LGIU & CCLA Cllr Awards Hall of Fame: Leader of the Year

Leading their communities with service and heart, these councillors are truly impacting the lives of their constituents.

Recycling and regenerating: Teresa O'Neill OBE

Cllr O’Neill of the London Borough of Bexley was selected as Leader of the Year in England and Wales in 2022 for her strong stewardship of Bexley over the past 14 years. She was also recognised for her prominent role in developing the pan-London response to the Covid pandemic.

2022 Scotland Leaders of the Year Showcase

To mark the fifth anniversary of Cllr Awards in Scotland, we asked all council leaders, “What does the word ‘Leader’ mean to you?” Here’s what they said.

Mobilising community: Georgia Gould

Cllr Gould of Camden Council was awarded Leader of the Year in 2022 because of her dedication to the residents of Camden and her determination to tackle the inequalities exposed by the pandemic.

Addressing the climate crisis: Susan Aitken

Cllr Aitken of Glasgow City Council won the Leader of the Year award in 2021 for her work amplifying ​​the importance of post-industrial cities and addressing the climate crisis. She was also praised for spearheading a plan for the city that put pedestrians first.

Regenerating the economy for the future: Tom Beattie

Cllr Beattie of Corby Borough Council was awarded Leader of the Year in 2020.

Partnering for prosperity: Jenny Laing

Cllr Laing of Aberdeen City Council was awarded Leader of the Year in Scotland in 2020.

Let's hear from the winners...

Leaders and elected mayors are integral to the strategic direction of the council – in articulating the vision, setting priorities and overseeing the delivery of their objectives. That’s why we’re showcasing their work here.

Approaching change proactively: John Alexander

Kim Fellows (KF) LGiU speaking to John Alexander (JA), Leader of the Year last year at the 2019 LGIU Scotland & CCLA Councillor Awards. Continue reading…

Award Guidelines

Effective leaders are skilled in drawing together diverse views and working across party political lines to ensure all residents’ views are reflected in council policies. They are able to oversee the day-to-day operations to ensure the council is acting responsibly, legally and in line with political priorities, and must nurture healthy working relationships with councillors colleagues and officers.

As the public face of the council, leaders will have strong relationships with community groups and put residents at the heart of what they do. They will be prepared to answer difficult questions and ensure that they are held accountable for decisions that are made.

Leader of the Year

The councillor who wins this category will demonstrate that they have:

  • an outstanding commitment to their role as a councillor and council leader;
  • set a clear vision for the council’s role and priorities that meet the needs and preferences of the community;
  • successfully led the council towards achieving this vision;
  • strong relationships with community groups and council partners;
  • a strong commitment to transparency, accountability and scrutiny;
  • successfully united the council, accommodating different views and party splits, to deliver the best outcomes for the community.

Successful submissions should:

  • provide clear examples of work or projects they have carried out that have benefitted residents (either internal council structures/processes or outward-facing projects);
  • focus on how the leader has gone above and beyond their statutory role;
  • outline how they have effectively managed the council, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis.
Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pixabay