Oxford City Council Champions announced

Published: Friday, 20th July 2018

Council Leader, Councillor Susan Brown has announced the appointment of City Council Champions across four areas of priority.

Alongside their duties as local councillors, the Champions will bring their expertise and engagement with key stakeholder groups and members of the community to provide the Executive Board members with knowledge and advice to inform decision-making.

 The champions are:

Councillor Shaista Aziz – Representation in the Workforce Champion

Making sure the workforce at Oxford City Council is representative of the community of Oxford.

Councillor Pat Kennedy – Older Peoples’ Champion

Representing the City Council on a number of bodies that work with older people and focusing in particular on tackling isolation and loneliness. 

Councillor Mark Lygo – Champion for Sports in Schools

Working with schools to encourage healthy lifestyles through sports activities.

Councillor Martyn Rush – Living Wage Champion

Promoting uptake of the Oxford Living Wage and supporting employers who have signed up.


Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council, said: “Oxford City Council is lucky to have real depth and breadth of experience among its elected members of all parties. While I believe we have a strong team providing leadership across the range of portfolios in the Executive Board, I am keen to draw on a wider pool of knowledge around the Council Chamber for several key Council priorities. Therefore I have asked a number of members to act as Champions, as they can bring valuable additional insights and experience.”

 Councillor Shaista Aziz, Representation in the Workforce Champion said: “I’m honoured to be appointed as a Champion to improve Representation in the City Council Workforce and see my role as acting as a key bridge between marginalised people, communities and the city council. Oxford is a hugely diverse and pluralistic city and we as a council are striving to ensure we are reaching out, engaging with and listening to all residents and that they see the City Council as somewhere they want to work. ”

 Councillor Pat Kennedy, Older Peoples’ Champion said “Loneliness and social isolation kill. I am determined to work with every promising partner- charitable groups, community centres, over 50s groups and bus companies to combat this scourge. I plan to influence city and county council colleagues so that they acknowledge the needs and wishes of older people in their work."

 Councillor Mark Lygo, Champion for Sports in Schools said: “The City Council is determined to improve health outcomes in our city and encouraging a love of sport early on is key to lifelong healthier habits.  I am delighted to be working alongside Councillor Louise Upton as the portfolio holder to support and encourage more sport in schools.”

 Councillor Martyn Rush, Living Wage Champion said: “I believe Oxford needs a pay rise. The Oxford Living Wage - currently £9.69 per hour - is the moral issue of our time. Oxford City Council been fundamental in its support for the Oxford Living Wage and my role as Oxford Living Wage Champion will be to encourage more employers to pay this rate and more citizens to organise in support of it.  I will be working with businesses, organisers, unions, faith communities and the Council to acknowledge Oxford Living Wage employers and help co-ordinate city-wide Living Wage activism. Widespread adoption of the Oxford Living Wage is the surest way to ensure an Oxford for the many, not the few.”