England & Wales Personal and organisational development

C’llr Awards 2012: Leader of the Year


“Effective leadership is about knowing where you are going, in the broadest sense, articulating your goals and sticking to them, and then bringing people with you.”

– Martin Hill, Leader of the Year, 2010, speaking in C’llr Magazine, April 2011.

In the last post in this series we talked about how important innovation is for councils who want to protect frontline services in the face of budget cuts.

But effective innovation requires effective leadership.

As such, the Leader of the Year category in the 2012 LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards looks to recognise the vital role that council leaders play in driving forward new approaches in the way that councils work alongside their local communities.

The quote that opened this article highlights two major themes that both inform the judging criteria for this award, and are essential preconditions for effective innovation: direction and unity.

In terms of promoting a strong strategic direction, the councillor who wins this category will demonstrate:

  • outstanding commitment to their role as a councillor and council leader
  • clear vision for the council and community that addresses significant concerns of the community
  • evidence of successfully leading the council towards achieving the vision

In terms of promoting a strong sense of unity within the group and cabinet, the councillor who wins this category will demonstrate:

  • strong relationships with community groups and council partners
  • commitment to accountability and scrutiny
  • how they have overcome splits and factions within the group, successfully uniting them to deliver outcomes for the community

Last year’s winner in this category, Councillor Graham Baxter (North East Derbyshire District Council), showed how excellent leadership can produce concrete outcomes: Councillor Baxter presided over a council that went from ‘weak’ to ‘excellent’ in the Comprehensive Performance Assessment; achieved efficiencies equivalent to 20% of the budget; and implemented a new strategic direction for the area, developed by a team of senior councillors and officers, united around a ‘Respect Charter’.

If you feel that a specific council leader has performed similarly well, then please show your appreciation of the fantastic contribution they are making to their community by nominating them for this year’s Leader of the Year award. Anybody can do this by simply completing one of our new, streamlined nomination forms, which can be downloaded, along with further instructions, here.

The closing date for entries in this category is 30th December, 2011.

For more information on the 2012 LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards, please visit www.lgiu.org/cllrawards, or email awards@lgiu.org.