gap and protect religious freedom. She is particularly passionate about supporting young people and eradicating poverty. Her dedication to humanitarian projects and pursuit of justice resonates strongly; she serves as an aspiring role model for fearless change, ensuring that all voices are heard. She believes in love for all, hatred for none.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford - Councillor James Fry

Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford - Councillor James Fry

James Fry came to Oxford to read Mathematics at New College and took a DPhil in Economics at Nuffield College and became a lecturer at Magdalen College. He then founded and still works for a leading consultancy in the economics of agriculture.

His wife, Susanna Pressel, has been Lord Mayor and will be Chair of the County Council when James is Lord Mayor. James represents Walton Manor ward and was elected to the City Council in 2012.

He chairs several City Council committees, covering Audit, Finance and Budget, as well as community groups, such as the Oxford Canal Festival and the St Margaret’s Area Society.

He is keen to support local small businesses, co-founding the North Parade market, which he now manages as a community enterprise. During his term of office, James is keen to support similar local initiatives city-wide.

Sheriff of Oxford - Councillor Mark Lygo

Sheriff of Oxford - Councillor Mark Lygo

Cllr Mark Lygo is Oxford born and bred. He lives in Headington with his wife and two teenage children.

Mark was first elected to Oxford City Council in 2008 and has represented Marston and Northway ward as a County Councillor since 2013.

Away from council duties, Mark is a keen supporter of grassroots sports and culture; he is currently Chairman of Quarry Rovers FC, a local referee and a dedicated supporter of Oxford United FC.

Lord Mayor's duties

The Lord Mayor represents the Council at civic and ceremonial events. He/she spends a great deal of time promoting the City, the key initiatives of the Council and supporting a wide range of Oxford based voluntary and other organisations. 

The Lord Mayor generally carries out in excess of 300 engagements each year. These engagements cover a wide spectrum of events from high profile Royal visits and leading the City's annual Remembrance Sunday service, to small community group meetings and charity events. 

The Lord Mayor also chairs meetings of full council.

The post of Lord Mayor of Oxford is different to that of the Mayor of London in that it is a ceremonial post carrying no political power. The political head of the City Council is the Leader of the Council. 

How the Lord Mayor is chosen

The Lord Mayor must be a serving councillor and is chosen on length of service. The Lord Mayor is usually elected annually in May when all city councillors meet together at the Annual Meeting of Council. Their term of office is for one year, during which time he/she also continues their ward duties. Councillors can only serve as Lord Mayor once.

Due to the impact of the pandemic, the annual ceremony in May 2020 was cancelled. It was then agreed by full council that the terms of both the outgoing and incoming Lord Mayors would be extended to 18 months.

Mayoral Invitations

The Lord Mayor of Oxford is very keen to visit all aspects of the community during her term of office. If you have an event you would like the Lord Mayor to attend, please contact the Civic Office Holders' Executive Assistant or use the form below.

Send an invitation to the Lord Mayor

Unfortunately, due to demand, it is not possible for the Lord Mayor to attend every event to which she is invited. In these circumstances, it is generally possible for the Deputy Lord Mayor or the Sheriff of Oxford to attend instead.

Please note we require a minimum of four weeks notice of your event. Invitations received at short notice may not be considered. Thank you for your cooperation.

Lord Mayor's Engagements 

Civic Engagements Calendar

The Lord Mayor’s Supported Organisations for 2023-24

The Lord Mayor’s charities for this year are:

Asylum Welcome offers information, advice and practical support to asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants living in Oxfordshire. The charity helps adults, young people and families to feel safe, respected and understood as members of our diverse community.

Humanity First UK is a global international relief and development charity that promotes and safeguards the preservation of human life and dignity, irrespective of colour, background or religion. The charity specialises in Sustainable Provision, Access to Healthcare, Community Development and Disaster Relief. Their dedicated teams of volunteers include experienced engineers, doctors, nurses, disaster responders, managers and more, who work tirelessly to ensure Humanity First delivers maximum value on the ground from the money donated.

Oxford Community Action promotes community development, social inclusion and social justice for diverse, multi-ethnic BAME communities and individuals. It supports people in reaching their full potential and enjoying equal representation and participation as active citizens within UK institutions and wider civil society.

Make a Donation

Donations towards the Lord Mayor’s fundraising efforts are always welcomed and there are many ways you can pledge your support.

Text to Donate

Text the word LORDMAYOR followed by the amount you wish to give to 70085 e.g. ‘LORDMAYOR 10’ to donate £10.

Texts cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to donate but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text LORDMAYORNOINFO followed by your donation amount to 70085.

Donate via BACS

Donations can be made via bank transfer to Account Number 61173455, Sort Code 08-90-38.

Send us a Cheque

Cheques should be made payable to Lord Mayor of Oxford Charity Trust and can be posted to Civic Office, Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1BX.

Thank you for your support.

Contact Us

If you would like to help the Lord Mayor of Oxford in this work or get involved in any of these charities or donate money to them please contact us.

Contact the Civic Office

Address: Civic Office,
Town Hall,
St Aldate’s,

Telephone: 01865 252414