Councillor Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council, has been honoured nationally for his outstanding leadership at the Councillor Achievement Awards.
Councillor McMahon was announced the winner of the ‘Leader of the Year’ title last night (Tuesday, February 25) at a local government gathering in London – which celebrated some of the best work done by councillors across the country. Hosted by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), the annual event championed the strong leadership and direction Councillor McMahon has brought to the borough, since he was elected to his post in 2011.
Councillor McMahon said: “It is an honour to be recognised and I am very surprised that people involved in Oldham have taken the trouble to make the nomination. As humbling as this award is, this is recognition for the outstanding co-operative and partnership work taking place in Oldham of which I am one part. Oldham is very much at a tipping point and it would all not be possible without the collective support and action from residents, local businesses, the voluntary and community sector, council staff and councillors.
“As all local authorities deal with cuts to their budgets, we are being proactive and fighting back. We’re investing into our borough with innovative and radical regeneration projects to deal with symbols of decline and to create jobs, for example the Old Town Hall project. The most important thing for me is that the people of the borough believe that Oldham can realise its full potential. I’ve tried to work hard to get regeneration moving again, to modernise the council and to make the most of the opportunities available to us, rather than be beaten by negativity. I respect that although we’ve started well there is a great deal still to do and I hope people judge me by results on the ground over the next five years.”
Councillor McMahon was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges made up of councillors and local government experts. He was praised for his strong leadership, which has helped bring a dramatic improvement in service delivery and driving a significant improvement in resident satisfaction rates. He has established the co-operative approach as the council’s clear vision. Last year, an independent and comprehensive review of the local authority from the Local Government Association hailed a ‘remarkable transformation’ that has seen it become ‘an ambitious and effective council’.
Norman Stoller CBE, Chair of the Stoller Charitable Trust and Freeman of the Borough, said about Councillor McMahon: “The people of Oldham are blessed with a Leader who stands head and shoulders above all others. At a time of great challenge Jim has demonstrated amazing vision, determination, great negotiation skills and an ability to gain the support, both of his council colleagues and the backing of those who live and work in Oldham.”
William Lees Jones, Managing Director of JW Lees Brewery, added: “Jim is an outstanding leader who has selflessly led Oldham through difficult times. He never makes excuses but tirelessly looks for better solutions to challenges, be they budgets, pot holes or residents’ problems. I feel confident that Oldham will continue to become a better place to live and a better place to do business because of Jim’s leadership.”