Three former Lord Mayors are to be given titles of Honorary Alderman and Honorary Alderwoman

Published: Monday, 26th November 2018

The Council will bestow one of the highest honours in its gift in conferring three former Lord Mayors as Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwoman for their outstanding service and dedication.

The three former councillors being recognised are:

Bob Price in recognition of his services to the Council: 1983 to 2018

  • Length of service: 35 years
  • Leader of the Council and City Executive Board Member: May 2008 to February 2018
  • Lord Mayor: 2005 to 2006, Deputy Lord Mayor: 1997 to1998 and Sheriff: 1998 to 1999

Gill Sanders in recognition of her services to the Council: 1990 to1998 and 2000 to 2018

  • Length of Service: 26 years
  • Deputy Leader of the Council: 1996 to1997
  • Lord Mayor: 2002 to 2003, Deputy Lord Mayor: 2003 to 2004 and Sheriff: 2004 to 2005

Jean Fooks in recognition of her services to the Council: 1992 to 2018

  • Length of Service: 26 years
  • Group Leader of the Liberal Democrats: 2012 to 2016
  • Lord Mayor: 2017 to 2018 and Sheriff: 2011 to 2012

The three former councillors will be honoured at a special meeting of the Council starting at 4.15pm on Monday 26 November 2018, in Oxford Town Hall.  This is to confer the title of Honorary Alderman and Honorary Alderwoman.  The Lord Mayor of Oxford Councillor Colin Cook will present them with a framed certificate and a badge of office.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford Councillor Colin Cook said: “With 87 years of service combined, they have contributed so much to the work of the Council with enormous dedication and vast experience, between them undertaking the various roles of Leader of the Council, Group Leader, Deputy Leader of the Council, and Executive Board Member.  Over the past decades, they have chaired numerous committees and are all former Lord Mayors.”

Leader of the Council Susan Brown said: “These three have been part of Oxford’s public life for over quarter of a century, holding senior roles on the Council, both civic and leadership roles. They are an inspiration to those of us who follow on from them in terms of vision and dedication to the citizens of Oxford. This is a small measure of our esteem for their amazing public service.”

The Local Government Act 1972 empowers the Council to confer the title of Honorary Alderman and Honorary Alderwoman on Persons who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to the Council as past members of that Council, but who are not then members of the Council.

An Honorary Alderman and Honorary Alderwoman may attend and take part in such civic ceremonies as the council may decide.  An Honorary Alderman and Honorary Alderwoman does not have any statutory rights, and cannot sit but can attend Full Council or committee meetings.

Bob Price said: “ It is an honour to have represented my local community on the Council for over 30 years, and to have been able to play a part in a Council that has consistently sought to make Oxford a better place for everyone to live in, despite the constraints placed upon it by national government. I hope that I will be able to use this new 'grandfather' role to continue to offer advice from the side lines!”

Gill Sanders said: “It has been a pleasure to represent the residents of Littlemore as their city councillor and it is an honour to be nominated as an Alderwoman of Oxford City Council.  I would like to thank all of those people who have voted for me as their city councillor for so many years who have made this possible.”

Bob Price

Bob Price who was first elected in May 1983, representing his local community in Grandpont, New Hinksey and St Ebbes, served for 12 years as the Leader of the Labour Group.  He was Leader of the Council from May 2008 to February 2018.  As Leader, he also held the portfolio for Strategic Partnerships, Corporate Policy and Economic Development on the City Executive Board

During his time as a councillor he chaired the Housing, Finance, Estates and Arts and Leisure Committees and after the change in the structure of local government in 2000, he chaired the Finance Scrutiny Committee.

He was a member of the Arts Council England South East Board, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board, the Oxfordshire Skills Board and the LGA Improvement and Innovation Board. Locally, he was the Chair of Governors at New Hinksey Primary School, Chair of the South Oxford Adventure Playground, a Trustee of the Lake Street Community Playgroup and Chair of South Oxford Community Association.

Gill Sanders

Gill Sanders was first elected in May 1990 and represented the Quarry Ward until 1998.  She was re-elected in 2000 to represent the Littlemore Ward until May 2018.

She was Deputy Leader of the Council from 1996 to 1997.  She chaired Highways and Traffic Committee 1994 to 1997, South East Area Committee 2004 to 2007,  the Standards Committee 2011 to 2018, and  Vice Chair of Scrutiny 2013 to 2014.  She also sat on the Scrutiny Housing Panel,  Licensing and Gambling Acts Committee,  Appointments Committee and still is the Chair of the Trustees of the Rose Hill Junior Youth Club.

Over the years she had been involved with  Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre, the City of Oxford Charity, and  the Local Policing Board. Chair of the Trustees of the Rose Hill Junior Youth Club.

Jean Fooks

Jean Fooks was first elected in May 1992 and represented the North Ward until 2002.  She was re-elected in 2006 to represent the Summertown Ward until May 2018.  She became group leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2012 to 2016. 

When the Council was not under any one party’s control, (Liberal Democrat, Green coalition) she chaired the Highways and Traffic Committee 2000 to 2001, Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee October 2001 to June 2004.  She was the Councillor in charge of the City Works Department in 2006 when wheelie bins were rolled out and recalls that recycling rates doubled within six months.

Her most recent efforts have helped to install new play facilities, keep the community association funded, set up a community bus service after some routes were cut and save the local children’s centre from closure.

She has been a school governor since 1992 and involved with both the Cutteslowe Community Association and the Wolvercote Young People’s Club. She was a strong advocate of ethical and environmental issues being addressed.  Until recently she has been part of  the city’s twinning link with Bonn in Germany.