Cllr Awards: Community Champion

Award Guidelines

Community involvement is essential to ensuring that the council takes the right decisions for its citizens. The community champion of the year will have worked tirelessly to use their position within the council to bring residents’ voices into council decision-making, support their projects and ideas, and bridge diverse opinions within the community.

Community Champion

The Community Champion Award is our most popular category.

The councillor who wins this award will demonstrate:

  • they have championed a cause (or several) on behalf of the community using council mechanisms or structures, leading to positive change for the local area;
  • visible efforts to engage communities and individuals in decisions about their local area, leading to better decisions for local people;
  • an understanding of the different views of communities within their area and that they effectively facilitate discussion and representation of these views to the council;
  • strong relationships with community activists and community groups that have led to tangible positive changes.

Successful submissions should:

  • focus on how the councillor has used council structures to bring about a positive change in the community;
  • provide clear examples of work or projects they have carried out in their role as a councillor.

Watch the stories of recent winners...

Cllr Jabba Riaz

Cllr Riaz of Worcester City Council was our winner in 2022 because of the outstanding level of thought, care and compassion he has demonstrated to his role. The judges were impressed with the emphasis on unity and inclusion that he brought.

Cllr David Macdonald

Cllr Macdonald of East Renfrewshire Council was selected as the 2022 Community Champion for his devotion to the community he represents.


Cllr Kevin Etheridge

Cllr Etheridge of Caerphilly County Borough Council was our 2021 winner for his outstanding levels of commitment and drive in spearheading successful community campaigns.

Feeling Inspired?

Community Champions tap into the council’s mechanisms to inform, consult and involve local people in the business of the council. Take a look at how LGIU is supporting community champions.

Domestic violence: 16 days of activism

In honour of this global campaign, we spoke with Councillor Janet Gardner who took time out of her very busy schedule working – which includes supporting the 16 Days of Action. Continue reading…

Community champion chained to civic engagement – Catch up with Cllr Kevin Etheridge

We caught up with Cllr Etheridge, winner of the Community Champion award at the 2021 England and Wales Cllr Awards, to hear about his big win. Find our more here.

Global Local Magazine: Community planning

How wider participation in planning can lead to fairer, more prosperous and inclusive public spaces. Read more now.

In Conversation with Cllr Steven Heddle, VP of COSLA

As part of LGIU’s series on local government leadership, Vice President of COSLA, Cllr Steven Heddle, tell us about his local government experience and how COSLA and the sector are navigating the challenges and opportunities of local government in 2023. Find out more.

Online training: Community engagement

At the end of the course, delegates will have a greater understanding of their ward or division and the variety of communities that co-exist and to achieve change you need to make a difference. Sign up now.

Global Local Magazine: Participatory democracy: Citizens’ Assemblies

Learn how citizens’ assemblies can come to life, from case studies from Belgium and Ireland to inspiration from Japan’s futuristic roleplay during deliberation to encourage intergenerational equity. Dive in now.

More stories from past winners...

Bailie Jacqueline McLaren

Bailie McLaren of Glasgow City Council won the Community Champion Award in 2021 for her extensive partnership working with community groups and for her instrumental role in securing Regeneration Capital Grant funding for a new community facility.

Cllr Saima Ashraf

Cllr Ashraf of London Borough of Barking and Dagenham was awarded Community Champion in 2020. As well as holding the portfolio for Community Leadership & Engagement, she was also the Deputy Leader of the Council at the time.

Cllr Stephen Burns

Cllr Burns of Renfrewshire Council was the joint Scotland Community Champion in 2020.

Cllr Glen Reid

Cllr Reid of Aberdeenshire Council was the joint Scotland Community Champion in 2020.

Cllr Lynne Short

Cllr Short of Dundee City Council was the Scotland City Community Champion in 2020.

Thanks to our founding partners, CCLA

This year’s Awards are only possible thanks to the generous support of our founding partners CCLA.

CCLA is a leading specialist fund manager for local authorities and charities. When they began sponsoring the Cllr Awards they had 22 local authority client accounts. Today they have over 700 and this number is growing every month. CCLA are owned by their clients – their mission is to serve the whole sector, regardless of size. |