England & Wales, Scotland Press Releases

LGIU Statement: England and Scotland’s top councillors revealed 

Annual Cllr Awards ceremonies go virtual  

The LGIU/LGIU Scotland and CCLA are proud to reveal the winners of the 2020 Cllr Awards, the only national awards to celebrate the vital contributions of councillors.

This week, at two virtual Awards ceremonies, the top prizes of the night for Leader of the Year went to Cllr Tom Beattie of Corby Borough Council and Cllr Jenny Laing of Aberdeen City Council. To recognise local government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new Covid-19 Hero Award was given to Cllr Hannah Bithell of Leeds City Council and Cllr Salma Mumtaz of Nottingham City Council and Cllr Eva Murray of Glasgow City Council. Cllr Beverley Momenabadi of City of Wolverhampton Council walked away with the Young Councillor of the Year prize and Cllr Mark Horsham of South Lanarkshire Council was honoured with the New Councillor of the Year Award. Cllr Nick Ridley OBE of Babergh District Council was given a Lifetime Achievement Award (for his service posthumously) as well as Cllr Eileen Logan of South Lanarkshire Council in Scotland. The full list of winners is included below.

For the 11th year running in England and 3rd year running in Scotland, these Awards showcased the best of local government. At a time when the country faces one of the greatest hardships of our lifetime, now, more than ever, we need to honour these unsung heroes of local government who are working tirelessly to keep the country afloat during the pandemic.

The winners were decided by a panel of judges composed of senior councillors and officers as well as leading stakeholders from across the sector. Competition was especially tight again this year with over 300 nominations received, a record amount for the Awards. A link to re-watch the Awards in Scotland is available HERE and the Awards in England is HERE.

This year’s Awards were made possible thanks to the generous support of founding partners CCLA.

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGIU/LGIU Scotland said: “We are incredibly proud to unveil the winners of the 2020 Cllr Awards.

These councillors showcase the best of local government, those who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities during a hugely challenging 2020. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have turned to local government to bring us the place-specific leadership and support for which they are renowned and they have once again delivered.

The winners are all outstanding examples of a councillor’s commitment to their communities – a commitment that has especially shone through this year. Being closest to the people, councillors are vital to ensuring that communities can thrive during periods of hardship.

Thank you for your service this year and a huge congratulations to all our Cllr Awards winners. We look forward to hearing about your continued accomplishments in the future.”

Kelly Watson, Relationship Manager for Local Government at CCLA, said: “We are proud to be the founding partner of the Cllr Awards. Working together with LGIU for the 11th year and LGIU Scotland for the 3rd year running, we always look forward to taking the opportunity to recognise and honour those leading across local government. This year has given the Awards new meaning. Local government has stepped up to the plate to deliver for communities across the country this year and we are honoured to stand alongside them.

Life as a councillor can be extremely rewarding – being at the forefront of positive community change. But of course, it’s also extremely hard work, particularly in the current context.

The hard work done by councillors and council leaders behind the scenes to negotiate the best outcomes for their communities often never reaches the public eye. Which is why we think it’s invaluable to set aside an evening each year to celebrate those achievements.”


Notes to editors

About LGIU

The Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) is a think tank and membership body with over 200 councils and other organisations subscribing to our networks. We work to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services. For more information, visit www.lgiu.org.

About LGIU Scotland

LGIU Scotland is a policy information service dedicated to local government across Scotland. We work to inform our members by providing practical, up-to-the-minute intelligence on policy issues. Our services help public servants make policy, support residents and work more effectively with colleagues. Our members include councils, charities, central government and public sector partners. All share a commitment to providing the best possible local government services for citizens.

About 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 accounts. Today they have over 700 and this number is growing every month. They are owned by their clients – their mission is to serve the whole sector, regardless of size.

About Cllr Awards

The LGIU and CCLA’s 11th annual Cllr Awards celebrate the vital work being done by councillors across England. Past winners of the Awards can be found here. Rules for the nomination, shortlisting and selection process can be found here. Follow #CllrAwards for all updates.


 2020 Cllr Awards Winners – England


Collaborative Working

Cllr Niknam Hussain – Buckinghamshire Council (joint)

Cllr Raj Khan – Buckinghamshire Council (joint)

Cllr Waheed Raja – Buckinghamshire Council (joint)


Community Champion

Cllr Saima Ashraf – London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 


Covid-19 Hero

Cllr Hannah Bithell – Leeds City Council

Cllr Salma Mumtaz – Nottingham City Council


Special commendation: Cllr Toni Carter – Rochford District Council

Special commendation: Cllr Robert Griffin – South Gloucestershire Council


Environment & Sustainability Pioneer

Cllr Tom Hayes – Oxford City Council


Finance & Economic Development

The whole of the local government sector for their dedication and determination throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.


Innovation & Service Transformation

Cllr Colin Foster – Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council


Leader of the Year

Cllr Tom Beattie – Corby Borough Council


Special commendation: Cllr Toby Savage – South Gloucestershire Council

Special commendation: Cllr Bridget Smith – South Cambridgeshire District Council


Lifetime Achievement Award

Cllr Nick Ridley OBE – Babergh District Council (in memoriam)

Special commendation: Cllr John Leech – Manchester City Council


Young Councillor of the Year

Cllr Beverley Momenabadi – City of Wolverhampton Council


2020 Cllr Awards Winners – Scotland


Champion for Education

Cllr Dr Soryia Siddique – Glasgow City Council


Collaborative Working

Cllr Laura Brennan-Whitefield – South Ayrshire Council (joint)

Cllr Siobhian Brown – South Ayrshire Council (joint)


Covid-19 Hero

Cllr Eva Murray – Glasgow City Council

Special commendation: Bailie Philip Braat – Glasgow City Council


Leader of the Year

Cllr Jenny Laing – Aberdeen City Council


Lifetime Contribution

Cllr Eileen Logan – South Lanarkshire Council


New Councillor of the Year

Cllr Mark Horsham – South Lanarkshire Council


Special commendation: Cllr Kenneth Duffy – North Lanarkshire


Community Champion

Cllr Stephen Burns – Renfrewshire Council

Cllr Glen Reid – Aberdeenshire Council


City Community Champion

Cllr Lynne Short – Dundee City Council