The Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council has received national acclaim for her work promoting environmental projects.

Councillor Sally Longford won the Councillor Achievement Award for Environment and Sustainability as part of awards run by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) together with CCLA, a specialist fund manager for local authorities and charities.

Councillor Longford, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, was chosen for ‘leading environmental culture change and representing the council in Nottingham’s Green Partnership’.

Judges on Tuesday evening remarked that her work ‘embodies important yet achievable strategies, with policies that include tree-planting, going plastic-free, green transport and a carbon-neutral city’. She impressed with the ‘many achievable projects she has conceived while a councillor for Nottingham’.

They added that this was ‘proof that small everyday changes can make an important difference when tackling the problem of climate change, aided by local council policies and investment in greener transport’.

Nottingham is aiming to become the first UK city to be carbon neutral by 2028. Some of the projects under way or planned to achieve this are:

  • Making more use of renewables, installing solar on all viable council sites including car parks with innovative solar carports and thousands of council houses, plus early adoption of energy storage facilities
  • Extending a UK-first pilot to make more homes super energy-efficient, upgrading them with new outside walls and windows, a solar roof, and a state-of-the-art heating system
  • Developing a public network of charge points to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles
  • Greening the taxi fleet, with only Euro 6 or Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) taxis to be licensed from 2020 and the City Council fleet, using electric vehicles wherever possible
  • Continuing bidding for funds to invest in cycle, tram and bus improvements which tackle congestion and pollution

Councillor Longford said: “I’m delighted to have won this award and would like to pay tribute to my colleagues and council officers who have shown the vision, commitment and hard work to help Nottingham become a genuine leader in this area.

“I’m proud that we are increasingly held up as an exemplar when the national debate is around climate change and ground-breaking environmental projects. Our electric bus fleet and extended tram system have moved Nottingham well ahead of other cities around the country and we are lucky to have them.

“This is only the start, however. We will need to redouble our efforts in the coming years as we strive for our target to be the first UK city to be carbon-neutral by 2028.”

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU,said:“We are incredibly proud to unveil this year’s Councillor Achievement Award winners, a group of councillors who truly showcase the best of local government. 

“These councillors deliver in increasingly challenging and hostile times alongside severe budget constraints. And, despite all of that and more, their determination and resolve has left their communities safer, stronger and healthier, thanks to their efforts. Their work often goes unrecognised and that is why it is so important that we honour them this evening. 

“I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations to Councillor Longford and thank her for her commitment to local government. We look forward to hearing more about her continued accomplishments in the future.”