Lord Mayor of Oxford

The Lord Mayor is the first Citizen of the City of Oxford. The first recorded Mayor of Oxford is Turchillus, 1122-1123, and mayors' names stretch in an unbroken line until 1962 when the dignity of Lord Mayor was granted to Oxford by Queen Elizabeth ll. 

Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Oxford

  • The Lord Mayor of Oxford is Councillor Colin Cook
  • The Deputy Lord Mayor is Councillor Sajjad Malik
  • The Sheriff of Oxford is Councillor Craig Simmons

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 is elected annually in May when all city councillors meet together at the Annual Meeting of Council. The Lord Mayor must be a councillor and is chosen on length of service. Each Lord Mayor's term of office is for one year, during which time he/she also continues their ward duties. 

Lord Mayor of Oxford - Councillor Colin Cook

Lord Mayor of Oxford Colin CookColin Cook came to Oxford in 1982 to read Biochemistry at Hertford College. Following a PGCE in Cambridge he came back to Oxford to study and work at the Department of Physiology. In 2002 he was appointed Chief Technician of the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre in the University Science area, where he continues to work to this day.

Colin became a City Councillor for West Ward in 1999 and, after boundary changes, now represents Jericho & Osney Ward. He takes a keen interest in planning and licensing issues in his Council work and has previously been the Executive Board Member responsible for Development Control. He is currently Chair of the Licensing & Gambling Acts Committee and Heritage Champion for the City. He is also a School Governor at West Oxford Community Primary School.

Colin is a keen cyclist and enjoys skiing, DIY and reading. He married his wife Helen in 2011. A former teacher, Helen now works in museum education and is a school governor in Blackbird Leys.

Colin has chosen two organisations to support in the coming year - the Oxford Samaritans and Oxford Nightline.  As a student he was a volunteer and trainer for Oxford Nightline and he is keen to raise awareness of mental health needs in the City.


Sheriff of Oxford - Councillor Craig Simmons

Councillor Simmons lives in East Oxford with his partner and teenage daughter. He has represented the area on the County and then City Council for more than 20 years. He works in East Oxford for a locally headquartered, international sustainability consultancy.

Craig is a keen cyclist and community campaigner having established the East Oxford Farmer's Market and Low Carbon East Oxford as well as co-founding the Cowley Road Carnival and local car club.   

Mayoral Invitations

The Lord Mayor welcomes invitations to attend events, no matter how small or large. If you have an event you would like the Lord Mayor to attend, please contact the Civic Office Holders' Executive Assistant.

Send invitation to the Lord Mayor

Unfortunately, due to demand, it is not possible for the Lord Mayor to attend every event to which he/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 (PDF)

Lord Mayor's Charities

The Lord Mayor of Oxford has chosen Oxford Samaritans and Oxford Nightline as his charities for 2018-19.

Oxford Samaritans

Oxford Samaritans was established in 1963 and is an entirely voluntary organisation, available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. They provide telephone, email and SMS support around the clock and callers are also welcome to visit their branch at 60 Magdalen Road between the hours of 8am and 10pm. Oxford Samaritans are affiliated to the national organisation of Samaritans but are a separate charity. They currently have over 150 volunteers, each doing weekly shifts at the Oxford Centre to provide this essential support service.

Oxford Nightline

Oxford Nightline was founded in 1972 and is a completely independent listening, support and information service run for and by students of Oxford and Oxford Brookes universities. They aim to provide every student in Oxford with the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence and students can phone, Skype, or visit their office at 16 Wellington Square. They don’t pretend to have all the answers, or try to solve people's problems, but will listen to whatever a caller wants to talk about without judging or telling them what to do. It is one of the few student societies which takes its volunteers from both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University.

Donations towards the Lord Mayor’s fundraising efforts are always welcomed. Donations can be made via cheque (made payable to Lord Mayor of Oxford Charity Trust) or via BACS (Account Number 61173455, Sort Code 08-90-38). 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.

Past Lord Mayors of Oxford

For a full list of past Lord Mayors of Oxford, please visit Wikipedia.