Councillor Craig Simmons to be Oxford’s first zero-carbon Lord Mayor

Published: Friday, 10th May 2019

Councillor Craig Simmons is set to be sworn in as the new Lord Mayor of Oxford at the annual mayor making ceremony on Monday 13 May 2019, 7.15pm at Oxford Town Hall.

Councillor Simmons has committed to offset the carbon impact of all of his civic duties over the year, particularly travel. This will make him Oxford’s first zero-carbon Lord Mayor.

Guests and fellow councillors will watch the traditional ceremony as the retiring Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Colin Cook, officially steps down and hands over his chains of office to Councillor Craig Simmons.

Councillor Craig Simmons said: “It is a great honour  to be the Lord Mayor of Oxford; a City where I have lived and worked for the last 25 years. My year in office will no doubt be both challenging and interesting. It is traditional for the Lord Mayor to focus on a couple of key themes. Given my own interests, and those of the Council as a whole, I intend to focus on promoting Oxford as a welcoming international city and facilitating action on climate change.”

Councillor Simmons is well known for his social and environmental campaigning. Amongst many other things, he founded the East Oxford Farmer’s Market, Low Carbon East Oxford, Magdalen Road Traders & Residents Association and helped start the Cowley Road Carnival.

Craig is a director and founding member of an award-winning, Oxford-headquartered,  sustainability consultancy with offices around the world. He advises businesses, government and agencies such as the UN on environmental issues.

He became a County Councillor in 1997, successfully holding the first Green County Council seat. He then served as a County Councillor for 12 years, standing down in 2009. He was first elected as an Oxford City Councillor in 2002.

Craig is a keen cyclist and sailor. In 2010 he cycled from Oxford to Cambridge raising money for the British Heart Foundation. In 2013, he sailed across the Atlantic raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 

His chosen charities for the coming year are Asylum Welcome and The Lord Mayor’s Climate Change Fund.

Councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan will be elected Deputy Lord Mayor and Councillor Stephen Goddard will be appointed Sheriff.

Councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan said:  "I served as Lord Mayor in 2016-17.  It is a privilege and an honour to be elected back in to the civic office serving as the Deputy Lord Mayor to represent our great City of Oxford.”

Councillor Stephen Goddard said:  “It’s a great honour to be Sheriff of Oxford for the forthcoming year. I really look forward to meeting people and to seeing more of this great city of ours.”

The bells of Carfax Tower will be rung by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers to commemorate the ceremony.

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