Oxford councillors shortlisted for prestigious national awards

Published: Thursday, 15th October 2020

Oxford City Council is proud to announce that two councillors have been shortlisted for the prestigious LGIU & CCLA Councillor Awards.

The two councillors are Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, and Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities.

The Councillor Awards 2020 marks the 11th year of showcasing the achievements of councillors across England and Scotland.

Councillor Marie Tidball

Councillor Tidball has been nominated for the Covid-19 Hero category for her work – alongside City Council officers, residents and charities across – to establish Oxford’s Locality Response Hubs at the outset of the pandemic.

The Hubs received over 3,000 referrals and provided food, prescription delivery and support to hundreds of Oxford families each week during the period of lockdown, including ‘shielded’ households.

Councillor Tidball, who holds a doctorate in criminology from the University of Oxford, is also a research associate at the university and a disability rights activist. Her nomination for the award also highlights her role as a disability rights activist who has campaigned throughout the coronavirus crisis to shine a light on the number of deaths of disabled people from Covid-19. 

Councillor Tom Hayes

Councillor Hayes has been nominated for the Environment & Sustainability Pioneer category for his work – alongside citizens, communities, and partners in Oxford – to create a zero carbon city.

In January 2019, the City Council unanimously declared a climate emergency, and since then actions have included:

  • Oxford became the first UK city to hold a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change
  • The City Council agreed an initial action plan with more than fifty measures covering buildings, transport, biodiversity, offsetting, and recycling and waste
  • Launching plans for the proposed Zero Emission Zone in Oxford
  • Working with partners to bring forward the £41m Energy Super Hub Oxford project

Councillor Hayes, who was a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, is also Chief Executive of Elmore Community Services, an Oxfordshire-based mental health, complex needs and domestic abuse charity.

LGIU & CCLA Councillor Awards

The LGIU & CCLA Councillor Awards aim to highlight and recognise the work that local councillors do for their communities, especially in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.     

More than 200 councillors across England and Scotland have been nominated for the nine categories at this year’s awards. The winners will be decided by a panel of judges, including senior councillors and officers, and will be announced at a virtual ceremony on 26 November.

“Marie realised the need for a support network at the start of the pandemic.  Just before the lockdown, she proactively contacted a social enterprise borne out of student volunteering (Oxford Hub), and the Oxford Together network was launched.  It led to a network of “street champions” covering around 80% of the city, local support groups, and underpinned by Council hubs that delivered assistance and food parcels where necessary.

At the same time Marie co-ordinated a submission to the House of Commons Women and Equality Committee on the unequal impacts of Covid-19 showing that 2/3 of Coronavirus victims had a disability.

“These were game-changing interventions locally and nationally – achieved while balancing parenting work and council responsibilities.”

Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader of Oxford City Council.

“It is a great honour to have two of our councillors nominated for these prestigious awards. Councillor Tom Hayes has done a huge amount to ensure that as a city Oxford is working towards becoming zero carbon as soon as possible. His work with partners on Air Quality, delivering a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change, creating a zero emission zone in the city centre, promoting sustainable transport and low traffic neighbourhoods, pushing biodiversity, exploring different power solutions and providing additional charging points for electric cars have all helped towards this goal. Well done on your nominations Tom and Marie!”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council